11 July 2017

Building understanding in the cattle sector in Brazil


Building understanding in the cattle sector in Brazil

The Tropical Forest Alliance 2020 Latin America Working Group’s first webinar, on 26 May, was dedicated to building understanding on the current context and proposing solutions for monitoring and traceability in the cattle sector in Brazil. Fabiola Zerbini, TFA 2020’s Latin America Coordinator, highlighted in her opening speech that the cattle sector is key when addressing zero deforestation issues.

A series of opening remarks provided the context of the issues relating to traceability and monitoring of indirect cattle suppliers, during which Isabella Freire Vitali, Proforest Latin America Co-Director, gave an overview of monitoring systems in the cattle sector. This work, commissioned by WWF Brasil, informed discussions being made by the Working Group on Indirect Cattle Suppliers (GTFI) led by Amigos da Terra and National Wildlife Federation.

According to Isabella, the cattle supply chain presents significant challenges for traceability and transparency efforts because of cattle movements among farms. She added that there are a range of tools that can help meat processors assess cattle suppliers against purchase requirements, including remote socio-environmental monitoring and traceability tools such as the Animal Transit Form (GTA, in Portuguese). Isabella pointed out that the purpose of such tools varies, but can be narrowed down to two main purposes, depending on the actor. The first is to check compliance of the cattle suppliers through control and blocking processes, while the second is to provide cattle suppliers access to assistance and rewards.

As part of the effort to build understanding and support discussions on the topic, Proforest has also published a briefing note on socio-environmental monitoring tools in Brazil. The latest of a series of briefing notes on responsible production and sourcing of commodities, this draws upon Proforest’s two decades of experience to shed some light on the complexity of the cattle supply chain and detail the existing range of tools. The briefing note also suggests how the GTA could increase the transparency and the scope of existing monitoring tools.

To read our briefing note on socio-environmental monitoring tools in the cattle sector, visit our publications page.