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British supermarkets accused of sourcing products linked to illegal deforestation

Friday 24th May, 2019

In a report by The Independent, British supermarkets, such as Morrisons and Lidl are selling products from a company accused of involvement in illegal deforestation in the Amazon, according to environmental investigators.

The companies all buy Brazilian corned beef sourced from JBS, a meat company that has reportedly sourced cattle from farms contributing to destruction of the world’s largest rainforest.

Environmental organisation Friends of the Earth, said it made the apparent link by tracing the supply chains of tinned corned beef sold in British supermarkets under their own labels or other meat brands’

Brazil has the greatest diversity of animal and plant species worldwide but has lost more forests than any other country since 2001 – 1.3 million hectares last year alone, more than double the loss in its nearest rival, Indonesia – according to the World Resources Institute.

Morrisons, Lidl and Sainsbury did not respond to requests to comment but the British Retail Consortium, which gave a statement on behalf of them as well as Asda and the Co-op, said: “The BRC and our members regard any form of labour abuse and illegal deforestation to be completely unacceptable. All suppliers are expected to be compliant with local laws and retailers’ high standards.

“Retailers underpin this with codes of conduct agreed with suppliers, robust auditing, training for staff and collaborative schemes.