The more soy and cattle meat, the less rainforest

REPORT | 1 March 2010

The Swedwatch report investigates Swedish import companies’ responsibility in an industry involving social and environmental risks.

Since the soy boom started in 2002, an area equally big as England has been used for cultivation of soybeans in the so called cerrado; a savannah unique for its richness in species. Another 21 000 square kilometres of the savannah is disappearing every year. The demand for cattle meat has been increasing and the export has thus risen sevenfold since the mid 1990s. Cattle raising and soybean cultivation are the two most important sources of Amazon deforestation in Brazil.
The harvested soybeans are grinded into flour meal, which in turn is used as feedstuff for cows, pigs and chickens. The soy and meat imported by Sweden and other countries has a hidden price which the report The more soy and meat the less rainforest aims to highlight. The production often violates both Brazilian legislation and international conventions on environmental and human rights. The livelihoods of some populations are threatened due to polluted waters and lack of land for family farming. This report also demonstrates that our consumption patterns have devastating impacts on both the cerrado and the Amazon.

Made in collaboration with: Solidarity Sweden-Latin America & Friends of The Earth Sweden