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Brazil's JBS brings forward goal of eliminating deforestation in supply chain

SAO PAULO, June 30 (Reuters) - Brazilian meat company JBS SA , the world’s second largest food producer, said on Wednesday it aims to eliminate illegal deforestation from its supply chain by 2025, moving up its previous goal for doing so by five years.

JBS said the supply chain pledge was the most comprehensive and challenging target among meatpackers in Brazil, since it involves monitoring cattle suppliers in all geographical regions in which the company operates.

Using blockchain technology, JBS is able to track direct and indirect suppliers, which it says is key to tackling the risk of deforestation in its supply chain.

Brazil has a large indirect cattle supplier industry of farmers who pass animals to other farms while they are still growing before they are sent to the slaughterhouse. Given a lack of information about the properties where the animals have passed through, companies sometimes struggle to ensure that all laws were followed.

“We are at a mature moment in the value chain,” said Márcio Nappo, JBS’s director of sustainability. “Ranchers understand they have to respect environment laws to access a broader market,” he said during a video conference.

In operation since 2009, JBS’s cattle monitoring system already assesses almost 80,000 supplier farms and covers an area of 85 million hectares that is bigger than France, the company said. (Reporting by Nayara Figueiredo Writing by Ana Mano Editing by Rosalba O’Brien)

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