JBS SA CEO
Dear Gilberto Tomazoni, JBS SA CEO,
I am writing to express my concern about JBS’s failure to implement an effective monitoring system, including of its indirect suppliers, and ensure the company does not purchase cattle illegally grazed in protected areas in Brazil at some stage of their lives.
Amnesty International’s recent report “From Forest to Farmland - Cattle illegally grazed in Brazil’s Amazon found in JBS’s supply chain” found cattle illegally grazed in protected areas in the Amazonian state of Rondônia have entered JBS’s supply chain.
According to the analysis of official animal health control documents, JBS directly purchased cattle from a farm in the Rio Ouro Preto Reserve on two occasions in 2019. Additionally, JBS repeatedly purchased cattle from two farmers who operate both illegal farms in protected areas and legal farms outside. One farmer illegally grazes cattle in the Rio Jacy-Paraná Reserve and another in the Uru-Eu-Wau-Wau Indigenous territory.
Both farmers registered cattle movements from a farm inside one of the protected areas to a farm outside the protected area and then registered separate cattle movements from the farm outside to JBS. In each case, both farms were registered in the name of the same farmer.
In 2019, JBS purchased cattle from the farmer who illegally grazes cattle in the Uru-Eu-Wau-Wau Indigenous territory on five occasions and purchased from the farmer who illegally grazes cattle in the Rio Jacy-Paraná Reserve on four occasions. Uru-Eu-Wau-Wau Indigenous people and residents of Rio Ouro Preto and Rio Jacy-Paraná Reserve have suffered serious human rights abuses, including persistent threats and land seizures, in connection with the encroachment of illegal cattle farming on their lands.
While Amnesty International did not find any evidence indicating that JBS is directly involved in human rights abuses in the three sites covered by its research, Amnesty International considers that, by failing to effectively monitor for illegally grazed cattle entering its supply chain, JBS failed to carry out adequate due diligence. Under the terms of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, JBS contributed to human rights abuses against Indigenous peoples and residents of Reserves by participating in the economic incentives for cattle illegally grazed in protected areas.
The UN Guiding Principles also require companies to remediate, by themselves or in cooperation with other actors, the adverse human rights impacts they have caused or (as in this case) contributed to.
As the largest beef producer in the world, JBS is in a unique position to exercise leverage, influence and control to prevent the entry of illegally grazed cattle into its supply chain.
In light of the above, I am urging JBS to:
1. As part of its human rights due diligence, implement an effective monitoring system, including of its indirect suppliers, by the end of 2020 and ensure that no cattle illegally grazed in protected areas at some stage of their lives enter JBS’s supply chain. JBS should proactively engage with its direct and indirect suppliers and provide them with the necessary support, including financial and technical, to ensure that they do not illegally graze cattle in protected areas or themselves purchase cattle illegally grazed in these
Where problems persist, JBS should exercise its leverage, including with warnings of suspension or actual suspension of the business relationship. In the case of a specific supplier, if JBS concludes that it cannot avoid contributing to human rights abuses while continuing its business relationship, it must suspend this business relationship;
2. Remediate, by itself or in cooperation with its suppliers, human rights abuses suffered by Indigenous peoples and residents of Reserves to which JBS has contributed; and
3. Compensate, in cooperation with its suppliers, the Indigenous and Reserve communities for environmental damage caused by illegal commercial cattle ranching in their protected areas.