The Marfrig Group, along with the Nature Conservancy and Walmart Brazil, has created a production unit with a capacity to process 1,000 head of cattle per day at its facilities near Pará state, Brazil’s north region.
According to the collaboration, the objective is to ensure the conservation of these regions’ forests, soil and rivers. Additionally, the facilities will expand the supply of beef, with assured origin through a tracking system.
Marfrig Beef CEO James Cruden said: "This engagement with Walmart Brazil and TNC is fundamental for encouraging more and more rural producers to adopt sustainable practices on their ranches and comply with the responsible management standards that are implemented throughout our entire production platform in Brazil, which is unprecedented in the industry."
The project furthers Walmart Brazil’s global sustainability objective for 2015 of having all beef sourced from the Amazon Region coming from compliant ranchers.
Director of the Amazon Program at the Nature Conservancy Ian Thompson said: "TNC has been working in this region for four years and on various fronts. We expect to build a production model that reconciles the biome’s conservation and that can be replicated in other areas of the Amazon to generate results on a large scale."
Meanwhile, a study published on 4 April by the Centre for International Climate and Environmental Research, Oslo (Cicero) claimed rising foreign demand for beef and soybeans is damaging the Amazon.
The study further claimed that 30% of deforestation in Brazil in the decade to 2010 was due to consumer demands, compared with 20% in the 1990s.
On suggesting how to improve these increasing numbers, Cicero explained that there should be better labelling or information about imports to guide consumers in the right direction.