A huge portion of the Amazon rainforest is caused by cattle farming. It is stated that over 70% of the deforested land is cleared for cattle farming. In result, the Amazon has suffered a loss of area larger than the state of washington, (Dwyer, 2014). The amount of forest being cleared each year for cattle ranching is no less than disturbing. With Brazil as the world’s largest exporter of beef, most of the land that is being destroyed for cattle farming is happening in Brazil. The demand for beef in Brazil has grown rapidly since 1994. For instance, in 1994 the total export value for beef was around 1.
9 million. Between 1994 and 2014, the total export value skyrocketed to a shocking 1.9 billion dollars.
Brazil is also responsible for the largest commercial cattle herd of about 190 million, (Dwyer, 2014). Demand for beef and natural resources is only going to increase as long as the world population keeps increasing. This means that more land will be needed in the near future in order to fill the demand. It is stated that over 200 million pounds of beef are being exported from central America into the United states every year, (Dwyer, 2014). It used to be North American countries that were consuming the most beef, but it is currently Asian countries such as, Russia and China. With the demand for beef continuing to grow, new amounts of land are needed in order to keep up. Even though the amount of damage done to the forest is irreversible, there is hope in the up in coming future to prevent beef companies from buying land illegally. Large companies such as Nike, Timberland, Carrefour, and Walmart all rely on cattle products.
These industries have all agreed to only buy certified cattle products. The brazilian government has also made plans to decrease the amount of deforestation by 2,100 square miles by 2018. It was stated that in 2013 Brazilian beef companies were facing fines of up to $300 million for buying cattle that was illegally raised on deforested Amazon land, (Dwyer, 2014).
To ensure that cattle farming is being kept under control, the IFC (International Finance Corporation) revoked a loan going to a large Brazilian cattle company. During this time, the Brazilian government by implementing a law that demanded any Amazonian who owned land in the forest to keep 80% of it.