In an open letter, around 40 supermarkets and food companies, including Aldi, Ahold Delhaize, Metro and Tesco, call on Brazil to revise a controversial bill. They are even threatening to boycott Brazilian agricultural products because they fear further deforestation of the Amazonian rainforest.
In the bill in question, the Brazilian parliament opens the door to legalising the private occupation of public land, writes Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf. In an open letter, the European retailers and food companies call the bill an enormous threat to the Amazonian rainforest. They also accuse the Brazilian government of making insufficient efforts to reduce the many forest fires within the area. Last year, the number of forest fires increased by more than 60 per cent.
"We would like to reiterate that we consider the Amazon as a vital part of the earth system that is essential to the security of our planet as well as being a critical part of a prosperous future for Brazilians and all of society," the letter reads.
The European companies are calling on the South American country to reconsider the bill. If not, "we will have no choice but to reconsider our support and use of the Brazilian agricultural commodity supply chain," they say.
If a boycott were to take place, Brazil would certainly feel it. Last year, the country exported 25 billion dollars (almost 21 billion euros) worth of agricultural products, such as coffee, beef and soybeans, to the European Union.