The origin, supply chain, and deforestation footprint of Brazil's beef exports.

Abstract

Though the international trade in agricultural commodities is worth more than $1.6 trillion/year (1), we still have a poor understanding of the supply chains connecting places of production and consumption and the socio-economic and environmental impacts of this trade (2). In this study, we provide the first wall-to-wall subnational map of the origin and supply chain of Brazilian meat, offal, and live cattle exports from 2015 to 2017, a trade worth more than $5.4 billion/year. Brazil is the world's largest beef exporter, exporting approximately one-fifth of its production, and the sector has a notable environmental footprint, linked to one-fifth of all commodity-driven deforestation across the tropics (3). By combining official per-shipment trade records, slaughterhouse export licenses, subnational agricultural statistics, and data on the origin of cattle per slaughterhouse, we mapped the flow of cattle from more than 2,800 municipalities where cattle were raised to 152 exporting slaughterhouses where they were slaughtered, via the 204 exporting and 3,383 importing companies handling that trade, and finally to 152 importing countries. We find stark differences in the subnational origin of the sourcing of different actors and link this supply chain mapping to spatially explicit data on cattle-associated deforestation, to estimate the 'deforestation risk' (in hectares/year) of each supply chain actor over time. Our results provide an unprecedented insight into the global trade of a deforestation-risk commodity.

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Preprints for Agriculture and Allied Sciences
Advisory Board
  • Leisa Armstrong, Edith Cowan University, Australia
  • Arianna Becerril García, Autonomous University of the State of Mexico, Redalyc/AmeliCA, Mexico
  • Susmita Das, Bangladesh Agricultural Research Council
  • Abeer Elhalwagi, National Gene Bank, Egypt
  • Gopinath KA, Central Research Institute for Dryland Agriculture
  • Niklaus Grünwald, USDA Agricultural Research Service
  • Sridhar Gutam, ICAR IIHR/Open Access India
  • Vinodh Ilangovan, Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry
  • Jayalakshmi M, ANGRAU, India
  • Khelif Karima, Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique d'Algérie
  • Dinesh Kumar, Indian Agricultural Statistics Research Institute
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  • Satendra Kumar Singh, Indian Council of Agricultural Research
  • Devika P. Madalli, DRTC/Indian Statistical Institute, India
  • Prateek Mahalwar, Cellulosic Technologies UG, Germany
  • Bernard Pochet, University of Liège - Gembloux Agro-Bio Tech
  • Vassilis Protonotarios, NEUROPUBLIC
  • Andy Robinson, CABI
  • Paraj Shukla, King Saud University
  • Chandni Singh, Indian Institute for Human Settlements
  • Kuldeep Singh Jadon, ICAR-Central Arid Zone Research Institute, India
  • Rajeev K Varshney, CGIAR/ICRISAT, India
  • Sumant Vyas, ICAR- National Research Centre on Camel, India
  • Oya Yildirim Rieger, Ithaka S+R/ITHAKA, USA
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