Cattle Agreement Deforestation

The main players in beef production are JBS, Minerva and Marfrig. These companies control about 70% of the slaughter capacity of cattle in the Amazon. JBS and Minerva also have slaughterhouses in the Matopiba region (Maranhéo, Tocantins, Piaua and Bahia), the agricultural border area of Cerrado. From 2007 to 2013, the Brazilian government implemented the “National Champions” initiative to transform companies into large multinationals. This action has enabled several Brazilian meat companies to become world leaders in the sector, which has also been made possible by a wave of international consolidation in the sector. Massive investments of public funds through the Brazilian development bank BNDES and its investment arm BNDESPar, notably at JBS, Marfrig and BRF, have supported these efforts. While many others are likely, at least five meat packers with plants in the Amazon have been identified as supplied by the top five retailers. Profiles of JBS, Marfrig, Minerva, Boi Forte and Masterboi are included in the appendix. Of these five, JBS, Marfrig and Minerva signed the G4 and TAC agreements. Proof of freedom of access to land: companies had to prove that they did not source livestock from farms accused of entering indigenous countries or of being fined for the invasion of protected areas.

They also pledged to avoid the purchase of cattle from farms that had been blocked by IBAMA or from suppliers – directly or indirectly – accused of land grabbing or convicted of participating in land disputes. With the largest herd of commercial cattle in the world, Brazil is currently at the forefront of world production and international trade. The expansion of cattle herds in the Amazon biom has played a key role in meeting the growing demand for beef, leather and tallow, both in Brazil and internationally. The AMP has published preliminary results of its supply chain policy in 2017. It lists JBS, Marfrig and Minerva as suppliers, as well as 43 unknown small and medium-sized suppliers. Of these 43 suppliers, 27 (14 direct slaughterhouses, 5 direct livestock purchase processors, 1 distributor and 7 processors who purchase 23 indirect slaughterhouses from that date) complied with the retailer`s policy and the Safe Trace traceability and quality management system.

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