Carbon footprint of Brazilian beef
FGVces launched the project “Carbon Footprint of Brazilian beef”, proposing to articulate the players and the knowledge necessary so that Brazil can know with confidence and credibility know the real impacts generated by the meat produced in the country, evaluating its entire life cycle, and relating this environmental factor to the product’s competitiveness in the international scenario, with focus on exports to the European Union.
Twenty-three beef cattle farms and 9 slaughterhouses of the three largest Brazilian companies in the sector — JBS SA, Marfrig Global Foods and Minerva Foods — were analyzed.
The project has been conducted and executed in the context of the Applied Research Fund of Fundação Getulio Vargas (FPA-FGV), the main financier, and has the technical and institutional support of relevant partners, both below.
The main goals of the project are:
- Apply the LCA technique in a pilot case, quantifying the carbon footprint of Brazilian beef; and
- Increase awareness and engagement with life cycle thinking and the role of each player in the beef production chain; and
- Discuss the competitiveness of the national product based on the environmental attributes evidenced in the carbon footprint, focusing on the European market; and
- Disseminate the results of the study to support decision-making aimed at reducing GHG emissions in the Brazilian beef production chain and improving the product's competitiveness.
Since the beginning of the project, in May 2017, several activities have been carried out, including applied research, data and information collection, engagement and training, meetings with stakeholders, technical meetings and dissemination of the project at relevant events.
The main activities carried out were:
- Kick-off of the project and 1st Meeting with stakeholders - August/2017
- Technical webinar on carbon footprint - February/2018
- 2nd Meeting with stakeholders - September/2018
- 3rd Meeting with stakeholders - February/2019
- Critical review of the carbon footprint study - October/2019
- Reports launch - November/2019
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FGVces launches the results of the Carbon Footprint of Brazilian beef Project
On November 26, 2019, the Results of the Carbon Footprint of Brazilian Beef Project were launched at FGV in São Paulo. The event brought together around 70 people, including researchers, technical and institutional partners of the Project, as well as companies and associations in the livestock sector.
The main objective of the Project was to quantify the carbon footprint of beef produced in Brazil and exported to the European Union, using the Life Cycle Assessment technique. According to Beatriz Kiss, Project coordinator, environmental labeling trends, associated with the demand of increasingly concerned consumers and the context of global commitments to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, generate pressure on suppliers of products, which will need to meet new requirements. In this sense, quantifying the carbon footprint of meat and other products relevant to the national GDP becomes a priority in the export scenario.
Publications and Reports
Carbon footprint of Brazilian beef exported to the European Union: Executive Summary
This document summarizes the results of the Carbon footprint of Brazilian beef project, which includes data on the carbon footprint of beef cattle exported to the EU, reflections on export issues, recommendations for the sector and technical, methodological and practical learning. The product systems analyzed in the project were: (A) fresh meat produced in Brazil (general); (B) fresh meat produced in Brazil and exported to the European market; (C) fresh meat produced in Brazil and exported to the European market via Hilton Quota; and (D) fresh meat produced in Brazil with good environmental practices in a structured program.
Carbon footprint of Brazilian beef exported to the European Union: results and assumptions for calculating product life cycle emissions
This report is an integral part of the Carbon footprint of Brazilian beef project. Its main objective is to provide technical support to support the discussions and analyzes of the project, presented in its final report entitled “Carbon footprint of Brazilian beef exported to the European Union: executive summary”.
Carbon footprint of Brazilian beef exported to the European Union: analysis of the production chain and environmental aspects
This document addresses the analysis of the livestock chain in Brazil, its context, potentialities and challenges related to competitiveness and environmental aspects. The content of this document served to provide subsidies to other activities involving the Carbon footprint of Brazilian beef project, in particular the definition of the scope of the carbon footprint beef cattle studies. At the same time, the data gathered here will serve other players, who act directly or indirectly in this segment, since it gathers information and views from the three pillars of the project, which are rarely analyzed in a combined way.
Sustainability Study Center of Fundação Getulio Vargas (FGVces)
Applied Research Fund of Fundação Getulio Vargas (FPA-FGV)
Marfrig Global Foods
Grupo de Trabalho da Pecuária Sustentável (GTPS)
Rede Empresarial Brasileira de Avaliação de Ciclo de Vida (Rede ACV)