In an open letter sent to the Deputies and Senators of the National Congress of Brazil dated May 5, a string of big-name supermarkets, food-to-go chains, suppliers and manufacturers have threatened to boycott Brazilian products if lawmakers there do not bolster laws designed to protect the Amazon rainforest.
The businesses have urged lawmakers not to pass a new legislative proposal known as PL 510/21. Several environmental groups have dubbed it a “land grabbers bill”. Under the new legislation, private-sector firms or individual asset owners would be permitted to transform lands that were occupied by local communities as recently as 2014. Under current rules, lands must have been vacant since 2011.
If PL 510/21 or similar legislation is passed, the letter states, the businesses “will have no choice but to reconsider our support and use of the Brazilian agricultural commodity supply chain” on environmental and ethical grounds.
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