Traceability of agri-food products


One of the main demands of food consumers regards transparency in the origins and information of the production chain. Transparency means not just making data available, but doing so in a clear language that is accessible to all interested. In other words, offering transparency means inviting society to learn about the origin of what we consume and the paths traveled, in line with current legislation. Since modernizing the sector also involves transparency, traceability is the most appropriate tool for achieving this.

The main goal of traceability is to improve controls and guarantees concerning animal health, plant health, public health, and food safety. It makes relevant information about the product manufacturing process available to consumers. Traceability means that the product’s origin and the paths or processes taken to reach the end consumer are systematized, recorded, and published. This enables consumers to recognize the differences between commercial products and value the process they prefer or, in eventual issues, identify where it was produced, transported, processed, and stored. Traceable processes are increasingly in demand in Brazil and especially in European countries, the United States, Canada, and Japan, markets willing to pay more for products with a specific origin and a controlled manufacturing model.

In this sense, since 2016, the CNA Institute (ICNA) has managed a platform of voluntary traceability protocols for animal and plant products. Certification for the animal sector, Agri Trace Animal, was implemented by Decree No. 7,623/2011, which aims to ensure consumers about the quality of the products purchased and rural producers greater income from differentiating their products. On the other hand, Agri Trace Vegetal aims to comply with the rules set by the ANVISA/SDA-MAPA Joint Normative Instruction No. 02, of 7th February 2018.

The Agri Trace Animal Program currently has 14 protocols for beef cattle, one for A2A2 dairy cattle, one for Duroc swine, and one for equine slaughter. Eight breed associations are involved in these protocols, and four protocols directly involve environmental sustainability. Last year, 488,951 cattle carcasses were certified in slaughterhouses, with an estimated pay of R$ 155 million to participating farmers and an average bonus of 6.5% above market value. Another ten protocols for animal products are in the process of approval and will soon be available to Brazilian farmers.

Agri Trace Vegetal began to be offered free of charge in 2023 and has more than 1.5 thousand registered rural producers, as well as 80 distribution centers. Last year, the system created around 16.2 thousand labels, which were displayed on the packaging of traded products.

The CNA Institute’s newest traceability service is an unprecedented platform for the management, control, and traceability of products with Geographical Indication (GI) labels, initially aimed at Brazilian coffee types. It aims to provide consumers with detailed information on the production process and to obtain quality products based on their origin. A partnership between the CNA Institute, the Brazilian Micro and Small Business Support Service (SEBRAE), and the Brazilian Industrial Development Agency (ABDI), 14 organizations are part of the platform, organizations that hold GI for coffee in the country, and more than 3 thousand registered coffee growers:

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The CNA Institute works to ensure that Brazilian rural producers can add value to their products and increasingly use the up-to-date traceability tools available. In doing so, we aid the development of more sustainable production systems that offer greater transparency and trust, requirements that are increasingly demanded by consumer markets.

Matheus Ferreira Pinto da Silva

CNA Institute Deputy Executive Director

Marina Ferreira Zimmermann

CNA Institute Technical Advisor