Indigenous people from Brazil and Colombia sued retailer Casino in a French court on Wednesday over the selling of beef linked to land grabbing and deforestation in the Amazon, campaigners involved in the lawsuit said.
It is the first time a French supermarket chain has been taken to court over deforestation and the loss of land and livelihood under a 2017 law in France that demands its companies avoid human rights and environmental violations in their supply chains.
Casino, which controls Brazil’s largest food retailer, Grupo Pao de Acucar (GPA) and through that also Colombian retailer Almacenes Exito, said it actively fought against deforestation by cattle ranchers in Brazil and Colombia.
The lawsuit alleges Casino regularly bought beef from three slaughterhouses owned by a major Brazilian meatpacker.
Those slaughterhouses sourced cattle from nearly 600 suppliers responsible for at least 50,000 hectares — an area five times the size of Paris — of deforestation between 2008 and 2020, according to the lawsuit.