27/08/20 |   Animal production  Technology Transfer  ICLFS  Low Carbon Agriculture

Marfrig launches carbon neutral beef line with Embrapa

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Photo: Robinson Cipriano

Robinson Cipriano - Products with the Viva brand are already being sold in supermarkets in São Paulo.

Products with the Viva brand are already being sold in supermarkets in São Paulo.

Marfrig and the Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation (Embrapa) announced  today (27) the launch of the Viva brand, a new meat line with sustainability attributes. Developed by Embrapa, carbon neutral beef (CNB) is a certification for cattle farmed in integrated silvopastoral (livestock-forestry) or agrosilvopastoral (crop-livestock-forestry, ICLF) systems.  

In order to develop Viva - which gives its name to different cuts of beef for the grill and day by day - Marfrig invested around 10 million reais. The funds were allocated to research, property certification, brand building, elaboration of cutting standards, publicity, royalties, and others. The line will be sold, starting this month, exclusively in 10 selected Pão de Açúcar supermarket stores in the city of São Paulo, to be later expanded nationwide. 

Viva line products come from animals from a livestock-forestry production system, which neutralizes methane emissions according to a protocol developed by Embrapa. Such mitigation is ensured through certification and verification by independent auditors. In addition, the protocol not only guarantees differentiated high-quality products, but also that all the precepts of animal welfare are met within the production system.

Sustainable production 

“By encouraging sustainable production, we create value for the company and the business chain. Moreover, the development of carbon neutral beef in partnership with one of the most respected agribusiness research and innovation centers in the world - Embrapa, reaffirms our commitment to four of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in the UN 2030 Agenda", states Miguel Gularte, CEO of Marfrig. The four SDGs are: climate action, life on land, responsible consumption and production, and partnerships for the goals.

For Embrapa, the production of carbon neutral beef strengthens the domestic market and future beef exports to demanding countries, differentiating the Brazilian product in terms of sustainability. “It is a project with the participation of 12 Embrapa research centers, involving a network of over 150 researchers as well as several other institutions. The agricultural sector will drive the Brazilian recovery, and it will need partnerships like this, combining efforts from the public and private sectors,” emphasized Celso Moretti, the president of Embrapa.

"The partnership with Marfrig places our meat at a new level of perception of value in the national and international markets, and meets the growing demand for sustainable production practices and for action to ensure animal welfare and focus on integration systems, which contribute to both mitigation and the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions,” states Embrapa's executive director of Innovation and Technology, Adriana Regina Martin.

Pão de Açúcar's director of Sustainability Susy Yoshimura states that it is important to strengthen not only conscious consumption but also the curation of more sustainable products, with incentives in the value chain for innovation in production processes with less socio-environmental impact. "It is a privilege, in partnership with Marfrig, to exclusively offer the launch of the Viva line in our portfolio and to expand carbon neutral options to our customers who are looking for quality products with sustainable attributes," she asserts.

From a farmer's standpoint, the advantages of integrated livestock-forest systems are evident not only in terms of gains for the environment, but also for animal comfort and productivity. “The CNB certification has crowned our dedication to an integration project that we started in 2009,” says Arthur Pollis, president of Santa Vergínia Agro, the first rural property in Brazil to be certified with the CNB seal and a Marfrig supplier, located in Mato Grosso do Sul state. 

About the Carbon Neutral Beef seal

The main purpose of the concept brand CNB developed by Embrapa is to attest to beef cattle production in systems with the mandatory introduction of trees as a differential. In these conditions, the presence of the tree component in integrated silvopastoral (livestock-forestry, ILF) or agrosilvopastoral (crop-livestock-forestry, ICLF) systems neutralizes enteric methane (released by animals), one of the main gases responsible for the greenhouse effect that causes global warming.

The concept can boost exports, especially to the European market, which is very demanding. The perspective is to improve the visibility of Brazilian beef and promote a greater adoption of ICLF and ILF systems in Brazil. A study conducted by Embrapa Beef Cattle (Campo Grande, MS) shows that about 200 trees per hectare would be enough to neutralize the methane emitted by 11 adult cattle per hectare per year, considering the Brazil's average stocking rate of 1.2 animals per hectare.

About Marfrig

Marfrig Beef is one of the world's leading beef companies, with net income of 41.4 billion Brazilian reais in 2019; daily slaughter capacity of 31,800 head in facilities in the South and North Americas; and the capacity to annually produce 232,000 tonnes of hamburgers. It employs over 30,000 collaborators distributed in 32 locations. Marfrig processes and trades fresh beef, processed products, beef-based ready meals, beef byproducts and leather for the domestic and international markets. Well-known for the quality of their products and sustainable operations, Marfrig has pioneering projects in environmental and natural resource conservation.

About Pão de Açúcar

With stores found in 13 Brazilian states, the Pão de Açúcar supermarket chain offers innovative and efficient solutions to make consumer purchases easier, more practical and more enjoyable. Focused on the premium segment of food retail, the chain is part of GPA, one of the largest companies in the domestic retail industry. Pão de Açúcar is a pioneer in sustainable initiatives in the Brazilian supermarket segment and the first to launch a loyalty program, Pão de Açúcar Mais, which today has over 7 million members. The brand is present in supermarkets (185 stores), markets (Minuto Pão de Açúcar, with 84 branches), e-commerce (www.paodeacucar.com) and through a free app available on the App Store and Google Play.

Robinson Cipriano (MTb 1727/88-DF)
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