Beef Companies

WHY IS THIS SO RELEVANT?

The meatpacking plants set up in the Brazilian Amazon are important for the regional economy. In 2018, the region had more than 78 million head of cattle and the pastureland area exceeded 56 million hectares.

THE LONG ROAD OF CATTLE

The slaughterhouses registered with the Federal Inspection System (SIF) can sell meat nationwide and also export it. On average, the slaughter capacity is 708 animals/day. The cattle to be slaughtered is sometimes located more than 360 km away from the slaughterhouse (Barreto et al, 2017)¹. The farms where the animals are raised and fattened before reaching the slaughterhouses are the suppliers of the plants and it is in these areas that the dangers lie (or not): illegal practices such as deforestation, slave labor, land grabbing, etc.

HOW FAR DOES THE RESPONSIBILITY OF BEEF COMPANIES GO?

According to the Brazilian Environmental Crimes Law, all enterprises have joint and several liability in the production chain in which they operate. It is no different for beef companies. This means that they cannot turn a blind eye to illicit acts that are committed by the owners of the farms where they buy their cattle and they need to do their part in controlling the chain. This is obviously not an easy task.

The commitment to eliminate illegal deforestation (Terms of Adjustment of Conduct - TAC - of the Public Prosecutor’s Office) and the commitment to zero deforestation (“Minimum Criteria for operations with cattle and bovine products on an industrial scale in the Amazon biome” - Greenpeace) arose in 2009.

Both apply only to the Amazon biome and both are in force and establish the compliance criteria and controls that slaughterhouses must implement.


References:

1) Barreto, P., Marianno, B., Valdiones, A.P., Barreto, G. 2017. Os Frigoríficos vão ajudar a zerar o desmatamento na Amazônia? Belém, PA: Imazon; Cuiabá: Instituto Centro da Vida.

THREE STEPS FOR BEEF COMPANIES TO UPHOLD THEIR COMMITMENTS

OVERSEE SUPPLIER FARMS

This is the first step. Clear parameters are needed.

AUDIT PERFORMANCE AND PROOF OF DEFORESTATION-FREE PURCHASES

Verified information is essential for buying markets. This is why beef companies need to be audited but which audit process is the most robust and capable of generating trust in those who buy the meat from the companies? The choice of audit entities needs to be more targeted, encompassing the clarity of the criteria to be audited and the definition of a large enough sample of suppliers.

TRANSPARENCY: THE RESULTS OF MONITORING AND AUDITING ARE OF INTEREST TO MARKETS

It is only transparency that makes markets feel secure in business transactions. Keeping track of how beef companies are performing also involves better understanding their limits, advances and how to help them. It is, therefore, a win-win situation.

WHAT DOES BEEF ON TRACK OFFER TO BEEF COMPANIES?

The Beef on Track platform is a one-stop hub that gives beef companies access to systems, tools, data and technical information to help them do their part in creating a deforestation-free beef chain in the Amazon.

SMALL AND MEDIUM-SIZED BEEF COMPANIES IN PARTICULAR WILL FIND HERE:

Monitoring and Auditing Protocols

Reporting templates and other implementation tools

Information to better understand and use the tools

Multimedia to support reading material

Ads for face-to-face and distance learning workshops to increase knowledge and expand applications

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