Corporate fallout for Brazil heats up despite signs Amazon fires may be slowing
Fires in Brazil’s Amazon rainforest have receded slightly since President Jair Bolsonaro sent in the military to help battle the blazes, but international fallout accelerated as a major shoemaker said it would not buy supplies from Brazil, Trend reports citing Reuters.
Brazil has registered 2,696 fires in the Amazon in the five days since Saturday, when the military began on-the-ground firefighting efforts, according to data from Brazil’s space research agency INPE. That is down 31% from the previous five days when 3,917 fires were registered before the military response.
The thousands of fires tearing through the Amazon have spawned an international crisis for Brazil, with public protests and world leaders voicing concern that Bolsonaro’s government is doing too little to protect the world’s largest tropical rainforest. After several days of criticism, Bolsonaro decided to send in the military to support firefighting efforts.
This year’s surge in fires, which INPE says is the worst since 2010, also raises fears of companies stepping back from Brazil amid adverse publicity surrounding the burning forest and the prospect of international sanctions.
On Thursday, the owner of shoe and apparel brands including Timberland, Vans and the North Face took the most concrete corporate move yet in response to the fires. VF Corp (VFC.N) will no longer buy Brazilian leather, it said in a statement.
VF said it would resume buying Brazilian leather when “we have the confidence and assurance that the materials used in our products do not contribute to environmental harm in the country.”