Casino Says It Is ‘Actively Fighting’ Deforestation In Latin America
French retailer Casino has said that it has been actively fighting deforestation across its branches in Latin America for many years.
The retailer acknowledged the complexity of the supply chains in the region and added it would continue to strengthen its actions and policies, with the help of all relevant stakeholders.
Last week, Reuters reported that campaigners from Brazil and Colombia sued retailer Casino in a French court over the selling of beef linked to land grabbing and deforestation in the Amazon.
The company said that its Brazilian subsidiary, GPA, has implemented a strict purchasing policy, based on a listing process, to control and monitor the origin of beef delivered by its suppliers.
The process aims to identify the origin of the meat and ensures compliance with several social and environmental standards set out in the policy.
These include ensuring that cattle breeding is not linked with the deforestation of the Amazonian biome and farming is not connected with forced labour and child labour.
It also aims to ensure that farming is not subject to an embargo by the Ministry of Environment due to environmental violations and does not involve the invasion of indigenous lands and/or the invasion of protected lands.
Casino added this policy applies to all Brazilian providers of fresh and frozen meat to the retailer’s shops in the country.
Traceability And Transparency
The company said that it follows a process of traceability and transparency by ensuring that all GPA suppliers declare their slaughterhouses and farms on a traceability tool.
The retailer has set up a monitoring process that supervises cattle purchasing via a geo monitoring system. It controls 99.6 % of the volume of meat sold in its shops, Casino added.
The retailer suspends the contracts of suppliers until they comply and prove that they can apply the policy accurately.
In the event of any compliance issue during the monitoring process, the retailer bans farms from selling their products to GPA.
Since the implementation of the policy in 2019, the retailer has excluded 23 providers from its supply chain due to non-compliance.
For indirect farms, GPA has joined the VISIPEC project, which allows it to go up the supply chain and reinforce the monitoring process.
Currently, this project is in an experimental phase with NWF, and GPA is the first distributor involved in the pilot.
In Colombia, Casino’s subsidiary Grupo Éxito is an active member of the Tropical Forest Alliance 2020, which aims is to ensure that the products sold in the country are not linked with deforestation.
In 2017, Grupo Éxito contributed to developing the first offer of beef products which are ‘Rainforest Alliance’ certified.
In 2019, the retailer pledged to ensure 100% monitoring of farms belonging to its direct suppliers by 2021 as part of an alliance with the International Centre for Tropical Agriculture, SEAT, Solidaridad, and Climate Focus.