An appeal by Brazilian meat giant JBS against an advertising watchdog’s recommendation regarding the group’s environmental claims has been rejected.

The major meat company initially appealed the decision in February after US non-profit The National Advertising Division (NAD) said JBS’s proposed steps would not lead to the group achieving its net-zero target by 2040.

The National Advertising Review Board (NARB) decided that NAD “reached the correct result in determining that the challenged claims communicate misleading messages”, according to a statement from the board.

The board wrote: “The NARB panel determined that the challenged claims communicate that JBS is already in the process of implementing a documented plan that has been evaluated and found to have a reasonable expectation of achieving “net-zero” by the year 2040.”

It added: “JBS, however, does not have a formulated and vetted plan at present. Rather, JBS is in the exploratory stage of its effort directed toward the net-zero 2040 goal.”

JBS said it “disagrees with the NAD and NARB’s interpretation of how consumers perceive the challenged claims, as well as NARB’s conclusion about the record evidence, but JBS will comply with NARB’s recommendation in published statements and advertising claims going forward”.

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The meat group committed to net-zero greenhouse-gas emissions by 2040 in March 2021. The pledge covered the entirety of the company’s global operations, including Pilgrim’s Pride in the US and Moy Park in the UK. The plan applied to its supply chain of agricultural producers, suppliers and customers too.