Brazil increases beef production and exports while shrinking its pastureland

According to an Association of Brazilian Beef Exporters (ABIEC) report, Brazil"s beef exports grew by 958% over the past 15 years. The country exported US$ 6.7 billion of beef in 2013, aiding its agribusiness sector to account for 22% of the GDP. Livestock exports made up 30% of the total.

The livestock industry in Brazil has grown sustainably and is one of highest contributing sectors to the national trade balance. Thanks to productivity gains over the period 1990-2014 - from 1.6 to 4.0 @/ha/year, the total area occupied by pasture was reduced from 188.3 million to 167 million hectares, despite the increase in beef production and exports.

Today, 19.2% of Brazil"s national territory is occupied by productive pastures.


Since 2007, the industry has used a monitoring system to ensure cattle for slaughter does not originate from suppliers registered as associated with slave labour by the Ministry of Labour and Employment or protected areas. These include reserves and indigenous lands, as well as areas in which illegal logging takes place.

There are also initiatives from within the livestock sector, such as the Brazilian Roundtable on Sustainable Livestock (GTPS). This group was founded in 2009 to promote good livestock production practices and comprises representatives from various sectors within Brazil"s cattle farming value chain, including the entire production chain, financial institutions and NGOs.

Also of note is the Green Municipalities Program, which supports cities in Pará, a state in the Amazon region, to achieve common goals, such as reducing deforestation and registering rural properties in the Environmental Rural Register (CAR). The ABC Plan is another, and promotes actions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions using techniques like degraded pasture recovery and pasture-forest integration.

Livestock and the trade balance

Brazil"s livestock sector is one of the highest contributors to the national trade balance. The country"s beef exports set back-to-back records in 2013 and 2014, bringing in US$ 6.7 billion and US$ 7.2 billion, respectively.

In 2013, the livestock production chain generated more than R$ 380 billion, representing a 10.5% increase from 2010.

In 2014, beef production reached 10.07 million tons, having grown by 18.2% over a decade. Of that total, 20.77% was destined for exports, of which 80% was in natura, 12% processed and 8% was offal. The main destinations were Russia (26% - beef in natura), Hong Kong (21% in natura), the EU (48% processed beef) and the US (21% - processed).

Brazil at Anuga 2015

Some of Brazil"s finest export products will be on show at Anuga this year, held between the 10th and 14th of October, in Cologne, Germany.

Supported by Apex-Brasil, 83 Brazilian companies are participating in the fair. They comprise 33 from the meat sector (beef, chicken and pork), 42 are fine foods companies (specialty coffees, honey, cheese rolls, biscuits, chocolates, grains, cereals, vacuum-packed ready meals, chillies, cashew nuts and almonds, among others), 5 are beverage makers with products ranging from cachaça (the spirits used in caipirinha), through award-winning sparkling wines, to citric and organic juices, and 3 companies focus on dairy products.

The Association of Brazilian Beef Exporters (ABIEC) in partnership with Apex-Brasil will also have a stand at Anuga. Spread over 7,200 square feet and featuring 14 exporters, daily barbecues will offer visitors a taste of Brazilian beef, which is currently exported to more than 120 countries.


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