This page provides an overview of the corporate social responsibility (CSR) risks related to beef production in Argentina.
Argentina has one of the biggest cattle herds in Latin America, with over 52 million head of cattle. In 2015, 12.4 million cattle were processed in the country, resulting in 2.7 million tonnes of bone-in meat, of which 239,640 tonnes were exported at a sales profit of US$1.077 billion.
Argentinian livestock is distributed over 320,000 production units linked to 205,000 farms. Cattle production is concentrated in five main farming regions:
- North West (NOA)
- North East (NEA)
There are 45 million head of cattle located in the North-Easy and Pampeña–Central.
There are three main types of cattle farms in Argentina:
- small family livestock rangeland cattle ranches
- medium-sized commercial ranches which manage more intensive breeding, pasture and/or fattening methods.
- large commercial ranches which manage more intensive breeding, pasture and/or fattening methods. Most cattle production is concentrated under the management of a few large farms.
Major ecological threats associated with cattle farming in Argentina include deforestation, biodiversity loss, and carbon emissions resulting from land use change and forest fires. Land tenure conflicts and indigenous communities’ rights are an area of high concern, particularly in the NOA and NEA regions. It is also reported there is a high level of informal labour used in cattle farming and production amongst other business and legal risks. The biggest underlying threats are corruption and weak enforcement of the law.
There are CSR risks in Argentinian beef supply chains. The risks relate to business, social and environmental areas. If you are sourcing beef from Argentina, you should take care to ensure the risks identified are not present in your supply chains, or have been sufficiently mitigated.
Score: 40 / 100 in 2018
Rank: 85 out of 180 countries in 2018
In 2001 Argentine beef was banned by more than 60 countries after an outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease. The ban was lifted in 2015 by the US and in 2016 by Canada and the EU.
There are currently no armed conflicts in Argentina according to the Council on Foreign Relations' Global Conflict Tracker.
Carne Angus Certificada: a private certification system established by the Argentine Angus Association. It supports other Angus certificates like the Ternero Angus Certificado.
ARGENCERT (an Associate Member of the OTA Organic Trade Association) certification is available via GLOBALG.AP.
The IFOAM Program verifies the International Federation of Organic Movements requirements and use of a labelled organic seal.
Gather information on your supply chain
- Find out the different sources of beef
- Determine which source type your beef comes from
- Find out the main documents that can be used to indicate legality throughout the supply chain
Sources of beef
Beef source types
Description of source type
Beef from small, privately owned (usually by a family) ranches. The ranches carry out both livestock breeding (breeder extensive management) and fattening (fattening, rangeland). Often farming is done for subsistence.
Medium commercial ranch
Beef from medium sized commercial ranches which are privately owned and managed by commercial entities.
The ranches carry out:
i. Breeder extensive management
ii. Breed refinement (players)
iii. Fattening, rangeland
iv. Fattening, intensive pasture management
|Large commercial ranch||Beef from large commercial ranches which are privately owned by livestock breeding companies (both large holders and groups of holders). These are the large-scale livestock production ranches, where the management is subcontracted to professional management or company management pools. The ranches carry out the same activities as the medium commercial ranches, as well as feed-lot, industrialized fattening.|
Documents to indicate legality
Processing, trade and transport
Export and customs
Assess the risks in your supply chain
- Find out the main environmental, social and legality risks
- Download the full risk assessment to see more detail
Main environmental, social and legality risks
Mitigate the risks in your supply chain
Learn which actions we recommended to mitigate the risks associated with the beef sources from Argentina.
We have two tools to help you mitigate risks for Argentinian beef supply chains:
- The Supplier Evaluation Checklist for beef from Argentina will help you identify and specify the risks in your supply chain.
- The Risk Mitigation Guide gives you a detailed overview of risks in Argentina, and how to mitigate them.
The tools above give you the most information. Below is a summary of our recommended actions to mitigate the risks associated with the beef sources from Argentina.
1. Fully map your supply chain
Our supply chain mapping tool can help you do this.
2. Obtain and verify documents
- Land tenure and business documents
- Possession title (Informe de Dominio): Private land owners must hold a valid land title issued by the National Rural Land Registry of the Ministry of Justice and Human Rights (federal level) and the Provincial General Registry of property (province level)
- Provincial Land Property Registry: Report of domain conditions (Registro de la Propiedad Inmueble Provincial: Informe de condiciones de dominio)
- Provincial Rent: Debt Free of Property Tax (Renta Provincial: Libre Deuda del Impuesto Inmobiliario Básico)
- Report of Municipal Debt Free (Informe de Libre Deudas Municipal)
- A legal long term leasing contract (for land renters/tenants). This contract should be registered with the Federal Administration of Public Revenues (Administración Federal de Ingresos Públicos AFIP) and notarial registered at General Provincial Registry of Property (provincial level).
- Operator/Producer’s Single Code of Fiscal Identification (Código Único de Identificación Tributaria (CUIT) / Single Code of Professional Identification (Código Único de Identificación del Ganadera (CUIL)) administered by the AFIP.
- Documentary evidence that CUIT/CUIL identification is registered with:
- The National Health Registry of Farming and Livestock Producers (Registro Nacional Sanitario de Productores Pecuarios (RENSPA))
- Single Register of Official Accounting (Registro Ünico de Cuentas Oficiales (RUCO))
- A map identifying the traditional communities close to its farm boundaries. Your supplier may be able to provide you with this
- Records of Free Prior Informed Consent and copies of negotiated agreements (if applicable)
- Evidence that a dispute resolution policy is in place
- Tax related documents
- A certificate showing that no taxes are owed (Libre Deuda Fiscal) from the AFIP.
- Annual financial reports
- Receipts of income and sales taxes payments
- Electronic Invoices - volumes and quantities in sales and transport documents shall match the taxes paid
- Employment-related documents
- Early registration certificate (Certificado de alta temprana)
- Employee registration with the Federal Administration of Public Revenues from the AFIP
- Employee payroll list, F 931 (Nómina F 931)
- Sworn statements, certificates, application certificates and payment certificates, F 391
- Employees’ National Identification Card Numbers (DNI de los empleados)
- Policies and procedures confirming ILO Fundamental Conventions are upheld
- Receipts of life insurance payments
- Employee pay slips when cross checked with Salaries Resolution by the National Commission for Rural Work (Resolución Salarial by the Comisión Nacional de Trabajo Agrario) confirm that the salaries:
- meet legal requirements
- comply with collective bargaining agreement requirements
- are at least the legally established minimum wage
- Health and Safety (H&S) related documents
- Registered provision of Personal Protection Equipment (Elementos de Protección Personal)
- Occupational Risk (Aseguradoras de Riesgos del Trabajo (ART)) insurance
- ART membership certificate (Certificado de incorporación)
- Workplace accident records
- Training register
- Registration of pre-employment and periodic medical examinations
- Occupational risks report (Informe del relevantamiento general de riesgos laborales)
- Inspection sheets from the National Registry of Agricultural Workers and Employers (RENATEA), Argentina Union of Rural Workers (UATRE) and Stevedores-Superintendence of Occupational Risks (SRT).
- Insurance documents. Verify that the supplier is insured for Occupational Risk (Aseguradoras de Riesgos del Trabajo or ART) and that employees’ National Identification Card Numbers (DNI) are registered on the insurance documents
- Inspection sheets from the Superintendence of Occupational Risks (Superintendencia De Riesgo De Trabajo, SRT). Determine whether the employer has undergone any inspections
- Environmental documents
- Approved environmental impact report or study (Informe de impacto ambiental aprobado)
- Environmental monitoring plan (Plan de monitoreo ambietal predial)
- Mitigation plan (Plan de mitigación)
- Provincial approved environmental resolution or certificate for forest management or land use changes (Resolución o nota de aprobación ambiental provincial)
- Authorisation for the use of agrochemicals (Autorización de uso de agroquímicos)
- Approved resolution for hazardous waste registration (Resolución de aprobación de inscripción de residuos peligrosos).
- Provincial approved resolution for the use of fire (Resolución de Aprobación Provincial del Uso del Fuego)
- Soil erosion control plan and measures (Plan de control de erosión de suelos con listado de medidas)
- Provincial approved resolution for water use (Solicitud de uso del agua)
- Land-Use Change Plan application (Plan de Aprovechamiento de Cambio de Uso del Suelo)
- Native Forest Management Plan compliant with National Act 26.331 on Native Forests (Ley 26.331 - Bosque Nativo)
- Provincial approved resolution for cattle farm establishment in reserve areas (Resolución de aprobación provincial de áreas de reserva)
- List of rare, threatened and endangered species as categorised in the IUCN Red List and Provincial CITES lists that could be found in the farming area (UICN-Listas Nacionales/provinciales-CITES encontradas en el establecimiento productivo)
- Biodiversity surveys and High Conservation Value (HCV) assessments
- Conversation/High Conservation Value (HCV) management plans
- Cattle farm boundary map crossed-checked with the following documents confirms that the farm is not located in a protected area, category I (conservation) and II (restoration) native forests, have not threatened high conservation values, and have not been established by the conversation of primary forests or ecosystems
- Land-use Planning Map of Native Forests (Mapa Ordenamiento Territorial de Bosques Nativos)
- Official Native Forest cadastre of the Ministry of Environment: http://www.minagri.gob.ar/
- Maps of National and Provincial Protected Areas,
- If any land conversion has been conducted, verify that it has only been done in Category III areas and in accordance with the Authorized Plan for Land Use Change
- HCV assessment or proxy maps and data of, e.g., biological corridors, watersheds/courses, buffer zones, riparian and conservation areas, vulnerable slopes/soils, high fire risk areas, critical local communities and indigenous populations sites and resources, habitats and landscapes of cultural, archaeological or national or international historic importance
- Social impact evaluation
- Map of the farm boundaries
- Historical remote sensing imagery evidence to confirm no conversion of primary forest, and HCVs post November 2005.
- Burning permit: Application for agricultural burning permit (Permiso de quema: Solicitud de permiso para quema agrícola)
- Burning plan (Plan de quemas)
- Trade and transport documents
- SIGSA/ DTe (Electronic Transport Document - Documento De Tránsito Electrónico)
- Valid annual hazardous waste certificate (Certificado anual vigente)
- Consignment Note
- Electronic invoice
- Document for Animal Transport - ((DTe) Electronic Transport Document, formerly called (DTA) Documento para el Tránsito de Animales).
- Transport Bill
- Packing list
- Airway bill
- Bill of landing
- Insurances certificates
- Commercial Invoice
- Customs Export Declaration
- Tax certificate
- Certificate of origin
3. Consult stakeholders
- The Ministry of Justice and Human Rights and/or the National Agency of Rural Land confirm registration of farm has been granted following legally prescribed processes
- The Ministry of Justice and Human Rights (http://www.jus.gob.ar/derechoshumanos/publicaciones/busqueda-por-temas/pueblos-originarios.aspx) and Amnesty International Argentina (http://www.territorioindigena.com.ar/Pueblos-Originarios) confirm that there are not any conflicts with indigenous peoples over land use.
- Neighbours, local communities, landowners and other stakeholders confirm that land tenure rights are clear and, where applicable, the lease of the land has been agreed by all the landowners.
- Neighbours, local communities, landowners and other stakeholders confirm that there are not any court orders or other legal decisions that mean that the company is not allowed to operate due to conflicts of land tenure.
- Authorities from General Justice Inscription (Inscripción General de Justicia IGJ) confirm that the supplier is up to date in payment of applicable income and sales taxes
- The AFIP and Provincial Income Administration (DGR) confirm that the supplier’s tax obligation is fulfilled and they have tax debt free status
- The AFIP confirms, via a historical employees’ registration list that employees have been legally employed
- The National Registry of Agricultural Workers and Employers or Argentina Union of Rural Workers confirms that there are not any outstanding claims filed with the supplier
- Employees confirm that:
- They are covered by mandatory insurance policies
- Are above the minimum age for both cattle farm activities and hazardous work
- The company does not employ unregistered workers, either on probation, or who receive government benefits for the unemployed
- Workers and local stakeholders confirm that the land was not cleared or prepared with fire.
- The provincial application authority on land use confirms that there has been been any deforestation or land clearing authorization(s) in the area under evaluation for post-2005. If land use change has occurred request more details via the following documentation from the supplier farm(s) to verify the deforestation was not illegal: Authorized Plan for Land Use Change (Autorización para el Plan Del Cambio Del Uso Del Suelo) and Environmental Impact Assessment (estudio del impacto ambiental)
- Stakeholders such as Greenpeace, World Wildlife Foundation Information and Proyungas confirm that no deforestation has taken place
- Stakeholders such as Fundación Vida Silvestre, Greenpeace, Aborgin Argentina, Solidarity Networks, local NGOs, indigenous and local community representatives confirm that the social impact evaluation and HCV 5 and 6 survey outcomes meet requirements
- Relevant authorities confirm that there have not been any complaints or penalties against the cattle farm regarding illegal burning and/or if there are registered incidents of uncontrolled fires connected to the cattle farm
- The National Registry of GMO Operators and INASE (National Seed Institute) registry confirm that the farm does not use GMOs as feed
4. Carry out on-site verification
- Confirm cattle ranches are within the authorized boundaries listed in the relevant licenses
- Confirm that the company has Health and Safety (H&S) training, procedures and equipment (Elementos de Protección Personal) in place
- Conduct interviews with the employees:
- Request to see their National Identification Card (Documento Nacional de Identidad) and cross check that they have been registered in the National Identity Registry (Registro Nacional de Identidad), within the Form 931 list and are on the Companies for Occupational Risk (ART) list.
- Ask them to describe their tasks, the amount they are paid by the employer, the basis on which they are paid (daily/day’s work - journal, monthly, by performance/production), the number of hours in their workday, and how many days in the week they work.
- Confirm management plans for protected sites, species and High Conservation Values are implemented and monitored
- Confirm that maps/remote sensing images for deforestation reflect reality
- Confirm that there was active consultation and/or a Free Prior Informed Consent process was conducted and that there is a dispute-resolution mechanism in place
- Confirm that the supplier has documentation or a copy of a management plan that ensures required legally protected areas and species are safeguarded in accordance with the law.
- Confirm the existence of a manual for the use of fire and preventive measures.
- Confirm the quantities of cattle sold and transported in relation to the declared farm area by cross checking the Consignment Note (for transportation) and electronic invoices.