SAO PAULO, June 21 (Reuters) - Brazil, home to the world's
largest commercial cattle herd, will propose a new law to track
cattle suppliers that sell animals to meat producers like JBS
and Marfrig, as ranching is a key driver
In an online event on Monday, Agriculture Minister Tereza
Cristina Dias told a group of journalists that the current
system is ineffective to track a myriad of suppliers in the
world's largest beef exporter.
"We need a system which is effective and brings the security
that the consumer needs," Dias said.
The minister was referring specifically to Brazil's indirect
cattle suppliers, an industry of farmers who pass animals to
other farms while they are still growing and before they are
sent to the slaughterhouse.
Because often there is no information on the properties
where the animals have passed through, Brazil cannot ensure that
all laws were followed.
JBS, the world's largest meat company, did not have a
comment on the government's initiative. But it had previously
said it is using blockchain technology to control the origin of
cattle, vowing to eliminate deforestation on its supply chain by
Its rival Marfrig, which also operates in the United States
and Argentina, welcomed the move.
"Marfrig supports passage of a new law to track indirect
cattle suppliers in Brazil and is available to collaborate on
the project," it said in a statement.
The company, which pledged to end deforestation by 2030 on
its supply chain, said this is key to mitigate social,
environmental and governance risks associated with the meat
Brazil's current system to monitor the so-called indirect
cattle suppliers was created in 2009, she said. But it was
designed only to monitor suppliers that sell animals to
companies that export beef to the European Union, according to
She said currently 2,000 properties are monitored while
Brazil has 5 million rural properties.
Dias said she would present the proposal soon but did not
provide a timeline or details of the new law to track ranchers
in Brazil, home to more than 207 million head of cattle.
(Reporting by Ana Mano; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)