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23 Mar 2021

Greenpeace International

Making Mincemeat of the Pantanal - The Markets for (JBS, Marfrig & Minerva Foods) Beef

...In 2020, thanks to two consecutive years of severe drought, some 30% of the Brazilian Pantanal – the world’s largest contiguous wetland – burned, with official sources saying that the vast majority of the fires were started by human activity. In many cases, ranchers are suspected of starting fires deliberately, in defiance of official bans on the use of fire introduced in July by regional governments and presidential decree. Pantanal is under self-declared land claims, where ownership is not verified by the state. As a consequence, these land claims often overlap with Indigenous lands or public conservation units (including federal, state and municipal reserves). In the Pantanal, these land claims overlap with about 28% of Indigenous lands and 58% of public conservation units. About 80% of the Pantanal is reportedly managed as cattle ranches. Greenpeace International has identified 15 ranchers who are either current or recent (2018– 2019) suppliers of Brazil’s leading meat processors, JBS, Marfrig and Minerva, and that are linked to the devastating 2020 fires in the Pantanal, environmental violations and/or property registration irregularities. The fires within the boundaries of the case study properties alone burned more than 73,000 ha – an area the size of Singapore, or about half the size of Greater London – between 1 July and 27 October 2020, and in many cases appear to have contributed to extensive burning far beyond the property limits. These 15 ranchers were linked directly or indirectly in 2018–2019 to at least 14 meat processing facilities owned by JBS, Marfrig and Minerva which trade globally. Direct trade links have been identified from one or more of these 14 facilities to customers including Burger King and McDonald’s, Danish Crown Group, Nestlé, Brazil’s Pão de Açúcar supermarket chain (a member of the French Casino Group), Carrefour and, reportedly, Walmart...