Since 2009 Brazilian JBS—the world’s largest meat producer—has been delivering empty promises of a better supply chain. Instead it keeps driving deforestation in the Amazon to supply its increasing demand for meat. A decade of talks with both Greenpeace and Ibama (Brazil’s environmental agency) shows only futile excuses such as:
“[JBS] is fully committed to achieving a deforestation-free beef supply chain and avoiding irregular suppliers. We acknowledge that indirect supplier traceability remains a system level issue in Brazil and are working with governmental and cross-industry stakeholders to find workable solutions. We urge anyone with evidence of malpractice to report it to the appropriate authorities. We also operate a company whistleblowing hotline for any employee to contact if they see or suspect irregularities.”—taken from the Guardian
JBS publicly avoids responsibility, lies, and keeps getting caught for supplying its meat from illegally deforested areas in the Amazon. The latest revelation occurred this past month (July 2020):
This month, Amnesty International, with Réporter Brasil, revealed that cattle illegally grazed in protected areas of the Amazon state of Rondônia had entered the JBS supply chain —taken from the Guardian
The truth was revealed by several exposés by the the Guardian, the Bureau of Investigative Journalism, the Brazilian agency Réporter Brasil, Greenpeace and Amnesty International, that definitely linked JBS to cattle supplied by Amazon farms involved in illegal deforestation.
With such blatant exposure at its disposal one of JBS leading investors from Northern Europe: Nordea Asset Management officially dropped JBS from its portfolio. This didn’t come to a surprise as Nordea was part of 29 financial institutions—together managing $3.7tn—who a month ago warned the Brazilian government of divestment should deforestation continue.
Nordea followed through with the threat, and its announcement shouldn’t be taken lightly. We can’t expect 7 billion people to change their consuming habits overnight, businesses must also accept their responsibility. It will take bold initiatives such as Nordea’s to truly make the swift changes we are in desperate need to save the Amazon Rainforest. Big funds taking leaps of faith such as these in a world where dollar is King are essential. Hopefully somewhere in Sao Paulo and Brasilia big corporate CEOs are losing sleep over the idea of investment cuts.
It is also worth a mention that if ecocide were recognized as an international crime against humanity then these people could be tried in court.