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Friends of the Earth Europe | 24 March 2021
EU trade deal set to increase harmful meat imports
European supermarkets including Casino, Carrefour and Albert Heijn are selling meat products linked to deforestation and human rights violations to unwitting consumers, and the EU plans to increase the number of destructive products on supermarket shelves with the proposed EU-Mercosur trade deal, reveals a report released today by Repórter Brasil and Friends of the Earth Europe.
The report reveals:
- The EU is a key importer of meat and agricultural products from four Brazilian meat multinationals that are all linked to deforestation, biodiversity loss, forced labour and the violation of rights of indigenous people.
- The products from these multinationals are already being sold by major European retailers including Casino, Carrefour, Aldi, Albert Heijn and Tesco.
- The proposed EU-Mercosur trade deal will increase exports from these multinationals and exacerbate the abuses and environmental impact in their supply chains.
- This is happening while deforestation skyrockets and Brazil rolls back legislation to protect the environment and human rights.
- The Brazilian multinationals have failed to monitor and end human rights and environmental violations in their supply chain for over a decade.
Friends of the Earth Europe calls on the EU to drop the EU-Mercosur trade deal and introduce binding legislation to hold transnational corporations accountable for harms in their supply chains.
Audrey Changoe, trade and investment campaigner for Friends of the Earth Europe said: “Brazilian industrial meat production has been driving deforestation, biodiversity loss and violations of the rights of workers and indigenous communities for decades, and a new trade deal with Europe will only make this worse. European supermarkets are already selling the products of these corrupt and unsustainable supply chains to unwitting consumers. An EU-Mercosur trade deal will increase meat imports and lock us on the path to environmental disaster.”
Lucia Ortiz, President of Friends of the Earth Brazil, said: “The EU-Mercosur trade deal is based on an outdated and failed neoliberal model of trade that only serves to increase the economic and political power of big corporations at the expense of human rights, the environment and public health. No minor tweaks or amendments will fix this – the entire deal must be scrapped and a new trade system must be built based on cooperation and solidarity and the real needs of the people affected.”