European supermarkets stop selling Brazilian meat

Six European supermarket chains, including Albert Heijn, Lidl and a subsidiary of France's Carrefour, have stopped selling Brazilian beef products due to links between their agriculture and the destruction of the Amazon rainforest.

Most of the boycotted products are linked to the world's largest meat company, JBS SA, because it indirectly uses cattle from illegally deforested gebieden, whose origin is not disclosed when sold to a slaughterhouse.

JBS said it will not tolerate illegal deforestation and has already blocked more than 14,000 suppliers for not following the rules. Soy is imported from Brazil for the production of meat in Europe. Nevedi, the trade association for the animal feed industry, states that all soy purchased in the Netherlands is certified, but that other European countries have not yet reached that stage. 

Deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon, the world's largest tropical rainforest, has increased sharply since right-wing President Jair Bolsonaro took office in 2019 and withdrew environmental protections. He said he wants to increase Brazilian agriculture to lift the region out of poverty. Most of the stripped land is used for cattle ranching.

Albert Heijn, a subsidiary of Ahold Delhaize, the largest supermarket chain in the Netherlands, has announced that it will stop importing beef from Brazil altogether. The company says it currently sells small quantities of cured and dried Brazilian beef.

Carrefour Belgium and Delhaize stop selling Jack Link's dried beef. JBS and Jack Link have a joint venture that produces jerky. Jack Link's did not respond to a request for comment.

In the UK, J Sainsbury Plc and Sainsbury's UK will stop sourcing corned beef from Brazil, adding 90% to the total.