The beef production chain

From the moment the calf is born to the moment of slaughter and processing, the cow goes through many ranches – that can contribute to deforestation or not. Check out below how the beef production chain is structured:

is where the calf is born and usually stays in for the first six or seven months of life, while still being nursed.


Purchases recently weaned calves and raise them until up to one year and a half old, when they are considered “yearling”.
Farms that do not sell the cow directly to slaughterhouses, that is, during the slaughter phase. From birth to slaughter, the cow goes through, at least, three farms: breeding, rebreeding and fattening.
In Brazil, cattle go through approximately 10 farms.
The more links in the chain, the more difficult to track the origin of the beef and if it did contribute to the deforestation of the Amazon.
Those who sell directly to slaughterhouses and/or abattoirs. The companies’ policies to guarantee the compliance with the social and environmental legislation are usually limited to farms from that step of cattle purchasing.
Slaughter and processing – Companies that slaughter animals and, generally, also process beef. They work as direct suppliers for slaughterhouses.
It is up to them to develop and execute purchase policies to guarantee that the beef that comes from their – direct and indirect – suppliers has not been through farms that promote deforestation.
Purchase the beef from slaughterhouses to directly market it to consumers. Aiming at greater transparency in the chain, retailers should demand from slaughterhouses evidence that the beef purchased, at any stage of its chain, has not contributed to deforestation in the Amazon.
The path that beef takes, from the birth of the calf to the sale of the processed product to the final consumer, is called the beef production chain.