Argentina’s Green Beef Revolution: EU-Bound Cattle Trade Goes Deforestation-Free

"Argentina Implements Certification System for Deforestation-Free Beef Exports to EU Markets"

Argentina has implemented a certification system in anticipation of European Union (EU) regulations mandating that beef imports must originate from deforestation-free sources. Commencing on December 30, 2024, Argentine shipments destined for EU markets must derive from livestock establishments that have not contributed to deforestation, in alignment with EU Regulation 2023/1115. The Argentine Beef Promotion Institute (IPCVA) expressed its optimism that this regulation will not disrupt normal trade flows to the EU market and will not pose a barrier to access following its full implementation on January 1, 2025.

The IPCVA conducted a presentation at the residence of the Argentine Embassy to the EU in Brussels on Monday, June 3, introducing the VISEC (Sectoral Vision Gran Chaco) platform. In terms of cattle, Argentina successfully executed the initial pilot test of the system by exporting beef to Germany on May 15, 2024, as well as conducting pilot tests with soy, another key Argentinean export product subject to the new legislation. During the pilot test, certified ‘deforestation-free’ Argentine beef that arrived in Europe was sampled at the event in Brussels, as confirmed by the IPCVA.

The IPCVA emphasized that Argentina stands out as one of the first beef-exporting nations to conduct a risk analysis, ensuring the traceability and certification of one of its primary export commodities. According to the IPCVA, the VISEC system guarantees traceability from the origin of bovine livestock, encompassing breeding and fattening stages, through the entire commercialization process, up to processing and export to the EU. This process ensures that the sources are free from deforestation and adhere to pertinent local and international regulations. Certificates are granted to verify the sustainable origin of the meat and leather, incorporating georeferenced technology for enhanced precision and reliability, as per the IPCVA.

For each beef shipment to the EU, a deforestation-free product certificate (CLD) will be issued to validate that the biomass meets the stipulations outlined in European regulations, supported by a meticulous documentation and validation system utilizing Blockchain technology. Jorge Grimberg, president of the IPCVA, highlighted that “through the new VISEC Meat system and its inherent production characteristics, Argentina cements its position as one of the leading nations in sustainable production.” Meanwhile, Mario Ravetino, vice president of the IPCVA, underscored that “compliance with this EU regulation is imperative to sustain and expand the market that demands premium cuts of higher value.”

Deforestation remains a pressing issue in Argentina, with Greenpeace reporting that clearing and deforestation are rapidly encroaching on the native forests of northern Argentina, as outlined in a recent report from Greenpeace Argentina based on satellite monitoring imagery. In 2023, Greenpeace revealed that 126,149 hectares of native forests were lost in the northern region of the country, marking a 6.2% increase compared to 2022. The report further indicated that 100% of clearings in Chaco and 80% in Santiago del Estero were deemed illegal, both regions situated in the northern part of the country. Greenpeace emphasized that “the primary driver behind the loss of native forests in Argentina is the expansion of the agricultural industry, primarily for intensive livestock farming and genetically modified soybeans, predominantly exported to Asia and Europe.”

Matt Lyons

Matt Lyons

Matt Lyons is the founder of Forestry & Carbon. Matt has over 25 years as a forestry consultant and is invoilved in numerous carbon credit offset projects.

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