China Is Increasing Imports Of Brazilian Beef And The Amazon Rainforest Is Paying The Price For It
By Tanuvi Joe, Green Queen (HK)
May 3, 2021
New data shows that a third of Chinese people are eating more beef since 2020. A great deal of the beef imports into China are coming from Brazil, resulting in a devastating cost to the country’s Amazonian rainforests and Cerrado savannah with 20% of the Brazilian Amazon and about half of the Cerrado region already been cleared, leaving their ability to capture carbon much weakened. With a warming planet, the rise in beef consumption is only doing more damage and further fuelling the effects of climate change.
The pandemic has left Brazil’s economy badly hit, thought according to the consultancy firm Safras & Mercado, the animal agriculture industry has been booming with Brazil supplying 43% of China’s meat imports in 2020, with exports up by a shocking 76% last year compared with 2019.
Historically, the most consumed meat in China is pork. However, 2018 and 2019 saw more than half of the country’s 440 million pigs killed from African swine fever or culled to slow the spread of the livestock-affecting disease. This reduction in pork meat is how beef emerged as the country’s favourite meat protein today.
In a poll conducted by Meat & Livestock Australia, a third of affluent Chinese consumers said they had eaten more beef during 2020 as compared to previous years...
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