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Brazil Industry Unites In Banning Amazon Destruction

06 October 2009

BRAZIL - Four of the biggest players in the global cattle industry - Marfrig, Bertin, JBS-Friboi and Minerva - joined forces to ban the purchase of cattle from newly deforested areas of the Brazilian Amazon from their supply chains.

The announcement was made at a high-level event in Sao Paulo organised by Greenpeace where each of the companies declared the adoption of environmental and social standards to ensure their products are free from cattle raised in newly deforested areas of the rainforest.

Greenpeace say the move is a direct result of their report, Slaughtering the Amazon which was published less than four months ago. Since then, they report to have seen an overwhelming response from companies fighting to distance themselves from Amazon destruction.

Measures announced by the companies include the monitoring of their supply chains and clear targets for the registration of farms that both directly and indirectly supply cattle as well as measures to end the purchase of cattle from indigenous and protected areas and from farms using slave labour.

"This is an important step in the fight to stop the destruction of one of the world's most critical rainforests and vital to helping tackle climate change," said Paulo Adario, Greenpeace Amazon campaign director.

The Brazilian cattle sector, which occupies 80 per cent of all deforested areas of the Amazon, is the country's leading carbon polluter says Greenpeace.

The event was attended by Governor Blairo Maggi of the Brazilian state of Mato Grosso, which has the highest rate of deforestation in the Amazon and the largest cattle herd in Brazil. Governor Maggi announced that the state would support efforts to protect the Amazon and would provide high-resolution satellite images for monitoring.

"This announcement shows that the cattle industry and a state government are doing their part. President Lula must now do his homework to improve Brazil's action plan to fight Amazon destruction, ensuring an end to deforestation by 2015, reducing greenhouse gas emissions and averting the impending climate crisis," said Mr Adario.

At the United Nations General Assembly in September, President Lula announced a target of 80 per cent reduction in deforestation by 2020 for Brazil.

In just 10 weeks' time, governments around the world will meet in Copenhagen to agree a strong climate deal to avoid catastrophic climate change. Deforestation accounts for around 20 per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions, more than all the world's trains, planes and cars put together. A good climate deal will only be effective if it successfully tackles emissions from both fossil fuels and deforestation.

TheCattleSite News Desk


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