Our analysis of cattle transport permits confirmed the
names and tax codes of father and son Seronni were no longer used to send cows
to the company after that month. Yet
then, other Seronni names began appearing more frequently on documentation of cows
purchased by JBS.
Between April and August 2021, Maria Aparecida Xavier Seronni,
Sirlane Honorato Seronni and Gustavo Seronni appear on the paper trail. The
trio sent a total of 426 cows to JBS from the very same father and son owned
ranches involved in cattle laundering and slave labour the company claimed to
have blocked, Fazendas Boca do Monte and Terra Roxa respectively. One of the biggest beef companies on earth
once again failed to stop buying from ranches that do not comply with its legal
obligations, despite being warned.
When this was put to JBS, it said the Seronnis had “been using
several family members to continue to sell to JBS”.
“In line with this new information, the company has blocked Sirlane
Honorato Seronni, Gustavo Seronni and several other possible connections to
“Several CPFs [unique tax codes belonging to individuals] and
farms have also been preventively blocked until we can confirm whether or not
they are linked to Seronni’s family.”
The company added: “We do not condone this behaviour and have
acted to preventatively block bad faith actors as soon as this new information
“Unfortunately, this episode showed that even when there is a
property and a producer able to supply in accordance with the terms of the
protocols and policies already used by JBS and other companies in the sector,
some suppliers may be deliberately circumventing JBS's socio-environmental
criteria and its monitoring system.”
Its statement continued: “In order to fully investigate this and
other cases, JBS will establish a Supplier Audit Committee to verify the facts
and guide the company’s decision.
“During the investigation, the producer will remain preventively
blocked for new purchases and will have the opportunity to present its
Monitoring JBS's supply chain
The Seronni case study illustrates JBS’s
negligence in continuing to buy cattle from 144 ranches we found
contained illegal Amazon deforestation. But these purchases are a drop in the
ocean compared to the hundreds of ranches it is supposed to be monitoring
further up its supply chain – the so-called indirect suppliers.
Our new analysis reveals that in Pará alone, for 2020, 470 such farms contained an estimated 40,000 football pitches of illegal Amazon clearance. Once again, this breached the company’s legal agreement with prosecutors.
Worse, 1,600 of JBS’s indirect suppliers contained an estimated 57,000 football fields of deforestation, legal or otherwise. JBS had committed to monitoring its Amazon-based indirect suppliers as far back as 2009, but has now said it will only fully do so by 2025 – and then only for illegal deforestation.
Our analysis is also limited to just one Amazon state of the many JBS
operates in. No one knows just how many cases like those of the Seronnis are
escaping its checks in other eco-systems like the Cerrado savannah, the
Pantanal wetlands, the Caatinga shrublands and Brazil’s Atlantic forests.
JBS responded saying it recognised cattle
purchases from 143 of the mentioned ranches. It added that 96 of these suppliers
had requested to join a program implemented by the state of Pará to ensure they
start complying with Brazil’s forest laws.
The company continued to say a further 41
ranches had areas of deforestation smaller than 6.25 hectares and could thus be
purchased from according to its commitments. It added that in six cases the forest
clearance in those ranches was found in a deforestation data set by Brazil’s
National Institute for Space Research it was not previously using to monitor
compliance with its legal obligations.
On its indirect suppliers, the company
said that in 2021 it had created a system to monitor its “suppliers’
suppliers, always respecting the confidentiality of data required by Brazilian
law. Because of this, the implementation of this tool requires the engagement
of producers, who need to voluntarily register their information,” JBS said.
company stated that by 2025, its entire supply chain will be on this platform,
adding that an “essential part of this strategy is the implementation of 15
Green Offices, which aim to assist producers in critical farm-level environmental
actions, so they can produce while preserving the biome. Any supplier not
registered by this time will not be able to supply to JBS.”
Despite this litany of problems, global
powerhouses of both food and finance continue doing business with JBS.