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

OSF Preprints
Erasmus K.H.J. Zu ErmgassenPatrick Meyfroidt

Abstract

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 20 17, 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 2,900 municipalities where cattle were raised to 152 exporting slaughterhouses where they were slaughtered, via the 202 exporting and 2,630 importing companies handling that trade, and finally to 151 importing countries. We find stark differences in the subnational origin of the sourcing of different acto...Continue Reading

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