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June 04, 2020 - Bureau of Investigative Journalism

Revealed: UK investors' $2bn backing for meat giants linked to Amazon deforestation

Revealed: UK investors' $2bn backing for meat giants linked to Amazon deforestation
Brazil, Deforrestation (2016)Credit: Ibama / Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

British-based banks and finance houses have provided more than $2bn in financial backing in recent years to Brazilian beef companies which have been linked to Amazon deforestation, according to an analysis by the Bureau of Investigative Journalism and Unearthed.

Deforestation of the Amazon has increased sharply during the Covid-19 crisis, as Brazil’s environmental agencies struggle to operate and President Jair Bolsonaro moves to weaken safeguards on Indigenous lands.

The financial backing – which came in the form of bond purchases and underwriting – went to Minerva and Marfrig. UK-based financial institutions also held tens of millions of dollars worth of shares in JBS, the world’s biggest meat company, which has been linked to allegations of corruption and failings in food safety. All three have been linked to substantial deforestation in their supply chains, although the companies say they are working to monitor their suppliers and mitigate risks.

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Bureau of Investigative Journalism

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