Bolsonaro’s Beef With the Amazon Forces US Meat Firms to Change Course

Bolsonaro's Beef With the Amazon Forces US Meat Firms to Change Course

When Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro turned down aid from France in late August to tackle the wildfires that are scorching the Amazon rainforest , he was signaling his refusal to buckle under global pressure over his anti-environment policies. After all, Bolsonaro, who touts himself as pro-business, has encouraged farmers and ranchers to torch parts of the Amazon to clear land for pasture. But his actions are pressuring a sector well beyond Brazil’s borders to change: the American meat industry. For years now, the industry has tried to resist calls from environmental activists to cut down on beef production and imports, despite the carbon emissions and deforestation that are known byproducts of rearing animals on a large scale for meat. But America’s meat giants are now facing unparalleled pressure, in the wake of the Amazon fires, to adopt more environmentally friendly policies. And early signs suggest that the global outcry over the fires in Brazil is forcing them to change. The U.S. imports $295 million worth of beef from Brazil, making it the sixth-largest buyer of the meat from that country. Environmental groups such as Greenpeace are publicly demanding that American firms temporarily boycott Brazilian beef. But amid the forest […]

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