Cattle ranching in Brazil makes up around 24% of annual tropical deforestation, and 10% of global carbon emissions. To address this, new export regulations enforced by the EUDR  will ensure that producers prove their exports didn’t come from deforested land. We asked a Brazilian producer and service provider whether this legislation will effect producer unfairly, and how to overcome barriers to full value chain traceability.

Joel Risso, Director of New Business at Serasa Experian, a leading service provider in Latin America. He shares how they are helping rural farmers to ease the transition to more sustainable practices, including implementing traceability technologies. 

Joel Risso, Serasa Experian

“Knowing the ESG status of rural properties is strategic for beef production, allowing compliance and economic risks to be anticipated. Satellite images and geo-technologies provide objective, real-time data on producers and territories. This facilitates the adoption of management strategies aligned with the best development practices and socio-environmental sustainability, adhering to importers’ strict socio-environmental compliance rules.

An example of how Serasa Experian’s traceability solutions help the market from an ESG perspective is the Marfrig Verde+ case, which uses our remote monitoring solutions. Until May 2023:

    • 38 thousand livestock farmers were identified
    • 100% of direct suppliers were mapped
    • 72% of indirect suppliers were mapped in the Amazon biome
    • 71% of indirect suppliers were mapped in the Cerrado
    • 4.3 million tons less greenhouse gas emissions
    • 11 thousand hectares of pasture areas were recovered

These initiatives not only promote the success of Brazilian exports, but also maintain good international relations and preserve the reputation of our producers.”

Teresa Vendramini, a third generation cattle farmer and the Former President of the Sociedade Rural Brasileira, shares a first-hand account of the major challenges faced by cattle farmers in Pará in light of recent traceability targets, and whether this legislation unfairly effects South American producers.

Teresa Vendramini, Sociedade Rural Brasileira

“I’ve just arrived in Pará, the country’s leading producer of açaí, pineapple, cocoa, palm oil and cassava. In the midst of so many natural riches, I’ve encountered many challenges. The 30th UN Conference on Climate Change (COP 30) in 2025 increased the pressure on an issue that has been dragging on for years: the mandatory individual traceability of cattle.

Despite the second largest herd in the country, Pará has the third worst Human Development Index (HDI) in Brazil. A gigantic contrast. According to data collected by environmental consultancy Niceplanet, there are more than 314,000 CARs (Rural Environmental Registry) registered in the state, 90% of which are up to 300 hectares, 35% are in settlements and 52% of the registrations with deforestation restrictions are within settlement projects. These figures show that small farmers will be most penalized by the compulsory National Traceability Program. And they are responsible for most of the calves that are reared and fattened.

In a country where environmental irregularities are rife and land-title regularization is at a standstill, it is essential that these items come before traceability, giving producers the opportunity to regularize their livestock.

Cattle farmers in Pará are aware that traceability is the future and a trend with no turning back, but it takes time, support and, above all, rural extension. There also needs to be a benefits plan to encourage and fund the necessary adaptations. Take the example of the “Boi China” – despite the current unremunerative prices, it has been a major driver of the national herd’s production rates.

Examples of voluntary traceability exist, including in Pará. The state government has created the “Program for Integrity and Development of the Cattle Production Chain in Pará”, which will apply identification earrings to the animals in order to trace them individually. There is also the Sustainable Calf Program, launched by IDH and FAEPA (Federation of Agriculture and Livestock of Pará) and the Individual Traceability and Indirect Monitoring Program (PRIMI), a pioneering initiative by Frigorífico Rio Maria. Lastly, JBS, which has a transparent livestock platform with social and environmental criteria including deforestation, invasion of indigenous or Quilombola land and work analogous to slavery.

We are now awaiting the Federal Government’s proposal, which intends – according to recent news – to implement traceability this year with the prospect of tracing 30% to 50% of the national herd by 2026. However, I reaffirm my position that more time is needed for cattle farmers to organize themselves and, above all, to abolish the idea of compulsory traceability. This is the only way to move forward.”

Should there be more infrastructure in place to support smallholder farmers in South America to meet traceability targets? Farmer-to-consumer traceability is a key focus of this year’s World Agri-Tech South America Summit, with constructive debate encouraged from both perspectives. Book your place to connect with Joel & Teresa on-site and be part of the conversation.