International buyers and consumers of Brazilian agricultural commodities have already expressed concern about products contaminated by deforestation arriving in their countries. Due to the growing polarization of the international political arena, it has been difficult to find a common ground that allows the search for concrete solutions to the environmental crisis in Brazil. To contribute to this debate, we published an article in Science magazine entitled “The rotten apples of Brazil’s agribusiness” in which we show that 17% of the meat and 20% of the soy exports to the European Union that comes from the Cerrado and the Amazon, the largest Brazilian biomes, may be contaminated with illegal deforestation. The study had great national and international repercussion. The purpose of this project is to give sequence to that study, investigating even further the relationship between agricultural commodities exports and legal and potentially illegal deforestation. Our research contributes to the search for more transparent and effective solutions for agricultural traceability.

In this context, the models developed by CSR and partners to estimate the level of environmental compliance of the properties registered in the Rural Environmental Registry (CAR) and to track cattle and soy production, in order to determine potential contamination by illegal deforestation, aroused the interest of the Government of the State of Pará. Thus, the SeloVerde Pará initiative was born providing data on agricultural production and environmental compliance by property in the state of Pará and CSR, in partnership with the Territorial Intelligence Center, provides the technological basis for the platform.

Subsequently, the Government of Minas Gerais also declared interest in the models and platform developed in Pará, and, through a cooperation agreement with UFMG, SeloVerde MG was developed.