University of São Paulo: Brazil needs to adapt to continue with agribusiness in Europe


The bill passed by the European Parliament, with 453 votes against 53, prohibits the marketing, in the countries of the bloc, of agricultural products from deforested areas. It must be voted on by all component countries of the European Union (EU) before effectively becoming law and being definitively applied.

Professor Pedro Luiz Côrtes, from the School of Communications and Arts (ECA) and the Institute of Energy and Environment (IEE) at USP, emphasizes that this approval will have a major impact on Brazilian trade: “The European Union represents an important market, there are a diversity of products that Brazil exports to Europe”.

Brazilian situation
The passage of this proposal lights up a warning signal for Brazilian agribusiness. “[Brazil] needs to rebuild its image, Brazilian products are being associated with deforestation”, says Côrtes.

The marketing ban not only requires that the products not come from deforested areas, but also that they respect human rights throughout the process. The professor points out: “When it is approved, the producers must guarantee the traceability of the items exported to the European Union, allowing the importers this verification”.

Although it affects Brazil, the legislation also applies to EU component countries. Finland and Sweden are examples where the timber trade is critical, but deforestation is intense. Thus, it is possible for there to be pressure against the law within the European bloc.

possible solution
The proposal considers the laws of the country of origin as a basis, that is, if Brazil complies with its own environmental laws, the product can be marketed with European countries that adopt the law. Côrtes comments: “It seems that following the law here in Brazil has become an option and not an obligation”.

Although complying with the laws seems simple, the professor sees a possible solution to the Brazilian obstacle: “Brazilian producers could finance forest restoration projects. One option is to use a certifying seal that would indicate, in addition to a legal origin, that a part of the income obtained from the sale would be used in the restoration of degraded areas”. In this way, consumers would be encouraged to purchase certified Brazilian products, even more so with global attention focused on Brazilian deforestation. “We could transform a problem into a solution”, proposes Côrtes.

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