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Private sustainable standards in beef supply chain in Brazilian Amazon and Cerrado (savanna) regions

Grant number: 11/18964-0
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Post-Doctoral
Effective date (Start): December 01, 2011
Effective date (End): May 31, 2013
Field of knowledge:Applied Social Sciences - Economics - Agrarian and Natural Resource Economics
Principal Investigator:Ricardo Abramovay
Grantee:Isabel Garcia Drigo
Host Institution: Faculdade de Economia, Administração e Contabilidade (FEA). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil


On the second national inventory of greenhouse gas emissions, the Ministry of Science and Technology records that changes in land use and forestry remained the largest source of carbon dioxide emissions, accounting for 77% of total emissions (1,258,626 Gg CO2) (MCT, 2010). The changes in the Amazon biome (deforestation for agricultural crops or pastures) contributed with 51.5% of carbon dioxide emissions (842,967 Gg CO2). On the other hand, the cattle ranching continue to develop. The agricultural census of IBGE (2006) reports a pasture area between 50 and 60 million hectares in the Amazon. The cattle herd in Brazil reaches 205 million heads of cattle. In a context of climate change and the trend of resumption of deforestation in certain regions of the Amazon rainforest and Cerrado, the debate on the adoption of good practices in cattle ranching activity emerges with force. What rules and control systems (verification or certification) will succeed it will be the result of a social construction process. The examination of these new regulations as an expression of interests and of the power of different actors is one of the most fertile research area. The research proposal is guided by two theoretical and methodological approaches. One of these is the perspective of political-cultural framework of the markets, developed under the New Economic Sociology. Complementarily, the research gather elements of reflection brought from New Institutional Theory. The study seeks to understand what the motivations of firms in beef production chain, located in certain regions of the Brazilian Amazon and the Cerrado, to engage in building standards and seek certification by one of the emerging control systems. (AU)

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