Highlights, News

Driving deforestation: The European automotive industry’s contribution to deforestation in Brazil

On Friday 16th April, Rainforest Foundation Norway released a new report authored by Aidenvironment highlighting the risk of deforestation within the supply chains of European car manufacturers who purchase leather from Brazil. Brazil is the biggest exporter of bovine leather in the world, with a trade balance of US$ 1 billion. It is heavily export orientated, with as much as 80% of bovine leather production in Brazil being exported.

Some of the key insights from the report were:

  • The lack of traceability within the Brazilian cattle industry impacts the automotive industry leather supply chain.
  • No one buying leather from major Brazilian leather suppliers can be sure that the leather they buy has not come from recently deforested areas.
  • No company along the supply chain has adequate policies in place to avoid using leather linked to deforestation.
  • A lack of transparency across the entire supply chain conceals traces of deforestation and makes verification impossible for companies and third parties. 
  • In addition to the challenge of traceability from cattle ranches to slaughterhouses, there is a lack of transparency from the suppliers to tanneries when trying to map deforestation linked to the leather supply chain. 


The report makes several recommendations of how to solve these issues, including the adoption of zero deforestation policies by all actors across the supply chain.

The report is available here.

For more information, please contact Joana Faggin


Media citing the report

Shortly after the report’s release, it was rapidly and broadly picked-up by the media. Below a selection of links can be found to articles that cite the report.