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Big Beef Companies Join Amazon Campaign

18 August 2009

BRAZIL - In the latest step forward for our Amazon campaign which began with the publication of Slaughtering the Amazon, Bertin, the world's largest leather exporter, is finally doing the right thing and backing the call for a moratorium on buying cattle from farms responsible for Amazon deforestation, says Greenpeace.

Over the next six months, Bertin will register and map all cattle ranches which directly supply cattle to the company, says Greenpeace. For the rest of the supply chain, including rearing and nursery farms, it will implement a traceability system from farms to its slaughterhouses and processing facilities by 2011. They will also ensure that they don't buy cattle from indigenous and protected areas or from farms linked to slave labour, land conflicts and land grabbing.

Bertin's commitment to end Amazon deforestation comes soon after a similar announcement from Marfrig, another one of the world's largest beef traders. According to Greenpeace, it leaves JBS, the world's largest producer and global exporter of processed beef, as the last major exporter that has failed to commit to help end the destruction of the Amazon.

"While Bertin and Marfrig have committed to a moratorium, JBS is not only staying silent, they're actually continuing to expand into the Amazon, renting several new facilities north of Mato Grosso State, an area which has the greatest rate of cattle ranching expansion and deforestation in the Amazon. "

"Cattle ranching is the biggest driver of Amazon rainforest destruction and contributes to making Brazil the fourth largest climate polluter in the world," says the Greenpeace report. "That's why Brazil's cattle sector needs to follow the soya industry's example and commit to a moratorium, which in turn needs the federal and local governments to make sure its effective by mapping, registering and monitoring rural properties, and helping the private sector fulfill its corporate responsibilities. "

"To this end, we are calling for $40 billion to be provided by developing world governments at Copenhagen to protect forests around the world - funds that should be provided against a commitment to stop deforestation globally by 2020."

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