Interlinkage between deforestation, production and exports of soy and beef to the European Union

The 2012 revisions to the Brazilian Forest Code set into motion a gradual process of relaxing the legal mechanisms of the country’s environmental protection. In 2019, a surge of forest fires in the Amazon drew the international attention on the rising rates of deforestation that reached the peak over the decade. European governments, international investors, as well as buyers of Brazilian agricultural commodities have already shown concerns that

products contaminated with deforestation may have reached their countries. Here we reveal the interlinkage between deforestation in the major Brazilian biomes with the highest rates of deforestation, the Amazon and the Cerrado, and exports of soy and beef to the European Union. To do so, we explicitly link potentially illegal deforestation on rural properties with their agricultural production and exports to the EU.


We performed a comprehensive analysis on the level of compliance of the Forest Code (FC) within private rural properties in the country’s Rural Environmental Registry (CAR). To this end, we integrated production of soy and beef with potentially legal and illegal deforestation for individual properties. Then, we estimated the share of beef and soy with potentially illegal deforestation that is exported to the European Union.

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The maps and data made available on this website must be used exclusively for scientific purposes. The information presented here does not constitute reports or statements that attest or not individually the legal compliance of rural properties. Given the dynamic and general nature of the laws, rules, and regulations, as well as the risks inherent in the self-reporting data used in the modeling, there may be significant delays, omissions, and inaccuracies. The application and impact of environmental legislation can vary significantly due to several specific factors involved. Accordingly, the geodata and estimates in this website do not replace under any circumstances the validation of the Rural Environmental Registry and legal compliance analyses to be issued only by public authorities.

The authors are not responsible for any inaccuracies, errors, omissions or results obtained using the information available on this website. Due to the limitations of the input data of the models, the authors do not guarantee the accuracy, updating, precision, adequacy, integrity or veracity of the data, nor are they responsible for the accidental publication or transfer of incorrect or inaccurate data. No responsibility is assumed for damage or other liability due to the accuracy, availability, use or misuse of the information provided here.

Importantly, due to the uncertainties related to the available geospatial data used, the study does not seek to accurately determine the environmental compliance of each private property, together with its agricultural production. Rather, it applies a massive big data approach to define the level of potential legal and illegal deforestation and its possible association with agricultural production. Under no circumstances will the authors be responsible for any damages, decisions or actions taken based on the information contained on this website or any indirect damages, losses or any similar issues that may result from the use of maps or the information they contain.