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World’s largest beef company signs Amazon rainforest pact

April 29, 2011

The world's largest meat processor has agreed to stop buying beef from ranches associated with slave labor and illegal deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon, according to the public prosecutor's office in the state of Acre.

The deal absolves JBS-Friboi from 2 billion reals ($1.3 billion) in potential fines and paves the way for the firm to continue selling meat to companies concerned about their environmental reputation.

The agreement is significant because it was signed by prosecutors from other Amazon states including Rondonia, Amazonas, Roraima, Pará, Tocantins, Maranhão and Amapá. Other cattle giants are expected to follow suit.

From September 2012, JBS will only buy meat from ranches that have registered their holdings with the government and have the proper environmental licenses.

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