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8 June 2012 | Kamalpreet Badasha
Brazilian food manufacturer JBS says it will take legal action against Greenpeace over claims its practices are destroying the Amazon rainforest.
The company has strongly denied accusations in a Greenpeace report that alleged JBS had purchased animals from five farms accused of illegal deforestation by the federal environment agency IBAMA (Brazilian Institute of Environment and Renewable Natural Resources), among others.
“JBS believes that the document disclosed by Greenpeace does not in any way enhance discussions around issues related to sustainability in the beef supply chain in Brazil,” said JBS president José Augusto de Carvalho Júnior in a statement. “The accusations are false, frivolous, unfounded and do not demonstrate the required impartiality on the part of Greenpeace to advance discussions around a theme of such relevance.”
A spokesman for Greenpeace had no comment regarding the proposed legal action being as they “have not received any documentation.” The environmental charity stands by the findings of its report. It spent 18 months investigating the supply chain using field research, document analysis, export data analysis and product information.
The report also claimed beef from Tesco’s own brand tins could be traced back to cattle farms that have destroyed rainforests in the Amazon.
A Tesco spokesperson told SM: “The vast majority of the beef we sell, including all fresh beef, is sourced from the UK and Ireland. Canned beef products sourced from Brazil account for less than one per cent of total beef sales. We started to cut back our supplies from JBS a year ago and have now ceased sourcing any canned beef products from JBS. Ethics and sustainability remain an important part of our dialogue with suppliers.”