Guidelines to help farmers create environmental safeguards aligned with market commitments.
Thousands of medium- and small-scale ranchers are based in the Amazon region. According to the Brazilian Geography and Statistics Institute, the Amazon region is home to approximately 320 thousand cattle ranching farms. Cattle ranchers are usually perceived as the bad guys, who slash and burn forests to turn them into land for pastures.
Are they to blame for all the deforestation and forest degradation that takes place in the area? Certainly not. There are many factors that can lead medium- and small cattle ranchers to deforest: ranging from market opportunities to the need to feed their families in very hostile environments. Should we allow these practices to go on? No.
They are in fact the most important part of the solution. What we need to do is provide them with the support they need to comply with their buyers’ commitments. We also need to fight illegal practices, such as land grabbing and land speculation, and put in place new economic models that favor both the rancher and the forest.