In regard to a recent Global Witness report into our operations which is both inaccurate and misleading, JBS wishes to clarify that is committed to stamping out illegal deforestation in our supply chain and ensuring the integrity of our due diligence systems and undertook a detailed review of each of the 327 cases raised by the NGO. This review concluded that the methodology employed by Global Witness is seriously flawed. Each of the points outlined below were also shared with the NGO to ensure the utmost transparency.
As can be observed in the following breakdown, in all cases cited, JBS was in strict compliance with the agreed Federal Prosecution Office (MPF) Cattle Supplier Monitoring Protocol (link). This protocol, which JBS worked to collaboratively co-develop (link), formalizes industry best practice building on methodology and analysis agreed with MPF over a number of years.
The review found:
In 40% of the cases raised by the NGO, at the time JBS purchased the cattle the properties’ environmental regularization processes had already been established and agreed with the Department of the Environment e Sustainability of the state of Pará (SEMAS-PA), a fact that Global Witness itself has acknowledged. It is important to point out that the Cattle Supplier Monitoring Protocol stipulates that properties in the process of environmental regularization are clear to trade animals. (link – See item 3 of page 14). Hence, the purchases by JBS from these properties were strictly according to what is enshrined in the protocol.
22% of the cases were incorrectly analyzed by Global Witness in regard to the overlapping of deforestation polygons of the PRODES system. Managed by the National Institute for Space Research (INPE), the PRODES system has been carrying out satellite monitoring of deforestation in the Legal Amazon since 1988. According to the INPE, “the minimum area mapped by the PRODES system is 6.25 hectares” (link – See page 10). That is why the MPF protocol considers only properties that have overlapping areas with polygons from PRODES system greater than 6.25 hectares for deforestation analysis to be unfit for commercialization. Global Witness has mistakenly considered areas of overlap lower than the established limit. By cross-checking the deforestation polygons of the PRODES system against the map of the cattle supply properties, JBS verifies whether or not the farms contain areas of deforestation and, therefore, whether or not they are approved as a supplier. To understand why this minimum limit is 6.25 hectares, see Technical Note1 available in the MPF Cattle Supplier Monitoring Protocol (link – See page 30).
27% of the cases are properties which at the time JBS purchased cattle were compliant with the commitments assumed by the company. However, in these cases Global Witness probably based its analysis on maps of properties that may have undergone updates over time on the official CAR bases in the state of Pará. As a result, the outcome of the analysis – based on different maps of the same property – may not reflect the farm’s environmental status on the day the cattle were acquired by JBS.
In 6% of the cases, JBS did not complete the cattle purchases highlighted by Global Witness, whose investigation was based on Animal Transit Permit (GTAs) issued by the producer. When a producer is going to transport cattle to JBS or another company in the industry, they have to issue a GTA. However, for several reasons the buyer or the seller can cancel the cattle purchase, even if the GTA has already been issued. In this case, the producer should also cancel the GTA, but quite often they don’t. JBS, like the other companies in the industry, does not have the power to cancel GTAs – only the producer can do so. As Global Witness based its analysis solely on the GTAs issued, this may account for the discrepancies.
The remaining 5% of the cases refer to other situations in which Global Witness failed to follow the methodology and criteria stipulated in the Supplier Monitoring Protocol of the MPF leading to erroneous results. In some of these cases, for example, the NGO based its findings on out-of-date information by mapping cases against the 2008 PRODES system. The MPF protocol clearly states that deforestation shown on the 2009 PRODES database must be taken into account (link – See infographic on page 10).
As our detailed technical analysis shows, proper application and consideration of the MPF Supplier Monitoring Protocol criteria and agreed methodology shows 100% JBS compliance with its terms in the cases outlined. The full MPF Protocol can be viewed here: https://www.beefontrack.org/categoria/monitoring-protocol/.
JBS is wholly committed to being a positive change agent contributing to the sustainable development of the Amazon, and Brazil as a whole. We are the only company in the industry that has already signed socio-environmental commitments for monitoring cattle suppliers in every state of the Legal Amazon where we operate and we are committed to achieving an illegal deforestation-free supply chain by 2025.