the practices of the Casino Group in Brazil and Colombia questioned

Cattle farming is the number one cause of deforestation in Brazil.

Images of the burning Amazon in August 2019 moved the world. The story of this unique ecosystem sacrificed for the benefit of land interests may take place across the Atlantic, it is connected to a French group of large retailers, Casino, according to the Envol vert report which is to be published on Tuesday, June 30 . This French association went to support organizations in South America, including journalists and researchers from the Reporter Brasil collective, who investigated on site for a year.

Read also A worrying deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon since the beginning of the year

Wood, soy, cocoa, palm oil are the main causes of rampant deforestation on the planet. In Brazil, who is the world champion, it is beef, mainly raised for its meat, that is primarily responsible for it. The National Institute for Space Research (INPE) finds that the Amazon lost 10,123 square kilometers in 2019, 44% more than in 2018, and the devastation accelerates in 2020. The destruction of the savannahs of Cerrado is going well train too.

NGOs criticize the group for delegating responsibility for monitoring suppliers to the slaughterhouses that deliver them

In these two high places of planetary biodiversity, the forest fires, whose season starts these days, increased by 71% in 2019 compared to the previous year. Once the valuable woods have been exploited, the herds gain new pastures, which they occupy in a particularly extensive way: 1.31 head per hectare (ha) on average in Brazil, 0.6 in Colombia. Their expansion is spectacular in Colombia, since the signing of peace with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) in 2016, and Brazil, the world’s second largest exporter, which had 158 million animals in 1994, 214 million today.

43% of the Colombian market

“This farming system is in fact a legacy of colonization: it is a question of occupying as much space as possible to then assert that this piece of Amazonia is yours, analyzes Boris Patentreger, a member of Envol vert, who coordinated the on-site investigation. It is a form of land speculation since it can then be sold at a good price. ” And mass retailers are said to be partly responsible for its reluctance to improve the traceability of its supplies, particularly in Colombia, the report said.

However Casino is present in both countries, where the national consumption of beef is significant. The group occupies 15% of the market in Brazil, with its subsidiary Grupo Pao Açucar (GPA) and its brands Assai and Extra; 43% in Colombia, with Exito. It achieves 47% of its total turnover there. In France, the company, itself owned by Rallye, owns a series of brands such as Monoprix, Franprix, Leader Price, Spar, but also Naturalia, and promotes the image of a responsible distributor. Envol vert and its partners blame the distributor all the more for its shortcomings in controlling the origin of cattle.

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