Exclusive: US chains Walmart, Costco and Kroger selling Brazilian beef produced by JBS linked to destruction of Brazilian rainforest

Three of the biggest US grocery chains sell Brazilian beef produced by a controversial meat company linked to the destruction of the Amazon rainforest, an investigation has revealed.

Food giants Walmart, Costco and Kroger – which together totalled net sales worth more than half a trillion dollars last year – are selling Brazilian beef products imported from JBS, the world’s largest meat company, which has been linked to deforestation.

Brazilian beef has been identified as a key driver of deforestation in the Amazon, where swathes of forest are cleared for pasture used for cattle farming. The Amazon is a crucial buffer in stabilising the regional and global climate. Experts say preserving the world’s rainforests is essential if further intensification of the climate emergency is to be averted.

The products include shredded and canned (corned) beef, as well as frozen meat and steaks. In December, Sampco-branded shredded beef, produced in a JBS factory in São Paulo, was being sold online by both Walmart and Costco, and shipping data pinpoints JBS exports of Brazilian corned beef being supplied for sale in Kroger stores.

Between July 2017 and November 2019, Sampco imported more than 5,000 consignments of Brazilian beef products totalling 7,884 tonnes, records obtained by C4ADS show.

Responding to these findings, campaigners called on the grocery chains to take swift action to rid supply chains of deforestation-linked products.

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