World’s largest meat burger producer could receive $ 43 million in taxpayer dollars

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The world’s second-largest beef company and largest burger producer, Marfrig, may soon receive a $ 43 million loan from public funds. Nearly 200 NGOs are fighting to block the movement, arguing that the money will accelerate the destruction of the meat producer’s environment.

The private arm of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) group, IDB Invest, must approve the investment before it can proceed. Although the original loan is $ 43 million, it is intended to leverage a much larger loan pool of $ 157 million, according to a press release.

Sustainable production chain

Marfrig is expected to use the funds to launch his Verde + plan.

According to the meat giant, the program aims to help Marfrig build a sustainable “100%” deforestation-free production chain over the next 10 years.

But not everyone is convinced of the company’s intentions.

Marfrig has a “history of failed commitments,” according to the Divest Factory Farming Campaign, a coalition of human rights, environmental, development and animal welfare groups. Its committee members include the Bank Information Center, Friends of the Earth US, Feedback Global, The Global Forest Coalition, Sinergia Animal, and World Animal Protection, among others.

The organization is working alongside affected communities to divert financial resources from industrial pastoralists.

Controversy of Marfrig

According to Divest Factory Farming, Marfrig has a history of corruption and human rights violations. For example, he indicates that Marfrig obtained cattle from illegal ranches located in the territories of the indigenous peoples of the Amazon.

And finally, “harmful activities such as factory farming should not be financed with public money,” he says.

A growing bank of research links industrial agriculture to severe deforestation, emissions production, pollution and loss of biodiversity. In addition, animal husbandry typically requires large amounts of water and food, draining more of the increasingly resource-constrained planet.

As such, Divest Factory Farming wrote an open letter to the board of directors of IDB Invest. The letter, signed by 170 NGOs, implores the company not to approve the $ 43 million loan.

Merel van der Mark is Head of Animal Welfare and Finance at Sinergia Animal, who signed the letter. They said in a statement: “The loan would represent a double victory for Marfrig: not only will they be able to expand their destructive operations, but they will do so with a plan that is nothing more than greenwashing – good for the image and company sales, but terrible for animals, the environment and people.

International Accountability Project also signed the letter. Alexandre Andrade Sampaio, policy and program coordinator there, warns that the problem is more widespread than Marfrig.

“Despite their wishes and the obvious link between factory farms, the climate crisis and the deterioration of the pursuit of development goals, Marfrig is not an isolated case when it comes to attempts by development banks to finance this type of development. ‘businesses,’ Sampaio said. noted.

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