Big names too - Ford, GM, BMW, Mercedes, Nissan. They're all in the spotlight for buying Brazilian pig iron produced in blast furnaces fueled by illegal logging using slave labour.
Reports over the past decade from the Brazilian government, the International Labour Organisation (ILO), and the US Department of Labour have indicated that charcoal used by many pig iron suppliers in the Amazonian state of Pará was obtained through forced labour and illegal logging of protected and indigenous lands.
A new report by Greenpeace uses customs data to link eight international companies to two major Brazilian exporters of pig iron, Viena Siderurgica do Maranhão (Viena) and Siderúrgica do Pará (Sidepar), that the green group says are linked through the supply chain to charcoal suppliers with histories of buying from illegal camps and concealing illicit behaviour.
Ford, General Motors, BMW, Mercedes, Nissan are all linked through a Severstal steel mill in Columbus, Mississippi, that buys from Viena and Severstal, while John Deere and ThyssonKrupp are linked through foundries supplied by the Illinois-based National Material Trading, a metal broker that sources from Viena. Two other metal brokers, Environmental Materials Corporation in Pennsylvania and a division of Cargill in Minnesota were also said by Greenpeace to have imported pig iron from Viena.
"By buying this steel, these well-known brands are helping to destroy the Amazon," said Greenpeace Brazil Amazon campaign director Paulo Adario in a statement. "President Dilma [Rousseff] must protect the Amazon and the people who depend on it by ending deforestation, slavery and the invasion of indigenous lands."