The Company is always alert to factors that may be triggered by climate change and likely to affect biodiversity. Deforestation and burning may cause increased greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and are commonly related to livestock activities, mainly due to territorial expansion. 304-2
The supply chain is a fundamental pillar in the relationship of the Company with organized civil society, as it ensures safety, transparency and quality of information in relation to the criteria for the purchase of cattle. The adoption of Sustainable Livestock practices allows for the continuous improvement regarding social and environmental responsibility through performance indicators and programs that certify the safety and traceability of products. With a high level of monitoring of its supply chain free of deforestation, Minerva Foods, with its subsidiary Athena Foods, is the company that most contributes to the fight against climate change, in the meat packing sector, through the mitigation of GHG emissions resulting from land use change.
Through a third-party geospatial monitoring platform (SMGeo), the criteria for illegal deforestation, overlapping indigenous lands and environmental preservation areas are verified for livestock acquisitions by Athena Foods located in the Paraguayan Chaco biome.
Since there is a lack of systems as of yet or public databases with information regarding property perimeters in Paraguay that would enable territorial analysis of livestock suppliers, a mapping procedure has been adopted using geographical coordinates obtained via GPS records taken at the property’s headquarters or gateway or from information registered at the Servicio Nacional de Calidad y Salud Animal (SENACSA).
With the coordinates informed on the SMGeo platform, the analysis is automatic, having the coordinate as reference to generate a buffer of 2 kilometers of radius, allowing to evaluate overlaps in the region.
Afterwards, the properties are classified as “ cleared without any overlaps” if they meet the social and environmental criteria established by the Company, or “ blocked with overlaps” if any non-compliance is detected. Currently, over 50% of Athena Foods’ supply chain in the Paraguayan Chaco, amounting to an area of over 699,000 hectares, is undergoing geospatial monitoring in a little over a year of the implementation of the project.
In 2019, the first independent audit of the monitoring system for cattle purchases in Paraguay was performed for the period of September 2018 to November 2019, in which the Company showed 100% compliance with the social and environmental criteria adopted.
The progressive evolution of the project can be observed from the results collected, whether through the development of country-specific systems for the national context of Paraguay, the use of geographic technology for a better understanding of the territorial occupation of the country, or the sharing of experiences among the stakeholders involved.
For the remaining countries that make up Athena Foods, the Corporate Sustainability team plans to map and implement geospatial monitoring in accordance with local legislation, making available public and official information to define the social and environmental criteria to be established for each country.