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Cattle Ranching and Deforestation of the Amazon Rainforest

Cattle Ranching and Deforestation of the Amazon Rainforest 

In my posts, I’ve been writing about Imaya Beauty's concern for the deforestation of the Amazon Rainforest and our small part in helping to stop this practice. One thing I have not talked about much is cattle ranching  - it is the biggest driver of deforestation in just about every Amazon country.

Public awareness of the role of cattle ranching was raised in 2019 when an unprecedented number of fires were raging in the Brazilian Amazon.  You don’t expect this in an environment that is mainly wet. Scientists were worried that the rainforest was on verge of ecological collapse. It turns out that most of the fires were intentionally set to clear land for cattle pasture or crop production. There were more than 80,000 fires in 2019 [i]. 

H&M, one of the world’s largest retailers, and VF Corporation which includes brands such as North Face, and Timberland, responded by stopping leather purchases from Brazil. They were concerned that the cattle industry was contributing to deforestation of the Amazon Rainforest, 60% of which is located in Brazil.

August 2020 saw a doubling of the number of fires from the same time last year [ii] – mainly in areas intended for cattle production.  NGOs are now calling on global supermarkets to stop buying from suppliers that are destroying the rainforest [iii]. 

We as consumers can do our part by purchasing goods from stores that source sustainably.

What are your biggest challenges with finding sustainable goods? 


[i] (Brazil) National Institute for Space Research (INPE)

[ii] (Brazil) National Institute for Space Research (INPE)

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