Indigenous leaders protest outside a Casino supermarket store in Marseille over deforestation and usurpation of their land in the Amazon

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The Indigenous Peoples of the Amazon, represented by Fany Kuiru Castro of the Uitoto People in Colombia, member of the board of OPIAC (National Organisation of the Indigenous Peoples of the Colombian Amazon protested today outside a Casino supermarket store in Marseille to condemn Groupe Casino’s responsibility in fuelling deforestation and landgrabbing of ancestral lands in Colombia and Brazil.

Casino: Feeding Deforestation

Back in March, a coalition of indigenous groups from the Colombian and Brazilian Amazon and international NGOs such as Envol Vert, Canopée, Sherpa, Notre Affaire à Tous, Mighty Earth and France Nature Environnement sued Groupe Casino for systemic violations of human rights and environmental laws in the group supply chains in Brazil and Colombia.

According to evidence compiled and submitted for lawsuit, Groupe Casino regularly bought beef from three slaughterhouses owned by JBS, a giant meatpacker. The three slaughterhouses sourced cattle from 592 suppliers responsible for at least 50,000 hectares of deforestation between 2008 and 2020, an area two times the size of Marseille.

Moreover, ancestral land owned and managed by the Uru Eu Wau Wau community in the State of Rondônia (Brazil) was invaded and put into production by cattle farms supplying beef to Casino supermarkets in Brazil, Pão de Açúcar.

Indigenous communities at the centre of climate solutions

Given the urgency of the climate crisis and on the occasion of the IUCN World Conservation Congress in Marseille, it is fundamental to remember that indigenous peoples must be at the centre of any solution to climate change and the fight against deforestation.

Fany Kuiru Castro of the Uitoto People in Colombia and member of the OPIAC, said:

“Cattle ranching in the Amazon is putting our lives at risk and exterminating our people. And Groupe Casino, through Éxito stores in Colombia, bears a huge responsibility for this destruction. We demand that Casino takes responsibility for the damage it is doing to our communities and stop selling beef fuelling deforestation.”

Coalition’s key asks to Groupe Casino:

  • To monitor all cattle suppliers, including indirect farms, and their impact on all natural ecosystems including savannahs and wetlands
  • To eradicate deforestation and human rights abuses from their entire meat supply chain (including indirect farms)
  • To recognize and pay compensation for damages done to the Indigenous Peoples’ customary lands and the impact on their livelihoods

Boris Patentreger, co-founder of French ONG Envol Vert, said:

“In a world where biodiversity is in an extremely critical state, its best allies, the indigenous peoples, are at risk from rampant deforestation. Casino must be consistent and stop selling forest-ravaging beef in its supermarkets in Brazil and Colombia!”

Nico Muzi, Europe director of Mighty Earth, said:

“JBS is the slaughter of the Amazon, destroying hundreds of thousands of hectares of pristine rainforests in the past few years. Thus, we urge Groupe Casino to be coherent with their public branding in France and cut all ties with JBS.”

Press contacts:

Envol Vert : Audrey Benard / [email protected] / +33 6 81 25 48 64 (FR/ UK)

Greenpeace : Benard Soulier / [email protected]/ + 33 6 28 38 99 99

Mighty Earth : Nico Muzi / [email protected] / +32 484 27 87 91 (EN/ ES/FR)

Alianza Global de Organizaciones Territoriales (inluye OPIAC) : Coimbra Sirica / [email protected] / +1 301 943 3287 (EN/ES/FR)