On 13 December 2022, Survival International filed a specific instance against Gruppo Pasubio at the Italian NCP. The complaint concerns the purchasing of leather from tanneries that are supplied by cattle ranches occupying and illegally deforesting the land of uncontacted members of Paraguay’s Ayoreo tribe, the last uncontacted Indigenous people in South America outside the Amazon.

The complainants raised the issue of the issue of complicity on the part of the company in illegal deforestation activities, because the company is buying leather in massive quantities and is seemingly doing nothing to exclude leather from animals raised in deforested areas.

Among other things, the complainant is seeking mediation from the NCP to encourage the company to:

  1. Immediately stop importing leather from the Paraguayan tanneries that are responsible for and/or involved in the deforestation of the Ayoreo tribe’s lands in the Paraguayan Gran Chaco forest. The company’s conduct contributes to and fuels the illegal deforestation and violation of the rights of the Ayoreo-Totobiegosode people, depriving them of the forest on which they depend for all their vital needs, forcing them to leave their land in search of food and care and into forced and unwanted contact with the outside world – which will inevitably lead to their death and disease, as has happened in the past.
  2. Disclose information about its due diligence policies, including whether company: (a) implements policies that exclude deforestation or policies that require traceability of its hides and skins at farm level, in Paraguay or other countries; (b) has adopted effective systems to identify possible human rights violations within the supply chain of hides and skins originally sourced from Paraguay; (c) has taken appropriate concrete and specific measures to reduce the risks of possible human rights violations in relation to this chain; (d) has informed its suppliers that it will not purchase leather originally from illegal ranches in Paraguay if their traceability is not guaranteed; (e) took appropriate action in the event that the supplier was unable to exclude that fundamental human and environmental rights were violated in the process of breeding and processing the hides; (f) has taken the necessary steps to compensate for the damage caused; (g) shared and published in a transparent and detailed manner information on possible risks of human rights violations within the chain of suppliers of hides and skins originally from Paraguay; (h) has thoroughly investigated the effective respect of human rights and environmental rights by its suppliers, in particular the tanneries Cencoprod Ltda, Lecom Sociedad Anonima (Leather & Co. Sa), Frigorifico Concepcion Sa and Frigomerc Sa, of hides and skins from the Paraguayan ranches and the Grand Chaco forest; and (i) it has received – and if so, the specific number – reports of non-compliant behaviour and violations of the Code of Ethics by its suppliers on the basis of the mechanism provided for this purpose in the Code of Ethics itself.
  3. Provide information and precise documentation concerning the latter profiles, considering that no publicly available document lists the suppliers of hides originally coming from Paraguay.

Relevant OECD Guidelines

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