JBS speeds up deforestation commitment

Using blockchain technology, JBS is able to track direct and indirect suppliers, which it says is key to tackling the risk of deforestation in its supply chain. | Reuters/Bruno Kelly photo

SAO PAULO, Brazil (Reuters) — Brazilian meat company JBS SA, the world’s second largest food producer, said it aims to eliminate illegal deforestation from its supply chain by 2025, advancing its previous goal for doing so by five years.

JBS said the supply chain pledge was the most comprehensive and challenging target among meat packers in Brazil, since it involves monitoring cattle suppliers in all geographical regions in which the company operates.

Using blockchain technology, JBS is able to track direct and indirect suppliers, which it says is key to tackling the risk of deforestation in its supply chain.

Brazil has a large indirect cattle supplier industry in which animals are moved and fed at various locations before slaughter. Given a lack of information about those locations, companies sometimes struggle to ensure that all laws were followed.

“We are at a mature moment in the value chain,” said Márcio Nappo, JBS director of sustainability. “Ranchers understand they have to respect environment laws to access a broader market.”

In operation since 2009, the JBS cattle monitoring system already assesses almost 80,000 supplier farms and covers an area of ​​210 million acres that is bigger than France, the company said.

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