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Transparency in the Brazilian production chains of agricultural export commodities: a holistic study of elemental and isotopic fingerprints

Grant number: 22/12732-5
Support Opportunities:Research Projects - Thematic Grants
Duration: August 01, 2023 - July 31, 2028
Field of knowledge:Agronomical Sciences - Agronomy
Principal Investigator:Elisabete Aparecida de Nadai Fernandes
Grantee:Elisabete Aparecida de Nadai Fernandes
Host Institution: Centro de Energia Nuclear na Agricultura (CENA). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). Piracicaba , SP, Brazil
Pesquisadores principais:
Cibele Bugno Zamboni ; Paulo Sergio Cardoso da Silva
Associated researchers: Adriano José Nogueira Lima ; Ana Rita de Araujo Nogueira ; Cristian Marcelo Villegas Lobos ; Edson Gonçalves Moreira ; Gabriel Adrián Sarriés ; Georg Steinhauser ; Jan Kucera ; Luiz Antonio Martinelli ; Márcio Arruda Bacchi ; Niro Higuchi ; Patricia Grinberg ; Peter Bode ; Stefaan Pommé

Abstract

Agribusiness in Brazil has expanded in recent decades with increased participation in the gross domestic product and exportation revenues. Projections indicate the potential for further improvements with growing production of cellulose, meat, soybean, corn, rice, and cotton. However, the country's agriculture is under economic, social, and environmental pressure concerning sustainability, with deforestation being the central issue for maintaining the international competitiveness of the agribusiness. Deforestation in Brazil has been a recurring theme linked to exportation of commodities, mainly related to the Amazon and Cerrado biomes. In addition to the environmental impact caused by the native wood logging, special attention has been given to livestock and soybeans because of the concern about their contribution to deforestation due to the expansion of production areas. To maintain the insertion of these commodities in the market, the government and stakeholders should truly act for an environmentally friendly production, taking transparency and traceability as keywords, since some importing countries have established regulations to avoid products originated from deforestation areas. The existing transparency and traceability schemes are based on agreements, inspections and information presented in paper or electronic documents, allowing space for deviations and fraudulent actions. The aim of this project is to develop technical scientific means for authenticating the regional origin of Brazilian commodities based on direct measurement of isotopes and chemical elements. The research groups involved in this project have considerable experience in studying the origin of food and agricultural commodities, as well as in metrology, which is critical for the international acceptance of measurement results. Following this context, efforts, infrastructure, and knowledge will be combined to definitively confirm that agricultural commodities from different biomes have their own intrinsic properties, permitting traceability through an unequivocal assessment of authenticity. The outcomes will contribute to forensic metrology, making available methodology for providing objective evidence of origin, which can be valuable tools for authorities and stakeholders in combating fraud. (AU)

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