Green campaigners are urging Brazilian meat giant JBS to sign up to a deal to stop harvesting the Amazon.

Grupo Bertin, one of Brazil's top meat processors and Marfrig, the fourth-largest producer of beef in the world, have today (13 August) backed Greenpeace's call for an immediate moratorium on the purchase of cattle from farms involved in new deforestation in the Amazon.

The move follows a Greenpeace report published in June entitled Slaughtering the Amazon, which sought to link the destruction of the rain forest to the supply chains of some of the world's leading consumer goods companies.

Greenpeace claimed that JBS, the world's largest producer and global exporter of processed beef, has remained silent on the subject.

"JBS-Friboi must accept its responsibilities and stop fuelling Amazon destruction. It needs to join these companies in protecting the rainforest now," said Sarah Shoraka, Greenpeace Forests campaigner.

Greenpeace believes JBS is continuing to expand into the Amazon having rented several new facilities north of Mato Grosso State, an area which has the greatest rate of cattle ranching expansion and deforestation in the Amazon.

Greenpeace is now urging Brazil's entire cattle sector to follow the soya industry's example and commit to a moratorium on expansion into newly deforested areas.

"Both the federal and state governments must ensure this is possible by mapping, registering and monitoring rural properties, helping the private sector to fulfil its corporate liabilities. Cattle ranching is the biggest driver of Amazon rainforest destruction and contributes to making Brazil the fourth largest climate polluter in the world," Greenpeace said.