Brazilian reporters claim JBS SA has been buying cattle from ranches grazing cattle on deforested land in the Amazon, a practice prohibited by the Brazilian environmental agency Ibama.
Repórter Brasil, the Bureau of Investigative Journalism and The Guardian, reported Tuesday that a supplier to JBS SA in the northern state of Pará had been raising cattle in a deforested area that had been embargoed by Ibama.
In a statement sent to Reuters, JBS said that monitoring indirect cattle suppliers was challenging for the entire meat-packing sector due to a lack of public databases that would allow development of a proper monitoring system.
A JBS spokesperson also referred Reuters to a statement sent to Repórter Brasil and the other publications. The statement said JBS did not buy animals from farms involved in deforestation or embargoed by Ibama.
Ibama imposes embargoes on land where illegal deforestation has taken place, as punishment and to allow the land to recover. In 2017, Ibama said it fined 14 meat-packers and applied fines totaled 294 million reais ($76.5 million) as part of an investigation into illegal ranching in deforested areas of the Amazon.
Tuesday’s reports by Repórter Brasil, however, said its reporters saw cattle grazing on a farm in Pará called Lagoa do Triunfo. It said the farm had been fined for deforestation and should not have had animals grazing on it. That farm belongs to AgroSB, a traditional supplier to JBS, the report said.