Grilling Away the Amazon

How supermarkets are helping to destroy the Amazon Rainforest with the beef they sell

Publication - 19 November, 2015
In the first evaluation of whether Brazilian supermarkets are ensuring that they are avoiding deforestation in their beef sourcing, the sector is off to a disappointing start: seven supermarkets (representing approximately two-thirds of all grocery sales nationwide in Brazil) were evaluated by Greenpeace Brazil. None of them reached the green zone having a high quality of standards in all key areas.

As one of the largest customers of beef products, a commodity that has historically been the largest driver of deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon, the supermarket sector has a responsibility to source beef in a way that does not incur further deforestation. At more than 211 million head of cattle, there are more cattle than people in Brazil – alone in the Amazon more than 80 million animals.

Supermarkets are the largest market for Brazilian cattle products. The biggest four supermarket chains (GPA, Carrefour, Walmart and Cencosud) together represent more than 50% of the total market share. The Brazilian supermarket sector united in the Brazilian Supermarkets Association (ABRAS) as a whole generated almost 120 Billion USD in 2014.

Brazilians have the right to know if their next meal is contributing to the destruction of one of country’s greatest treasures – the Amazon rainforest – or even to human rights violations. Ultimately, it is up to the supermarkets to decide whether they want to be part of the solution.

Download the Greenpeace Brazil report Grilling Away the Amazon.