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16 December 2021
European supermarkets take action on Brazilian beef
SustainabilityEnvironmental & social issuesMeat, poultry, fish
Several European supermarket chains are to stop selling some beef products originating from Brazil after research groups linked them to cattle production in deforested areas of the Amazon.
Who’s doing what?
In the UK, Sainsbury’s is to stop using Brazilian beef in its own-label corned beef. In Belgium, Carrefour is removing beef jerky products made by Brazilian meat processor JBS; ditto Auchan in France. In the Netherlands, Albert Heijn, part of Ahold Dehaize, and Lidl both said they will stop sourcing beef from Brazil. In Germany, the Metro chain is investigating the report’s claims, the Financial Times said.
Why it matters
The recent COP26 summit made commitments to halt and reverse forest loss and land degradation by 2030. And since cattle ranching is a significant factor in the destruction of the Amazon rainforest, that puts the meat supply chain firmly in the firing line. It’s becoming increasingly clear that the onus for making sustainable choices does not lie just with consumers, but also with the brands and retailers that sell products to them. That means ensuring greater transparency of supply chains and ensuring products are sustainable from the outset.
A tech fix?
JBS claims to have zero tolerance for illegal deforestation and to have “made extensive investments in a new blockchain-enabled platform to overcome this challenge and achieve a completely illegal deforestation-free supply chain by 2025”.