The Greenpeace report claimed that JBS was not doing enough to prevent cattle from illegally deforested land, protected indigenous areas or from farms which used slave labour, was not entering the supply chain. It said that the company was in serious violation of its own ethical standards and also in contravention of the minimum standards of the Cattle Agreement which was signed in 2009.
The environmental organisation said that a number of retailers including UK supermarkets Tesco and Sainsbury, and Dutch company Sligro Food Group were cancelling contracts with JBS in response to the report.
However, JBS has hit back, claiming that the report is incorrect, unfounded and defamatory, and is causing material damage to the image of the company. It said it would use “all available legal channels” to repair the damage.
Jose Augusto de Carvalho Junior, JBS South America CEO, said: “The information regarding JBS in the report is false, misleading, incorrect and induces the public to draw erroneous conclusions regarding the reality of the facts.”
JBS defended its sustainability record and highlighted what it claims are factual inaccuracies with the Greenpeace report. It denied that it uses suppliers embargoed by the Brazilian Environmental Institute (IBAMA) or land proved “unquestionably” to be within indigenous reservations. However it said that it would not be possible to fully monitor indirect livestock suppliers until Brazil has a complete traceability system that can identify and monitor cattle from birth to adulthood.