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News > Brazil

Greenpeace: Spain's Meat Imports Foster Amazon's Deforestation

  • Cattle Ranching in Ricardo Franco Park, Brazil, 2020.

    Cattle Ranching in Ricardo Franco Park, Brazil, 2020. | Photo: Twitter/ @joelle47019650

Published 11 June 2020

An "illegal cattle laundering" scheme allows international supply chains to do business using cattle from Brazilian farms that deforest protected areas.

Greenpeace and Reporter Brazil assure that Spanish companies are importing meat from livestock farms that take advantage of deforestation in the Amazon basin.


Deforestation on the Rise in the Brazilian Amazon

An investigation shows "links between deforestation caused by the expansion of livestock in the interior of protected areas in Brazil, Brazilian exports of frozen meat, and the consumption of this meat in international markets," the environmental activists denounce, adding that Canary Islands-based companies are importing meat to distribute it to the large hotel chains.

Greenpeace analyzed what happens in Brazil's Ricardo Franco Park, a "comprehensive protection" area that is located in Mato Grosso and covers 158,000 hectares.

Since 1997, over 12,000 hectares have been deforested in an area that is formally protected, although 71 percent of it remains under the control of powerful livestock entrepreneurs.

This is the case, for example, on the Paredao I and Paredao II farms, where at least 2,000 hectares of Amazon forest have been illegally destroyed.

Although this circumstance was investigated by the Mato Grosso State Prosecutor's Office in 2016, the process of destroying ecosystems continues with impunity.

"The Ricardo Franco case Park is repeated in many other places in the Amazon. The current upswing in deforestation within protected areas and Indigenous lands is directly related to President Jair Bolsonaro's statements, policies, and stimuli," Greenpeace Forest Campaign leader Miguel Angel Soto recalled.

Satellite images showing destruction in one of the areas of the Yanomami Indigenous territory, which has been invaded by small-scale, informal miners. That is the main environmental policy of Bolsonaro and his minister Ricardo Salles. They are criminals like all who defend this absurdity!

Between April 2018 and June 2019, cattle from the Paredao farms were sold to another intermediary company Barra Mansa, which in turn sold the animals at JBS, Marfrig, and Minerva, which are the main slaughterhouses in Brazil.

Since these three meatpackers do not monitor whether the animals come from the Amazon's protected areas, Brazilian exporters take advantage of the existence of a true "illegal cattle laundering" scheme that allows them to maintain international supply chains based on deforestation and invasion of protected areas.

"The European Union cannot remain on the sidelines of the enormous environmental and social impact of its supply chains. The consumption of Europeans causes climate change, loss of biodiversity, and human rights violations," Soto said.

"There is an urgent need for the European Commission to implement the announced legislation that prevents entry into the European Union of raw materials from deforestation," the Greenpeace activist added.

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