Brazilian meat industry helps to reduce deforestation

One of the initiatives that can contribute to the reduction of  deforestation is the environmental regularization and the consequent reinclusion of cattle ranchers who are vetoed as suppliers of cattle for slaughterhouses. This was one of the main subjects defended in the panel "Livestock, the Achilles heel of the good environmental image of Brazilian agribusiness", during the  2020 Agribusiness Summit , promoted by  Estadão  between 23 and 25 November.

Posted on Dec 04 ,09:42

Brazilian meat industry helps to reduce deforestation

The director of Sustainability at  JBS , Márcio Nappo, detailed the program recently launched by the company, "Green Platform JBS", which aims to track 100% of the bovine supply chain by 2025 and, in addition, to contribute to the environmental regularization of ranchers who have committed any illegality provided for in  the Forest Code.

"We are going to work with inclusion; we have seen, throughout our experience in relation to the monitoring of direct suppliers (from cattle to the company), that just excluding the producer does not help to curb deforestation." Currently, JBS monitors 50,000 ranchers in the Amazon. "Every day we update the registration, run the system and see the producers who are or are not in compliance."

The executive director of the Brazilian Association of Meat Exporting Industries (Abiec), Liège Vergili Nogueira, said that the entity has been making a great effort to bring in rural producers who have embargoes and environmental problems to be solved to continue in the livestock activity. She also agreed that "the problem is not solved by excluding, as this ends up causing another problem in the sector". After all, as they say in the livestock sector, oxen raised on non-compliant properties "do not die in the pasture".

She also commented that it is necessary to look at the environmental and economic sides, but also the social side, which often ends up being left out. "Abiec has made this movement to look at the rural producer, who is vetoed from the list of slaughterhouses that monitor the chain," she said, stressing that the objective is to see how this raw material can continue in the market.

For the Products director of the digital solutions company Agrotools, Breno Felix, only about 10% of livestock properties have an environmental problem - Agrotools has been working with livestock monitoring in the Amazon for ten years. Still according to the executive, of this percentage, more than half of the producers are not even aware that they committed illegalities. "In these cases, problems are solved very easily," he said.

He added that the cases of difficult solutions, however, represent a very small portion of the production and that the rural producer also wants to end the environmental illegalities to reinsert himself in the system. To help the production chain, Felix says that Agrotools now intends to "get in head" in monitoring indirect cattle suppliers to slaughterhouses - those breeders who produce lean calves and oxen to sell to the rancher who will fatten the ox and sell it to slaughter.

For Boehringer Ingelheim's Director of Large Animals, Nivaldo Grando, environmental compliance for the entire chain is essential to meet external and internal requirements. "China, for example, is preparing to become a major importer of beef in the coming years," he quoted. He also said that when it comes to beef, mainly Brazil and the United States will be able to guarantee supplies in the future. "They are the two main players; that's why our investments go to these countries."

The chairman of the Sustainable Livestock Working Group, Caio Penido, mentioned that Brazil entered 2020 with a robust package of biodiversity, carbon fixation and animal welfare policies, "which no other country has". However, even so, Brazil and its livestock still need to deal with a damaged image in the international market.

He also commented that Brazil "scares" other countries, due to the speed with which it stopped importing food to be one of the largest producers and exporters in the world, with "much more efficient production and with biodiversity".

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