China can leverage Brazilian low-carbon agro; read article

The perspective of the green market in China allows Brazil to reposition itself as an exporter of sustainable products on a scale

China’s concern for the environment and commitment to carbon neutrality by 2060 have changed the profile of local consumption and involved provincial governments, companies and the financial sector. At the government level, since 2021 changes have been observed in import legislation, which now requires more mechanisms for the safety and traceability of sustainable food. On a daily basis, “low carbon” and “zero carbon” products ranging from milk and vegetables to ice cream and infant formula are on the shelves of Hema Fresh, Alibaba’s supermarket.

Although incipient, there is state incentive for “green consumption”. An Accenture survey shows that concern for the environment grows more in China than in the rest of the world. The Statista institute shows that, in 2021, one in three Chinese said that sustainability is a decisive factor when buying.

The trend in China indicates that there is room for adding value to the Brazilian agricultural export basket through low carbon products. We have more than ten years of experience with the Low Carbon Agriculture Program (ABC) and we are implementing the ABC+ from 2020 to 2030. value to an essentially primary agenda – in 2022, 74% of exports to China were soybeans, oil and iron ore.

The perspective of the green market in China allows Brazil to reposition itself as an exporter of sustainable products on a scale. We produce food, fibers and grains with a low carbon footprint, in direct planting systems or in crop-livestock-forestry integration. We have third-party certification processes, with indicators science-based drawn. We can modulate the methodologies for the type of information prioritized by the Chinese.

Such a positioning will require from Brazil a strategic action in the creation of competitive brands and effective messages that value the national product. For this, more dialogue is needed with players in the Chinese system: from regulators to customers, including academia.

On another front, it is essential to guarantee scale and an exportable surplus for low-carbon production. For this, investments in conversion of degraded pastures and sustainable intensification will be necessary. Brazil recently won the Fiagros, efficient funds to channel resources towards sustainable production that can attract, among other investors, resources from China, which would reinforce confidence in the model./Larissa Wachholz, partner at Vallya Agro, was special advisor for China at the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Supply (2019-2021); Fabiana Villa Alves, researcher at Embrapa, is director of Productive Chains and Geographical Indication at the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock

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