China's high demand for beef from Brazil fuelling environmental crisis
A ravenous demand from China has helped Brazilian beef sales skyrocket to record levels - which has brought upon a devastating environmental cost.
A ravenous demand from China has helped Brazilian beef sales skyrocket to record levels - which has brought upon a devastating environmental cost. According to the Guardian, despite the Brazilian economy being hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic, it remains one of the world's biggest beef exporters.
Brazil supplied 43 per cent of China's meat imports in 2020, up by a staggering 76 per cent last year compared with 2019, according to consultancy Safras & Mercado. Sales are predicted to climb even higher this year, as China's pork industry struggles to recover from the deadly pig disease African swine fever, write Dom Phillips and Michael Standaert.
Consumption of meat in China has risen in the recent decades with the growth of its economy. Several consumer surveys have shown that more Chinese people are turning to beef after the outbreak of African swine fever The high consumption has cleared half of Cerrado, the vast tropical savanna region, and 20 per cent of the Amazon, with a devastating impact on global heating as both are important carbon sinks, reported the Guardian.
"The Amazon-provided about a fifth of China's imports but is actually half of the deforestation risk," says Erasmus zu Ermgassen, a researcher at Louvain Catholic University in Belgium. Since 2019, China has reportedly licensed 22 Brazilian slaughterhouses for exports - 14 of them in the Amazon, while four are in the sprawling Amazon state of Para, which has Brazil's fifth-largest cattle herd.
Under the presidency of Jair Bolsonaro, Amazon deforestation has surged to a 12-year high, and investors and large Brazilian companies have pressured the government to act. "This is a big concern... The market shouldn't bar products from Amazon. This will be chaos," says Fraga Filho, a rancher.
(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)