JBS S.A., the biggest meatpacker globally by sales, plans to use blockchain technology to stem deforestation caused by cattle suppliers in the Amazon.
- As reported by Reuters Wednesday, the Brazilian company aims to be monitoring all of its meat suppliers on a blockchain system by 2025.
- JBS said currently it checks that all direct suppliers do not clear forest without authorization, but others further down the chain may "launder" meat from cattle raised on illegally cleared ground.
- The announcement comes as the company seeks to counter criticism of the meat industry in the region, which is said to be responsible for extensive forest clearances to make way for cattle pastures.
- JBS also announced it would set up a fund worth 1 billion reals (around $179 million) fund to support social and economic development in the Amazon.
- The company aims to provide 25% of the funding (250 million reals) itself over the first five years, with other parties expected to join the initiative and match its donation.
- Another 25% may follow later if third-party support is strong enough, JBS' global CEO, Gilberto Tomazoni, told Reuters.
- Despite years of campaigning from environmentalists, Amazon rainforest destruction is still soaring.
- Reuters said an area the size of Lebanon was cleared in 2019 – the most in over 10 years.
- The extensive forest fires that have plagued the region have also been linked to the beef industry.