The move follows a Greenpeace report, released in June, which alleges that cattle hides from deforested areas were contaminating the supply chains of a number of global brands including Nike, Clarks, Adidas and Reebok. Deforestation for cattle ranching in Brazil alone is now the biggest driver of deforestation anywhere in the world. A Nike spokesman confirmed the move late last night at their headquarters in Beaverton, Oregon.
Reacting to the news, Greenpeace forest campaigner Sarah Shoraka said: ‘Preparing land for cattle ranching is now the single biggest cause of deforestation in the world and a major driver of climate change. Nike has taken a bold step, and now we need to see other companies follow their lead.' It is hoped by Greenpeace that Nike's decision will help pave the way for an industry wide moratorium on the destruction of forests for cattle ranching. Greenpeace is demanding that other shoe companies such as Reebok, Clarks and Adidas follow Nike's lead and support a moratorium.
The policy document that Nike signed today requires all of its suppliers ‘to certify that they are supplying leather for Nike Inc with products from cattle raised outside the Amazon biome.' This policy will be in place until Nike feels that a reliable system of governance, with full traceability of cattle products which includes the guarantee that those products are not causing deforestation is in place in the Amazon.
These suppliers then have until July 2010 to create a fully traceable supply system, which will provide reliable proof that any leather used for Nike shoes has not been sourced from recently deforested areas.