Major meat processing company JBS S.A., has repeatedly come under fire for allegedly contributing to the illegal deforestation of the Amazon rainforest. They are now using blockchain technology to create a unique solution to the problem.
According to a Sept. 23 report from Reuters, JBS said it plans to launch a blockchain-based traceability system for its meat supply chain to ensure it does not buy livestock from farms that are known to have illegally felled trees.
The company has previously only monitored the final link in the meat supply chain, meaning any of the reportedly 50,000 ranches in Brazil doing business with JBS could have received cattle from indirect suppliers responsible for illegal deforestation. A July report by U.K. news outlet The Guardian alleges that the company had been in contact with at least one indirect supplier who had already been sanctioned for cutting down sections of the Amazon to increase the size of its pastures.
Following these reports, JBS CEO Gilberto Tomazoni said the company plans to monitor all of its indirect cattle suppliers by 2025 using its blockchain tracing system.
“Currently, the company does not monitor indirect suppliers and no company does so,” he said. ”But we plan to close this gap using technology.”
The meat processing company plans to start in 2021 in the Brazilian state of Mato Grosso, which has reportedly accounted for 31% of deforestation in the Amazon over the last 20 years.
JBS has developed similar tracing programs that provide data on its meat supply chain for subsidiaries outside of Brazil. Last November, the company’s Australia branch created a “from paddock to plate” system together with a Sydney-based startup called Lumachain.