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Marfrig: halting deforestation ‘critical’

Oscar Rousseau

By Oscar Rousseau+

29-Sep-2016
Last updated on 29-Sep-2016 at 16:11 GMT2016-09-29T16:11:23Z

Marfrig uses advanced technology to map cattle ranches and halt land expansion
Marfrig uses advanced technology to map cattle ranches and halt land expansion

Meatpacker Marfrig said halting deforestation and fighting slave-like labour conditions was “critical” to its strategy in Brazil as an independent audit praised the company.

For the third year in a row, Brazil’s Marfrig has shown it is complying with Greenpeace sustainability guidelines to fight deforestation, violence against Amazonians and modern-day slavery conditions in South America’s agriculture space.

An audit drafted by Marfrig, moderated by independent consultancy DNV-GL, found Marfrig’s compliance with Greenpeace standards shows it is leading the way on sustainability in South America.

Over the years, we have realised just how critical sustainability is to Marfrig’s strategy, since our business is closely related to issues such as land use and the consumption of natural resources,” said Andrew Murchie, CEO of Marfrig’s beef operation.

Protecting the Amazon biome

The report praised Marfrig’s use of satellite mapping to monitor areas at risk of deforestation, a technology the business used to map ranches and stop more land from being bought.

We were the first company in Brazil’s animal protein industry to use satellite technology to ban cattle purchases from properties that are causing deforestation in the Amazon biome,” said Mathias Almeida, sustainability manager at Marfrig Beef .

This, coupled with the adoption of procedures, technologies and training programs aligned with the best cattle production practices in the Amazon region, gives us complete peace of mind that we operate in conformity with the criteria established by the most stringent clients and organisations, such as Greenpeace.

The report also found no evidence that the farms supplying live cows to Marfrig were listed by Brazil’s government as having links to slave labour. It also found that cattle were not sourced from land where livestock rearing was outlawed by Brazil’s environmental agency IBAMA.

“[Marfrig’s] beef division has been working closely with suppliers to help them obtain their environmental registrations and be included in the National Rural Registration System by providing information to cattle producers during on-site visits to farms by field technicians, lectures and marketing campaigns on the topic, which are conducted through the Marfrig Club Program,” added Almeida.

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