Brazil leads the world in exports of beef and veal as well as poultry. It is also a leading global supplier of soybeans, an integral component of farmed animal feed. Brazil’s expanding livestock sector is intimately linked with global markets for agricultural commodities’be they beef, poultry, pork, soybeans, or leather. Brazil now accounts for 37 percent of global meat exports.
Brazil is the world’s most biologically diverse nation. But its rapid economic expansion, specifically in the agricultural sector, has resulted in Brazil also being the world’s fourth-largest emitter of climate-warming greenhouse gases (GHGs), principally due to the burning of its forests.
Cattle, Soyanization, and Climate Change: Brazil’s Agricultural Revolution (PDF) explores whether Brazil can protect its forests, grasslands, and immense biodiversity and meet its own, and the world’s, climate-change goals, even as it as it produces, consumes, and exports more meat products, milk, eggs, and soybeans. It also asks how Brazil will address the economic and social inequality reaffirmed by the industrialization of its agricultural sector, specifically for mass production of meat and soybeans for animal feed.