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Audit attests to Marfrig’s commitment to environmental preservation

By complying with the guidelines undertaken with Greenpeace, the Company’s Beef Division continues to play a lead role in preserving the Amazon Biome

São Paulo, september, 2016 - Marfrig Global Foods, a leading global producer of animal protein products through its Beef Division and the world’s third-largest beef producer, has published a report attesting to the good sustainability practices adopted in its sourcing of cattle raised in the Amazon Biome. The document, which was audited by the independent consulting firm DNV-GL, was drafted based on the criteria established in the public commitment signed, in 2009, by the company and Greenpeace to combat deforestation in the Amazon Rainforest, violence against indigenous peoples and the use of labor analogous to slavery in agricultural operations.

Conducted on June 7-16, the audit attests that, for the third straight year, Marfrig did not conduct any cattle sourcing transactions in 2015 that violated the public commitment “Minimum criteria for industrial-scale cattle operations and beef products in the Amazon biome” undertaken by Brazil’s largest beef producers and Greenpeace. The report makes Marfrig a global reference in sustainability in the animal protein industry. “Over the years, we have realized just how critical sustainability is to Marfrig’s strategy, since our business is closely related to issues such as land use and the consumption of natural resources,” said Andrew Murchie, CEO of Marfrig Beef Brazil.

One of the aspects highlighted by the report attesting to this long-term commitment to preserving the Amazon was the satellite mapping conducted of the property boundaries for 100% of Marfrig’s direct suppliers. “We were the first company in Brazil’s animal protein industry to use satellite technology to ban cattle purchases from properties that are causing deforestation in the Amazon biome,” said Mathias Almeida, sustainability manager at Marfrig Beef. “This, coupled with the adoption of procedures, technologies and training programs aligned with the best cattle production practices in the Amazon Region, gives us complete peace of mind that we operate in conformity with the criteria established by the most stringent clients and organizations, such as Greenpeace.”

The audit verified through sampling that all of Marfrig’s cattle purchases were subjected to a process to verify if the property of origin did not appear on the lists of slave labor created by the Ministry of Labor, is not located in areas banned by Brazil’s environmental agency IBAMA or does not conform with the geospatial monitoring criteria. Marfrig’s procurement systems automatically block any attempt to acquire cattle from banned farms to ensure the origin of the cattle.

The independent audit was conducted in three phases. The sampling was based on a verification of documents, information compiled from interviews and on-site inspections of the physical infrastructure. In the first phase, Marfrig Beef was subjected to an evaluation of its cattle sourcing and supplier blocking system, during which the DNV-GL team conducted tests to verify the effective blocking of suppliers that failed to comply with the minimum operational criteria.

Meanwhile, the second phase conducted geospatial analyses to verify procedures and a simulation of the monitoring of properties supplying Marfrig with cattle. In the third and final phase, the audit analyzed the lists published by the Ministry of Labor and IBAMA to identify if Marfrig’s system is capable of preventively blocking farms or owners involved in labor analogous to slavery or whose properties are located on indigenous reserves, banned areas or conservation units or registered new areas of deforestation based on the geospatial monitoring.

“The Beef Division has been working closely with suppliers to help them obtain their environmental registrations and be included in the National Rural Registration System by providing information to cattle producers during on-site visits to farms by field technicians, lectures and marketing campaigns on the topic, which are conducted through the Marfrig Club Program,” said Mathias.

Click here to view the full report.