Choose your desired topic below:
A. It is the benchmark for slaughterhouses and meatpackers that process beef from cattle produced in the Amazon region to honor their social and environmental commitments, either through Terms of Conduct Adjustment (Termos de Ajustamento de Conduta - TAC) executed with the Public Prosecutor’s Office (Ministério Público Federal) or under publicly-undertaken private policies.
A. The companies must monitor their cattle suppliers located in the Amazon region, i.e. the rural producers and their properties, based on predefined criteria in order to honor the commitments, which are primarily: no deforestation on the property after July 2008; no use of slave-like labor; and no production in protected areas, such as Indigenous Land (Terras Indígenas - TI) and Preserved Areas (Unidades de Conservação - UC). In addition, the rural property must have documentation related to its environmental compliance (Rural Environmental Registry (Cadastro Ambiental Rural - CAR)) and sanitary measures in animal transport (Animal Transit Guide (Guia de Trânsito Animal - GTA)).
A. The main innovation is the harmonization and clarity of the technical rules that detail the TAC criteria and public commitments in the Amazon region. As such, the meatpackers will be able to monitor their cattle suppliers uniformly and fully comply with their commitments.A.
A. Yes, there were different approaches. The implementation of the TAC criteria and public commitments by each company led to different interpretations among the signatories. A practical example was the block placed on deforested areas tracked using data from the Prodes Project² of the National Space Research Institute (Instituto Nacional de Pesquisas Espaciais - Inpe): some companies blocked overlaps of any size in the deforested polygon area of the property, and others blocked overlaps in the property area that was above 50% of the polygon. This outcome made it impossible to measure or compare the impact of initiatives and compliance with commitments and also generated potential market imbalances.
²Monitoring Deforestation of the Brazilian Amazon Forest by Satellite
A. No, the TAC criteria remains the same and in accordance with the documents signed by the companies and the Public Prosecutor’s Office. The interpretation of the criteria and the application of the monitoring method and how the criteria must be met is what has been standardized and this enables ongoing improvement in the monitoring of animal purchases by the meatpackers. There are criteria for TACs not covered by the monitoring protocol, however, they have not been eliminated.
A. The embargo should occur when there is an overlap with the Prodes polygon in the Amazon region equal to or greater than 6.25 hectares, regardless of whether this polygon is entirely in the supply property or is only a fraction of a larger deforestated polygon. The minimum measure considered is 6.25 hectares.
A. The 6.25 hectare benchmark was consolidated by the original Prodes methodology developed by Inpe/the Science, Technology, Innovations and Communication Ministry (Ministério da Ciência, Tecnologia, Inovações e Comunicações - MCTIC) to detect the minimum area identified in the geoprocessing. Currently, there is information on deforestation for polygons with a smaller area that are not measured within the predetermined annual deforestation rate. However, for monitoring purposes, the Public Prosecutor’s Office and the signatory companies agreed to use the benchmark established in the Prodes methodology (see Technical note 1).
A. The difference exists because there are two types of commitments undertaken by the meatpackers. The TAC, which is geared towards reinforcing the law, establishes a block on purchases from farms with illegal deforestation as of August 1, 2008. The G4 Cattle Agreement, on the other hand, includes an addition to the deforestation requirement and encompasses, as a rule for the block, any purchases from farms that have deforested as of October 5, 2009.
A. Yes, there are rules to remove the block under the TAC criteria. The supplier and the farm may become compliant again if the damage that resulted in the block is remedied.
A. The decision-making is carried out by the meatpacker itself and must comply with the defined rules so the block can be removed. The decision to remove the blockbmust be based on accurate evidence and must also be appraised by annual independent audit processes.
A. Yes, a supplier farm may be classified as blocked in the occurrence of the so-called "false positive,"which is when a Prodes polygon is mistakenly generated over an area of rocky outcrop, pasture management, etc. The audits should also check this documentation. The rules adopted in the implementation of the G4 Cattle Agreement have not been changed.
A. For cases of blocks due to deforestation and Preserved Area encroachment, multi-temporal geospatial analysis and the recovery of environmental damage are crucial in the process. Annual proof of damage recovery is also required and usually involves the restoration of deforested native vegetation. For documentation cases (environmental license, CAR and GTA), the presentation of legal documents is enough to remove the block. In the case of inclusion in public lists of slave labor and environmental embargoes, the block removal must be preceded by compliance with and completion of the process and removal of the producer from the official government lists.
A. In order for a supply farm to be considered "qualified to sell to signatories," the producer must sign a commitment with the Public Prosecutor’s Office or with the responsible environmental agency declaring it will not use the area for productive purposes, will remedy the damage caused by the fencing of the area and recover native vegetation, will cover costs inherent in the compliance processes and will carry out the geospatial monitoring for the recovery of the damage.
A. A period of around four months has been granted for the signatory companies to make the necessary adjustments to their systems or to implement new systems. Therefore, the monitoring benchmark will be used exclusively for this protocol starting on July 1, 2020.
A. No, the protocol was developed based on TAC benchmarks, however, it is good management practice that can be adopted by any company. All meatpackers that purchase cattle and are signatories to the TACs with the Public Prosecutor's Office or not can monitor their suppliers. The voluntary adherence to this protocol shows that the meatpacker is committed to good practices and gives transparency to its actions in relation to society.
A. The monitoring can be conducted by the meatpacker itself and the recommendation is for the team to include a geomonitoring expert with broad technical knowledge, who can analyze the protocol criteria and take responsibility for the results generated. The hiring of a geomonitoring company is recommended to increase independence and there are several companies in the market operating in the Amazon region.
A. All environmental laws in effect must be complied with by the meatpackers. However, the monitoring of licenses and the blocking procedure are requested in Pará state because this state has updated and systematized information available. Other states in the region also issue licenses for agricultural operations, however, organized information is not available for monitoring purposes.
A. The productivity index was based on a value that does not compromise productive operations that are able to reach production and slaughter rates above the regional average (Amazon region), as agreed between the Public Prosecutor’s Office and the meatpackers. Studies will be carried out and as soon as they are available and will be used to underpin a new definition for the revision of this index.
A. There are two types of commitments in place: the Terms of Adjustment of Conduct (TACs) signed with the Public Prosecutor’s Office, which establish the conditions that companies must abide by, through out-of-court agreements, so no animals are bought from cattle breeders involved in illegal environmental, land and social activities; and the “Minimum Criteria for operations with cattle and bovine products on an industrial scale in the Amazon biome”, also called the Public Beef Commitment. This is the Zero Deforestation Commitment signed by the three largest beef companies and Greenpeace.
A. TACs are out-of-court measures agreed between the parties and mediated by government representatives (public prosecutors) to protect public interest¹. The “Minimum Criteria for operations with cattle and bovine products on an industrial scale in the Amazon biome”, also called the Public Beef Commitment, is voluntary and puts in place private measures in response to societal demands.
¹Natural rights are trans-individual, indivisible in nature, held by undetermined individuals and linked by factual circumstances." (item I, art. 81 of the Consumer Protection Code)
A. The first commitments put in place in the livestock breeding chain in the Amazon region date back to 2009. From that point on, the “Minimum Criteria for operations with cattle and bovine products on an industrial scale in the Amazon biome”, also called the Public Beef Commitment was signed by the three largest beef companies and encompasses the entire Amazon biome. The TACs began to be executed along with the Public Prosecutor’s Office (MPF for short in Portuguese) during the same period. These agreements were bilateral (company-MPF) and included the scope established by the State. Currently more than 70 companies have commitments in place for their entire area of operation or for a few states in the Amazon region.
A. Monitoring is the first step in a system to implement commitments. This step is followed by a third-party audit assessment process. The audit will verify if animal purchases have met the criteria and also if the meatpacker has a structure for a fully functional control system. The ideal is for audit reports to be made public on a yearly basis.
A. Yes, the criteria that involves public information that is not available or systematized, has not been included or detailed. For example: analysis of official lists of claims related to agricultural land violence, information on land ownership compliance, among others (see Annex IV of the protocol).
A. This year's audit will review the rules currently in effect. From 2021, when all companies start to use the rules of the protocol, the audits, which must be conducted by companies approved by the Public Prosecutor's Office to make the process more legitimate and credible, will assess if the purchases were made in accordance with the monitoring protocol.
A. No, the protocol defines rules only for direct suppliers of meatpackers. The rules for producers, who are in the previous stages of production - before slaughter, will be defined in the next project phase. The protocol will be reviewed annually, with the inclusion of monitoring rules that are currently unenforceable due to several issues.