Brazilian beef not fuelling deforestation, says embassy

The Brazilian Embassy has denied claims that eating Brazilian meat will fuel the destruction of the Amazon rainforest.


The embassy said that Greenpeace's report ‘Slaughtering the Amazon’, published in June this year, was "wrong to depict cattle farming in the Amazon region as the largest driver of deforestation in the world."

Insisting that “European consumers can rest assured that in buying Brazilian beef, they are not exacerbating Amazon deforestation”, the embassy pointed out that all of the farms licensed to export to the EU are located at least 1,000 kilometres away from the edge of the rainforest.

The embassy added that it would be highly unlikely for cattle to be moved from the Amazon to farms that are licensed to export beef to the EU.

“It is very unusual in Brazil for cattle to travel more than their 300km between farm and slaughterhouse," said a spokesperson.

"Longer journeys would be particularly likely in the case of animals raised in the Amazon, where many roads are unpaved and vehicles tend to move at an average speed of less than 40km per hour.”

Greenpeace’s report on the Amazon claimed that UK retailers are selling products made from Brazilian beef produced on illegally deforested land. The report produced evidence that Bertin, JBS or Marfrig – which supply 90% of the UK’s Brazilian beef imports – knowingly buy cattle from farms engaged in recent and illegal deforestation.

Greenpeace claimed that beef is being shipped from slaughterhouses in the Amazon region to facilities in the south for further processing before export.

Since the publication of the report, Marfrig, which supplies Tesco, Lidl and a number of ready meal processors in the UK, has released a statement that it will stop buying beef from the Amazon.

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