* JBS says ranches mentioned by Greenpeace not on Ibama list
* JBS says Greenpeace may cause it to lose business
* Greenpeace says other meatpackers have been forthright
By Fabiola Gomes
SAO PAULO, June 6 Brazil's JBS, the
world's largest meat company, said on Wednesday it would sue
environmental organization Greenpeace for what it called false
claims that could cause it to lose business and hurt its image.
In a report it released this week, Greenpeace accused the
company of breaking an accord that JBS and other Brazilian meat
packers signed in 2009 promising not to purchase cattle raised
on deforested pastures. Greenpeace said JBS had bought cattle
raised on Indian reserves and other restricted areas.
JBS said in a market filing on Wednesday that all the
accusations Greenpeace had made against it in the report were
false and "lead society to a false conclusion." It said would
take Greenpeace to court for material damages and for making
accusations harmful to its image.
JBS, which did not say how much it would seek in
compensation, said the report could cause it to lose existing
contracts and future business.
The report is part of an effort by Greenpeace and other
environmentalists to highlight the role of food producers in the
destruction of the Amazon rainforest. It comes in the run-up to
Rio + 20, a United Nations summit on sustainable development
being hosted by Brazil.
Although Brazil has made great strides over the past decade
in slowing the pace of deforestation, ranchers remain among the
main offenders behind continued clearcutting.
JBS's Mercosur Regional President Jose Augusto de Carvalho
said at a news conference on Wednesday afternoon, held to
address the report, that the company had so far not received any
Carvalho said JBS had contracted an independent company to
audit its purchases of cattle in the region that were called
into question in the report.
JBS said in the filing that it is one of Brazil's most
advanced meatpackers in terms of sustainable business practices.
It said the ranches deemed problematic by Greenpeace in the
report are not flagged as irregular by Ibama, Brazil's
Greenpeace said it has been meeting with the companies that
signed the pledge not to use cattle from deforested land. Andre
Muggiati, Greenpeace's coordinator for the Amazon region, said
it published the report after noticing "failures" in JBS's
compliance with the accord.
"There have been many meetings, and JBS fails to present a
consistent accounting," Muggiati said. "There have been
Greenpeace said at least six European companies that buy JBS
beef and leather have said they could cancel or not renew their
contracts. The bulk of the report focused on beef from Brazil's
center-west state of Mato Grosso, a major cattle and grains
Muggiati said two other big beef processors in the state,
Marfrig and Minerva, had no problems
proving the origins of their cattle.
Greenpeace released a report in October 2011 in which it
made similar charges that JBS denied at the time.
The company, once a small, family owned slaughterhouse
business, grew into global food company in recent years after a
merger and acquisitions spree financed by Brazil's state
development bank. closed up 3.3 percent at 5.63 reais, while
Bovespa index closed up 3.2 percent.