Mega-traders Cargill and Bunge are exporting soya from an agricultural estate in Brazil with a long record of violence, illegality, and environmental destruction, a Greenpeace International investigation has uncovered. Cargill and Bunge supply soya to numerous international companies, including fast food brands McDonald’s, KFC, Burger King, retailers and consumer goods brands that promised to eliminate deforestation by 2020.
“Cargill and Bunge are supplying the market with soya linked to decimation and violence from Brazil’s Cerrado. Brands buying the soya drive this destruction. This soya is feeding chicken and meat sold in fast food and retail stores around the world,” said Cristiane Mazzetti, Campaigner at Greenpeace Brazil.
Cargill and Bunge both have silos on the Agronegócio Estrondo estate in Brazil’s Cerrado, and export its soya to Europe and East Asia. Estrondo recently renewed a permit to deforest nearly 25,000 hectares of land – an area the size of Frankfurt – in the rapidly-disappearing savanna. Soya traders have thus far resisted calls to curb deforestation in the Cerrado, where half of the natural vegetation has already been destroyed.
Greenpeace International’s Under Fire also details reports of illegal land clearance, land grabbing, and slave labour on Agronegócio Estrondo. Members of traditional geraizeira communities report having been detained, abducted, shot, and having access to communal lands restricted by Estrondo’s private security force. In May 2019, a Greenpeace Brazil investigative team and German TV Channel ARD Weltspiegel documented an armed raid against one community living within Estrondo’s borders, capturing footage and photographs.
“There has never been a more crucial moment for companies to act. The future of vital ecosystems and the communities that rely on them hangs in the balance. Companies must immediately end trade with environmental destroyers and take action to protect people and nature,” said Daniela Montalto, Campaigner at Greenpeace UK.