In partnership with the Government of Minas, the State Secretariats for Environment and Sustainable Development (SEMAD-MG) and Agriculture, Livestock and Supply (SEAPA-MG), the State Institute of Forests – IEF, and support from the AL-INVEST Verde program from the European Union, researchers from UFMG launched the SeloVerde MG platform on Wednesday, May 17th. The launch of the agricultural production transparency and traceability tool took place during the opening of Expocafé 2023, in the municipality of Três Pontas, Minas Gerais.
The researchers presented encouraging data on coffee production discovered through the automatic analysis of the socio-environmental compliance of the properties using integrated data from the Rural Environmental Registry (CAR), IEF’s Continuous Vegetation Cover Monitoring and high-resolution mapping of the Minas Gerais coffee park, which are the basis of the SeloVerde MG. They estimated that 99% of the 115,000 grain-producing properties identified did not show significant deforestation after 2008, an important time frame in the 2012 Forest Code.
Another important fact revealed by the analyzes is that around 1/3 of the State’s rural properties have a surplus of native vegetation, totaling approximately 300 thousand hectares preserved beyond the minimum required by law. For rural producers, this means the possibility of accessing payment markets for environmental services that can supplement the income of rural families.
The SeloVerde MG platform follows similar principles to those already used in the State of Pará, with SeloVerde PA, a pioneer in promoting transparency and traceability of agricultural production through a public and free platform. Data from the socio-environmental diagnosis of rural properties are presented individually in compliance with personal data protection legislation and can accessed by simply entering the property’s CAR code on the platform.
Importance for the coffee sector
Minas Gerais is today the largest producer and exporter of coffee in the world. In 2022, Minas Gerais exported 28.5 million (SEAPA-MG) of the 39.35 million bags exported by Brazil (Embrapa Café). In relation to production, estimates by the National Supply Company (Conab) for 2023 are that Minas Gerais will produce 27.5 million bags of coffee, accounting for around 50% of all national production, which should reach 55 million bags.
At national and international levels, the growing pressure to acquire deforestation-free products demands technological solutions capable of transparently demonstrating compliance with forestry legislation by millions of rural producers. The data present in the SeloVerde MG accredits Minas Gerais coffee to a regional classification as a deforestation-free product and is an important instrument of negotiation and demonstration to the world that it is possible to produce an important commodity such as coffee within environmental standards.
“We now have scientific evidence that demonstrates the sustainability of coffee production in Minas Gerais for the domestic and foreign markets,” said researcher Felipe Nunes, who represented the university during the event in Três Pontas.
SeloVerde MG was launched during the opening of Expocafé 2023, which took place at the EPAMIG Experimental Field in the municipality of Três Pontas, Minas Gerais. During the ceremony in the presence of the vice-governor of the State, Professor Mateus, it was signed by the Secretary of Agriculture, Livestock and Supply, Thales Fernandes, and the executive secretary of the State Secretariat for the Environment and Sustainable Development, Valéria Cristina Rezende, the Joint Ordinance 1/2023, recognizing the SeloVerde MG tool as an instrument to support public policies for traceability and transparency of agricultural production chains.
In addition to the vice-governor, the secretary and the executive secretary, the opening ceremony table included the president of EPAMIG, Nilda de Fátima Ferreira Soares, federal deputy Diego Andrade, the mayor of Três Pontas, Marcelo Chaves Garcia, the president of Cooperative of Coffee Growers of the Três Pontas Zone, Marco Valério Brito, the vice-rector of the Federal University of Lavras, prof. Valter de Carvalho de Andrade Júnior, state deputies Cássio Soares and Mário Henrique Caixa, the mayor of Boa Esperança and representative of the Minas Gerais Association of Municipalities, Hideraldo Henrique Silva, director-president of EMATER-MG, Otávio Maia, the director of IMA, Antônio Carlos de Moraes, general director of DER, Rodrigo Tavares, director of FAEMG, Antônio Pitangui de Salvo.
The SeloVerde MG platform can be accessed via the address https://seloverde.meioambiente.mg.gov.br/