Tesco has cancelled its contract with the world’s biggest meat exporter after Greenpeace claimed beef sold in the supermarket could be from cattle raised on illegally deforested areas of the Amazon.
The environmental charity claims to have tracked cattle from illegal farms in the Brazilian rainforest to slaughter houses and processing plants used by the exporter JBS.
Volunteers in the UK then checked supermarkets and found serial numbers on more than 100 tins of beef chunks, mince and corned beef that show the product came from the same processing plant.
Sarah Shoraka, Greenpeace Forests Campaigner, said consumers would be appalled to think the tins of beef they are buying could be from farms responsible for destroying the Amazon.
JBS has written to Greenpeace and and its own customers, acknowledging its commitment to end the purchase of cattle from deforested land had faced “questions” but saying the company remained “fully committed” to finding meat from farms that are not involved in illegal activities.
Cattle farming is still the biggest cause of deforestation in the Amazon, driving climate change and loss of species.