According to a recent study by Repórter Brasil, McDonald's Corporation is found to have ties with labor abuses and deforestation in the Pantanal wetlands in Brazil as well as in the Amazon rainforest which plays a significant role in regulating global climate.
Companies supplying beef to McDonald’s are smuggling it from cleared ranches as well as shuffling between farms to hide its origins, only to ship it later to slaughterhouses that are owned by the fast-food major. The European Union was also found to be pursuing the report and demanding inclusivity from McDonald’s to unveil its environmental abuses in the supply chain and the brief risk to human rights.
However, McDonald’s has refused to comment on the matter before the report was published. The company’s website claims that 99% of the beef in 2020 was supported through deforestation-free supply chains.
Repórter Brasil also identified that JBS slaughterhouses in some Brazilian cities bought cattle from a rancher who transferred animals from a seized property by environmental regulators to another property with a clean title before making the sale.
Five other ranchers used a similar animal transfer strategy to sell it to Marfrig, JBS, and Minerva’s facilities. Sources further added that the JBS Campo Grande unit’s workers were mistreated without access to clean drinking waters.
Brazil’s beef supply chain is found to be the key culprit for Amazon’s widespread deforestation, which reached a 15-year high in 2021. On one end of the supply chain are 2.5 million ranchers residing without government protection & monitoring in remote corners of Brazil while on the other are corporate buyers of at least 80 countries.
Brazil’s largest beef exporters such as JBS S.A., Minerva SA, and Marfrig Global Foods SA claimed to have set the highest standards for eliminating the culprits from their supply chain but their negligence in monitoring a cow’s journey from birth to fattening farm proves otherwise, sources claimed.