Livestock Giants in Brazil Buy Cattle Directly from Illegal Farms, Says Investigation by NGO

Global Witness monitored properties that supply livestock to JBS, Marfrig and Minerva; companies deny wrongdoing

São Paulo

An investigation by the British NGO Global Witness states that JBS, Marfrig and Minerva, the largest Brazilian meatpacking companies and among the largest in the world, have been buying cattle for at least the last three years from farms with illegal deforestation in Pará. Folha had access to the investigation, that lasted about a year. The slaughterhouses denied wrongdoing to Global Witness.

Together with the Brazilian entity Imazon, the NGO claims to have had access to all animal transit guides of the companies in question from 2017 to 2019 in the state of Pará.

Minerva (Foto: Edson Silva/Folhapress, Folha Ribeirao) - Folhapress

With the guides in hand, it was possible to verify which farms the cattle bought by the slaughterhouses passed. The entities then crossed the information from the transportation guides with the illegal deforestation registered by Inpe (National Institute for Space Research) and with clearing clearances - each Amazonian property can deforest up to 20% of its area, if it has an endorsement for that.

After cross-checking the data, the investigators verified the illegal deforestation that occurred on the farms that were part of the chain of the largest slaughterhouses in the country in recent years.

Translated by Kiratiana Freelon

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