Six supermarket chains in Europe, including two owned by the Dutch group Ahold Delhaize and a subsidiary of Carrefour, announced on Wednesday evening that they would stop selling some or all of their beef products from Brazil due to links to deforestation in the Amazon rainforest. Reuters reports.

Promises made on Wednesday night range from a complete cessation of the sale of any meat products from Brazil, starting in 2022, as promised by the Lidl Netherlands chain, to more targeted measures such as the sale of certain beef products, such as beef pastrami, according to Agerpres.

Many of the products covered by this ban are related to the Brazilian group JBS SA, the world’s largest meat processor.

The boycotts are a reaction to an investigation by Reporter Brasil that the JBS group indirectly buys cattle raised in illegally deforested areas, according to a scheme in which cattle raised on illegally deforested plots of land are sold to a farm that respects the law according to which they are resold to a slaughterhouse, in order to hide their region of origin.

The deforestation of the Amazon rainforest in Brazil, the world’s largest rainforest, intensified after President Jair Bolsonaro was appointed in 2019 and removed some of the laws that protect the environment. Bolsonaro wants to promote animal husbandry and mining in the Amazon rainforest to lift the region out of poverty. According to Reuters, in 2021 the deforestation of Amazonian forests has reached the highest level in the last 15 years, being deforested a larger area than the American state of Connecticut. Most of the cleared land is used for raising cattle.

Among other commitments made on Wednesday night, Albert Heijn, the largest supermarket chain in the Netherlands and also a subsidiary of the Ahold Delhaize group, announced that it will stop buying any type of beef from Brazil. Auchan France will also remove JBS-related beef pastry products from the shelves of its stores, and Carrefour Belgium and Delhaize supermarkets will stop selling the Jack Link beef pastry brand because JBS and Jack Link have a joint venture. which produces pastrami. In the UK, Sainsbury’s supermarket chain will stop buying beef from Brazil, adding that 90% of its beef is already from the UK and Ireland.

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