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8 Jan 2010

Helder Marinho & Lucia Kassai, Bloomberg

Walmart won’t buy Cosan sugar amid slavery blacklist [Brazil]

Wal-Mart...suspended a supply contract with Cosan SA Industria & Comercio after the Brazilian sugar maker was added to a government slavery “blacklist.” Cosan said it won an injunction ordering it be removed from the list... Walmart “vehemently repudiates any practice that does not respect human rights,” the...retailer said in a statement...Agriculture Minister Reinhold Stephanes called [Cosan’s] inclusion a “mistake.”...“Cosan had problems with a contractor three years ago and solved them immediately,” Stephanes said. “It has good practices.”... The Labor Ministry said 42 Cosan workers were found and “liberated” from conditions analogous to slavery. Another 163 employers are also on the ministry blacklist... Petroleo Brasileiro SA’s [Petrobras] fuel distribution unit, which buys ethanol from Cosan, may consider “restrictions” on the company.