BRAZIL

FriGol: From the field to the market, find out the origin of the meat

Traceability data is shared with the end consumer via QR Code: FriGol even shows which Brazilian biome the cattle came from, with information consolidated by the startup Ecotrace via blockchain technology.

Posted on Jan 27 ,00:15

FriGol: From the field to the market, find out the origin of the meat

It is not common practice to look at the prepared dish and try to guess where the food came from. But, in the supermarket, it is now possible to know the path of the meat on the shelf, even which biome the beef came from. Traceability information, which is used by slaughterhouses committed to socio-environmental criteria, is shared with the end consumer through a QR Code on the packaging.

In a recent update, the QR Codes of FriGol products now inform whether the cattle purchased by the company came from direct supplier farms located in the Amazon, Cerrado or Atlantic Forest biomes, which are the three biomes where the company operates.

"We currently monitor 100% of our direct suppliers in all biomes where we operate and we consider it important to share this information with consumers through QR Codes that are in all our product lines both in Brazil and abroad and in three languages (Portuguese , English and Mandarin)", says Carlos Corrêa, Administrative and Sustainability Director at FriGol.

Aware of its role in favor of sustainable livestock farming in the Amazon biome, FriGol is a signatory to the TAC for Sustainable Livestock and, this year, for the second time in a row, it achieved 100% compliance in an audit supervised by the Federal Public Ministry in Pará. The result proves that all cattle purchased from direct suppliers in the Amazon biome respect socio-environmental criteria.

Furthermore, FriGol was the first slaughterhouse to implement, in July 2023, the Voluntary Monitoring Protocol for Cattle Suppliers in the Cerrado, coordinated by the organizations Proforest, Imaflora, and National Wildlife Federation – NWF. The protocol is in the pilot phase, but, as FriGol was already prepared for the demands contained in the preliminary version of the document, it took the initiative to implement it in a pioneering way.

The availability of this information is relevant for the end consumer, because, according to the Transparency Trends 2023 study , carried out by the Food Industry Association and published by NielsenIQ, the proportion of buyers who care about transparency about what they have and how it is made the food consumed increased from 69% in 2018 to 72% in 2021, in addition to registering a new jump to 76% in 2023. The same study also shows that 29% of consumers prefer products with details that go beyond the label.

In simple terms, traceability is the ability to know the path taken by a given raw material. Several mechanisms, together, make it possible to identify the origin of an agricultural product from the field to the consumer, which makes it possible to control and monitor the movement of that batch to its destination.

In Brazil, the startup Ecotrace is one of the pioneers in the use of blockchain technology – the same as cryptocurrencies – for the traceability of animal protein. With it, the information from each step forms a link that cannot be erased, which is added to the others. In the end, each product has a unique identification, which also shows that the meat does not come from illegal slaughter, that it is inspected and that it respects all processes established by legislation.

"When we are able to integrate the entire chain, we empower both the producer and the end consumer, giving more visibility to sustainable companies and accelerating innovation in the animal protein sector", says Flávio Redi, CEO of Ecotrace

FriGol began sharing data with customers and consumers via QR Codes on packaging in 2020 and has now also included information about the Brazilian biomes from which the cattle were purchased. This action aims to provide more transparency to the company's actions in search of sustainability throughout the production chain.

"The main advantage of the QR Code for the consumer is the certainty of purchasing a product of proven origin and free from socio-environmental problems, that is, certainty that its consumption will not harm the planet", says Carlos Corrêa .

By scanning the QR Code on the packaging , the consumer has access to the home screen, which shows the type of cut of the piece, the part of the animal it was on and suggestions for cooking methods. It is also possible to see in which industry it was produced, the date of manufacture and the expiration date.

When accessing the "Product History" button, the first information that appears is about the origin, showing the biomes of origin of that batch. It can be expanded, giving access to farm data, and it is even possible to see the location of each one on the map. Each farm also has the “Environmental Analysis” button, which provides the guarantee that it does not occupy areas of deforestation, invasion of indigenous lands, invasion of Environmental Conservation Units or those embargoed by Ibama, and that it also does not use slave labor.

Returning to “Product History”, after the origin information, there is the complete data of the meat producing unit - with CNPJ, SIF (Federal Inspection Service), production batch, contact and location data, and also whether it is a plant suitable for producing meat for export - if so, to which countries. At the end, chat is available so that the consumer can ask questions.

If the search for transparency is a global consumer trend, Brazilian buyers are at the forefront when it comes to knowing before taking. The PwC Global Consumer Insights Pulse Survey , from September this year, shows that 51% of Brazilians use their smartphones while walking through the aisles of a store to compare products and consult information. Worldwide, this number drops to 36%.

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