The Casino Group is committed of fightinh deforestation linked to cattle farming in Brazil and Colombia.

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Overview on the fight against deforestation linked to cattle breeding in Latin America

To preserve biodiversity, protect local populations and fight against climate change, Groupe Casino is committed to combating deforestation linked to cattle farming in Brazil and Colombia, taking into account the complexity of supply chains.

The Casino Group, through its subsidiaries in Latin America, has been actively fighting against deforestation for several years. Indeed, our Brazilian subsidiary GPA deploys a systematic and rigorous policy of controlling the origin of beef delivered by its suppliers. GPA's responsible beef purchasing policy is based on a process of referencing and strict control of beef suppliers.

This process aims to identify the direct origin and to ensure compliance with the following socio-environmental criteria:

  • that animal husbandry is not linked to the deforestation of the Amazonian biome;
  • that exploitation is not related to forced labour;
  • that the exploitation is not related to child labour;
  • that the exploitation is not under embargo by the Ministry of the Environment due to an environmental offence;
  • that the exploitation does not involve invasion of indigenous lands and/or invasion of conservation areas.

This policy applies to all of our Brazilian suppliers of fresh and frozen meat delivered to our stores in Brazil from the legal Amazon.

It is based on the implementation of :

  • a traceability and transparency process: all ABM suppliers must declare the slaughterhouses (tier 1) and farms (tier 2) that supplied the cattle they work with and declare this information (RAC - Ownership Register) in a traceability tool ;
  • a geo-monitoring surveillance process: a control of cattle purchases via a geo-monitoring system to check their compliance with the 5 criteria defined above of the GPA zero deforestation policy has been put in place; 99.6% of the volume of meat sold in our shops is controlled by this system.

Suppliers who do not adhere to the policy will have their contracts suspended until they are in good standing and demonstrate that they are effectively implementing the policy. If an inconsistency is found during the monitoring process, the farm is blocked and no longer has the right to market its products at GPA.

Since the implementation of the policy until the end of 2019, 23 suppliers have been excluded.

In addition, regarding indirect farms, GPA supports and is involved in the VISIPEC project to move up the supply chain and strengthen control processes. This project is currently being tested by the NWF and GPA is the first distributor involved in this pilot.

Given the stakes involved, we consider that for the actions to be effective, it is necessary to define common control rules between all the players - distributors, suppliers, public authorities and civil society. This is why GPA supports initiatives aimed at improving the control actions of the cattle breeding supply chain in Brazil, and participates in the :

  • Working Group on Indirect Suppliers (WGFI), a platform for exchange on the challenges posed by the indirect beef chain ;
  • Annual monitoring process of the commitments of the National Pact for the Eradication of Forced Labour (InPACTO) to which GPA has been a signatory since 2005;
  • "G6", a working group that brings together the main food distributors and beef suppliers to improve control of the supply chain.

As far as Colombia is concerned, 25% of beef purchases are made in Colombian supermarkets and 75% in local markets.

Grupo Exito is an active member of the Tropical Forest Alliance 2020, whose purpose is to ensure that the products sold are not linked to deforestation in Colombia. In 2017, Grupo Éxito helped develop the first Rainforest Alliance Certified beef product offering.

In 2019, as part of an alliance between the International Center for Tropical Agriculture, SEAT, Solidaridad, Climate Focus, and through the "Global Forest Watch" tool, Grupo Éxito has committed to monitoring 100% of the farms of its direct beef suppliers by 2021, according to the criteria of zero deforestation with the deployment of audits that can lead to corrective action plans as defined in the document available on Grupo Éxito's website.

Aware of the stakes and risks, as well as the complexity of these supply chains in South America, Group Casino will continue to strengthen our actions and policies, in conjunction with all constructive stakeholders, to combat the risks of deforestation.