New report alleges slave labour on Brazil’s cattle farms

A new report states that feeder farms for some of Brazil’s beef producing companies have used slave labour, prompting refreshed calls for Brazil to clean up its meat supply chain.
calendar icon 5 January 2021
clock icon 1 minute read

According to reporting in Bloomberg News, independent research group Reporter Brasil has published a report outlining more than a dozen cases where meat producing giants like JBS, Minerva SA and four smaller processors slaughtered cattle that probably originated on farms with a history of extreme worker abuses.

Though the cases in the report may not be illustrative of the hundreds of thousands of beef suppliers to both JBS and Minerva, it adds to recent public pressure on the companies to create more ethical and sustainable supply chains.

Reporter Brasil’s research found that the companies purchased beef from the so-called "Dirty List", a government database that companies must check daily to make sure that their suppliers are not running afoul of labour commitments. Brazil’s history of cattle laundering, where animals are moved from farm to farm to obscure their origins, makes for further difficulties in auditing.

The research suggests that Brazil’s regulators are struggling to monitor cattle ranches that are often linked with deforestation.

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