A new study has found that zero-deforestation commitments made by large businesses could lead to an increase in anti-deforestation pledges by suppliers and ranchers within Brazil’s beef industry supply chain.
Published in the journal of Conservation Letters, the study has found that public agreements made by beef suppliers in Brazil have had a significant impact on the behaviour of ranchers and slaughterhouses within the Amazon.
Following the zero-deforestation promises made by large companies such as McDonald’s, Krispy Kreme and Dunkin Donuts, the research aimed to highlight the changes in behaviour caused by the rising awareness.
Lead research Holly Gibbs of the University of Wisconsin-Madison studied the data on land use within the state of Para before and after a 2009 agreement signed by a number of major meat packing companies and found that the deforestation rate among associated ranch owners has since reduced by half.
This particular agreement prompted change by imposing a moratorium on buying any cattle that could be linked to deforested land in Brazil, which has already sees around two thirds of its deforest land used for cattle pasture.
According to Gibbs, the success of such pledges has seen the agreements rise in popularity, with many large businesses now using them as an incentive to avoid bad publicity.
Many other companies, such as Greenwood Management, have already made launched similar policies to protect land from deforestation.