Bertin, the world’s largest leather exporter, is joining the fight against deforestation and climate change by finally doing the right thing and backing the call for a moratorium on buying cattle from farms responsible for Amazon deforestation.Jacutinga farm, Mato Grosso, Brazil. Cattle loading to Marfrig slaughterhouse at Tangar. © Ricardo Funari / Lineair
Since the release of our expose, "Slaughtering the Amazon," just two months ago,
we've seen an overwhelming response from companies fighting to
distance themselves from Amazon destruction. Major shoe companies
Nike, Timberland, Clarks, and Geox have all
committed not to buy leather from Amazon destruction, prompting the
recent decision by Bertin to commit to stop sourcing cattle from
newly deforested areas and implement a traceability system to
ensure the sourcing.
Over the next six months, Bertin will register and map all farms
which directly supply cattle to the company. For the rest of the
supply chain, including rearing and nursery farms, it will
implement a traceability system from farms to its slaughterhouses
and processing facilities by 2011. They will also ensure that they
don't buy cattle from indigenous and protected areas or from farms
linked to slave labor, land conflicts, and land grabbing.
Bertin's commitment to end Amazon deforestation comes soon after
a similar announcement from Marfrig, one of
the world's largest beef traders. It leaves Brazilian JBS-Friboi,
the world's largest producer and global exporter of processed beef,
as the last major exporter that has failed to commit to help end
the destruction of the Amazon. Contrary to its competitors,
JBS-Friboi is staying silent on the issue and is actually expanding
into the Amazon, having rented several new facilities north of Mato
Grosso State, an area which has the greatest rate of cattle
ranching expansion and deforestation in the Amazon.
Brazil's cattle sector needs to follow the soy industry's example and commit to a
moratorium. Both the federal and state governments have to ensure a
moratorium is effective by mapping, registering and monitoring
rural properties and helping the private sector fulfill its
corporate responsibilities. Cattle ranching is the biggest driver
of Amazon rainforest destruction and contributes to making Brazil
the fourth largest climate polluter in the world.
Protecting forests and tackling climate change
There are just 114 days left till the UN Climate Summit in
Copenhagen. We need Brazilian President Lula to support the
industry initiatives and demonstrate that Brazil has measures in
place to end Amazon destruction. We need all world leaders at this
year's UN Climate Summit in Copenhagen to agree on the funding
required to end deforestation.
We are calling for developed world governments to provide $140
billion a year to tackle the climate crisis, to fund both
mitigation and adaptation measures in developing countries.
Approximately $40 billion a year of this should be designated to
forest protection. The funds would be provided in return for a
commitment to stop deforestation globally by 2020.
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