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Cattle giant makes Amazon pledge

Tuesday 18 August 2009

cowGreenpeace’s campaign to introduce a moratorium on cattle purchases from farms involved in the deforestation of the Amazon has claimed another success, with Brazil’s second-largest beef exporter backing the plan. Bertin has pledged to carry out a comprehensive traceability programme throughout its entire supply chain in order to eliminate any sources related to deforestation, slave labour and land grabbing. CEO Fernando Bertin called the decision “a fundamental step” for environmental responsibility.

The announcement comes on the back of similar move by Marfig, one of the world’s biggest beef producers, and leather policy pledges from footwear giants Clarks, Nike, Timberland, Geox and Adidas. Greenpeace’s “Slaughtering the Amazon” report, which was released in June and began the campaign, investigated the supply chains of major brands and found clear links to the decimated Brazilian region.

"Bertin's decision should pave the way for the modernisation of the Brazilian cattle industry", said Sarah Shoraka, Greenpeace Forests campaigner. "Given the sheer size of both Bertin and Marfrig's operations, this commitment will have real impact on driving down Amazon deforestation and greenhouse gas emissions. Greenpeace will closely monitor the moratorium's implementation to ensure its success.”

Bertin’s move to join Marfig in support of the campaign leaves JBS-Friboi as the sole Brazilian beef producer remaining active in the region. JBS-Friboi, which is the largest producer and exporter of processed beef in the world, is now expected to come under increasing pressure to act on the issue.

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