#DoubleDealing: Our Investigation

Brazil is the country with the world’s greatest biodiversity. It’s also the sorry world champion of deforestation. In 2020, since the beginning of the year, 2,644 km² (or 1,020 sq.mi) of Amazon have been destroyed. According to some scientists, the region has reached the tipping point. At this rate, The Amazon will become a savannah.

One of the principle causes of this destruction is the raising of cattle.

After the fires in 2019, in partnership with several Brazilian organisations, we investigated the country’s beef supply chain.

Here we found one of the best-known French retailers and the first to launch 100% vegan/organic stores in France (Naturalia). 47% of its profits are made in South America and it is the N°1 retailer in Brazil and Colombia: Casino Group.

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Our investigation details the practices of 4 farms involved in deforestation in Brazil, in both The Amazon and The Cerrado. These farms using illegal means supply the Casino Group in Brazil: 52 products sold on the shelves of 10 stores and the butcher’s sections of 2 stores were identified. These farms alone represent 11,120 acres of forest illegally chopped down to make way for pasture for cattle. Protected, indigenous lands are also converted.

One of the farms is Fazenda Ellus, in The Amazon (Mato Grosso).

  • 6,120 acres of forest burned in 2019 (images from NASA)
  • Ellus was a direct supplier to JBS in Araputanga from 2018-2019
  • JBS in Araputanga supplies GPA/Casino’s Extra stores in Cuiabá with fresh meat.

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Given Casino Group’s size in Brazil, in 2019 alone, that’s 56,000 ha (nearly 140,000 acres), an area 5 times the size of Paris, which has been deforested by farms supplying the group with no specific policy on the issue.

Technological solutions and efficient traceability tools already exist, Casino Group has no excuse for not ensuring the totality of the meat sold in its stores, including that coming from indirect supplier farms, is not linked to deforestation.

As a French company with more than 5,000 employees, Casino Group is obliged to respect the obligations outlined in the law relating to duty of vigilance of parent companies.

This is why we demand Casino Group immediately stop playing #doublestandards with the forest:

  • Take some immediate concrete steps in line with what’s at stake :
    • A public commitment against deforestation
    • Set timebound objectives, shared and monitored progress tracking
    • Spell out main commitments to tackle deforestation, protect all natural ecosystems and respect human rights
  • Adopt strong measures starting today :
    • Ensure effective rollout of a commitment across the whole business to fight deforestation
    • Identify risks and implement traceability including among indirect suppliers of
    • Manage supplier compliance
    • Actively engage in field project initiatives in the areas of the law, landscape or the industry to help honour commitments made and demonstrate products sold are compliant
    • Repair past damage caused to natural ecosystems, people or communities
  • Rendre compte publiquement des progrès effectués
    • Examine supplier compliance in a credible manner
    • Report progress and results on Group commitments

 

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