Inter-American Development Bank drops multimillion dollar loan to meat giant Marfrig
In February, the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) dropped a planned $43 million loan package plan for Marfrig Global Foods’ Brazilian beef operations, through its private investment branch, IDB Invest. The bank’s website now lists the status of the loan project as “inactive”. According to IDB Invest, the loan “has been interrupted“ and “is no longer considered for approval.”
The decision came after more than 275 environmental, animal welfare, human rights and development advocacy groups sent a public letter to the Bank’s board of directors, citing potential bank policy violations and denouncing the loan for the role it would play in fueling deforestation, land grabbing and contributing to the climate crisis. The Divest Factory Farming Campaign, the driving force behind this opposition—of which Sinergia Animal is part—, also launched a public social media campaign against the loan last October.
Development institutions should not be using the people’s taxpayer money to finance factory farms. It cannot in good faith support an industry so closely linked to the suffering of animals, the destruction of natural environments and human rights violations.
It’s highly unusual for the IDB to stop a loan that is so far along in the process, which is why Sinergia Animal applauds the decision. The organization now hopes this outcome will send a loud signal to public development finance: loans should not be channeled to large-scale industrial livestock operations and such initiatives are incompatible with their commitments to the Paris Climate Agreement and Sustainable Development Goals.
The IDB’s decision to not approve this loan is a gigantic step in the right direction, and we should definitely celebrate this news. However, there is a lot more work to do. Sadly, other big banks still approve loans to support industrial livestock operations.