Brazilian authority fines grain traders

by Eric Schroeder
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deforestation
The goal of the operation is to hold companies and rural producers accountable for illegally deforesting embargoes and commercialize, finance or intermediates agricultural products from the areas.
 
BRASILIA, BRAZIL — The Brazilian Institute of Environment and Renewable Natural Resources (Ibama) has fined five grain trading houses and dozens of farmers a total of 105.7 million reais ($29 million) for alleged activities involving illegal deforestation in the Cerrado. The Cerrado is one of the fastest growing soy regions in Brazil.

The five grain traders — ABC Industria e Comercio SA, Bunge, Cargill, JJ Samar Agronegocios Eireli and Uniggel Protecao de Plantas Ltda — were fined a total of 24.6 million reais for acquiring 49,205 bags of 60 kgs of soybeans produced in areas embargoed by Ibama, the environmental watchdog said.

Ibama said the fines are part of “Operation Shoyo,” a movement in four states — Maranhao, Tocantins, Piaui and Bahia — in the Matopiba region. The goal of the operation is to hold companies and rural producers accountable for illegally deforesting embargoes and commercialize, finance or intermediates agricultural products from the areas, Ibama said.

“Illegal deforestation in the Cerrado is more accelerated in Matopiba than in other regions of the biome, which requires the improvement of control strategies to ensure that deterrence reaches all illegal links in the chain of production,” said Renê Luiz de Oliveira, head of environmental enforcement at Ibama.

Ibama said that 84,024 sacks of grain have been seized so far as part of Operation Shoyo, which equates to about 5,041 tons.

The companies that have been named in the infraction notices have not responded to the allegations.

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