The Company has well-defined business strategies to reduce dependence on animal-based foods based on waste reduction, better use of raw materials, shifting business focus, protein diversification and product line development through innovation.
This is a global initiative within the Company that has the active involvement of its senior management. We recognize that this is a key business topic and concern due to the increasing public and customer interest, as well as the safety and sustainability of the supply chain.
Therefore, the following is a description of how we are working to effectively implement the reduction of dependency on food of animal origin, including targets set to achieve performance monitoring indicators and initiatives aimed at continuous improvement.
Take a closer look at some of our key initiatives:
1. Waste reduction
Our activities in this field are geared towards demonstrating our corporate responsibility by taking direct action to reduce the waste generated in the cattle slaughtering process. As a pioneer in the market, Minerva Foods established its subsidiary Minerva Biodisel. This business unit is responsible for the production of renewable energy from tallow, thereby creating value from the by-product of cattle processing and strengthening our commitment to environmental sustainability. This unit has an invested capital of approximately R$ 250 million.
Minerva Biodisel – Goals (2023)
ISCC participation (International Sustainability Carbon Certification) – to expand the geographical scope, exporting biodiesel to Europe and Asia. Previously, operations were limited only to the Brazilian market – GOAL ACHIEVED;
Obtain government authorization from ANP (National Agency for Petroleum, Natural Gas and Biofuels) to triple biodiesel production from 200m³/day to 600m³/day – GOAL ACHIEVED;
Entry into the “Social Seal” project, which requires that 100% of the biodiesel be obtained from family farms. In order to meet this requirement, the Company has begun the transition to the use of tallow derived from family ranching with a commitment to provide technical assistance to these small producers. At present (2023) we have more than 7 thousand producers registered in the program – ON GOING PROJECT;
– Contributions to the Renova Bio Program – a project aimed at promoting the decarbonization of the fuel sector in order to increase the production and consumption of biofuels in the transportation energy matrix. In this project, emissions from biofuels are offset against the use of non-renewable sources and converted into carbon credits – CBIOS. Currently (2023), Minerva has the capacity to generate up to 6,000 CBIOS – ONGOING PROJECT.
2. More efficient use of raw materials
To maximize the use of the main input of its process, cattle. Minerva Foods has developed subsidiaries to market or process hides, tallow, blood, bones and entrails into secondary products: Minerva Leather, Minerva Casings and Minerva Ingredients.
In this way, the company contributes to the reduction of dependence on food of animal origin because it maintains a cycle of absorption of bovine by-products in the form of food for the population, contributing to generate other sources of protein energy that were previously not used and also acting in the reduction of waste from the process.
2.1. Projects and Objectives (2023) – Minerva Casings
Minerva Casings produces and markets natural casings used in the manufacture of sausages. All these raw materials originate from Minerva Foods’ slaughtering and processing units, located in Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay, Colombia and Argentina, and are used for the production of smoked, cooked and cured foods, such as salami, Calabrian sausages, Portuguese sausages, cambuí sausages, paios, among others. Find out more details in our portfolio.
In recent years, Minerva Casing has advanced in its production capacity having attained the production of 7,760 tons for the year 2022. For 2023, the goal is to produce 9,750 tons, an increase of 25.6% over the previous year, through the application of good manufacturing practices, which ultimately contributes in the reduction of waste and better use of raw materials. – IN PROGRESS.
2.2. Goals and projects – Minerva Ingredients
Minerva Ingredients is responsible for producing and commercializing ingredients from the by-products of cattle slaughtering and deboning, as well as producing products for pet food. Its goal is to expand the geographical scope and expansion of Minerva by-products into the Asia and American markets. In 2023, the first export of beef and bone meal was shipped to the southeast Asian country of Myanmar. Further expansion is planned for the second half of the year with the addition of the United States as an export market. – COMPLETED
2.3. Projects and Objectives (2023) – Minerva Leather
The most important aspect of leather production is the optimization of the raw material, even for hides that do not have the characteristics to generate products with high added value, they can be marketed to the gelatin and collagen industry.
For 2023 Minerva Leather projected an increase of 9,500 tons in leather production, being: 80% in wet blue (among which stands out the 20% growth in the production of leather from organic farms); 5% in semi-finished leather (80% growth compared to last year); and 15% in casing for gelatine/collagen (stable compared to last year).
– Quality leather assurance project: An initiative born out of concern and the need to raise awareness regarding the practice of cattle fire branding, which has potential animal welfare benefits. The project rewards ranchers for implementing good cattle identification practices that reduce fire branding and as a result improve product quality. Initial pilot project underway on 5 properties. – ONGOING PROJECT
– Informative educational material project for ranchers on the reduction of fire branding – Development of a booklet explaining non-fire branding methods for livestock identification. Material prepared and expected to be distributed in 2023. – ONGOING PROJECT
2.4. Projects and Objectives (2023) – PEC (Carcass efficiency program)
Productivity improvements are important sources of reducing animal protein use. Improved breeding and management increase average carcass weights and consumption rates, allowing increased production with lower animal numbers, and a corresponding slowdown in the growth of environmental damage caused by pasture or waste. Thus, Minerva Foods has clear goals within this Program that aim to:
– Acts with the goal of maximum use of raw material by encouraging efficient livestock and standardization of carcasses, encouraging producers to adopt improvement practices that reflect an optimization of the final product;
– Increase in scope. In 2022 the program had 349,683 certified carcasses and 1,314 registrants. For 2023 there is the goal of certifying 480,380 carcasses and totaling 1,400 registrants.
3. Changes in business focus
Reducing dependence on animal-based foods can be achieved in many ways, including changing the focus of the business. Minerva Foods has been changing its business focus through initiatives aimed at Corporate Venture Capital (a fund created to invest in startups and other businesses). In this context, we aim to invest US$30 million in related companies within a 5-year period (2021-2025). Find out more details about the investments already made until 2023:
– The Every Company (2020 – US$4 million) pioneering startup in the development of protein products, through a fermentation process and free of animal protein, thus solving one of the biggest obstacles in the food and beverage industry.
– Shopper (2021; US$ 5 million) online system for purchasing and replenishing household consumption items such as food, cleaning products and personal hygiene;
– Traive (2021; US$ 3 million) operates in the development of credit models for the agricultural sector, in order to facilitate the access of rural producers to the most diverse financial solutions and products in the market, reducing bureaucracy and improving credit risk analysis, contributing to greater transparency, lower risk and benefiting producers and creditors.;
– Liv Up (2022; US$5 million) a foodtech specializing in healthy ready meals, working on protein diversification and new product development through early-stage investment;
– Bluebell Index (2023; US$ 2 million) a Brazilian climate-tech specialized in the development of environmental assets, which encompass carbon, hydrology, soil and biodiversity.
– Integration of My Carbon (2021 – US$ 13 million) as a subsidiary of Minerva Foods, integrating the Other Businesses sector – This is an initiative of Minerva Foods that operates on three business fronts: the development of carbon credits, the commercialization of carbon credits and adding value to Minerva products. MyCarbon’s plans are to work with partners to initiate the origination of carbon credits, either via the Renove Program (supply chain) or with other players in the carbon market. Among the main goals of My Carbon we have:
• Achieve the target of 30,000 head certified carbon neutral by 2023; – ONGOING
• Production of 10,000 tons of off-set meat by 2023; – ONGOING
• Production of 3,000 tons of carbon neutral meat by 2023; – ONGOING
• Achieve ZERO carbon emissions (carbon neutral) by 2035 for all Minerva Foods operations, with an investment of R$ 1.5 billion. – ONGOING
– Renove (2021): Program to engage rural producers and work together to implement sustainable, profitable and low-carbon agriculture. Program that has a direct partnership with My Carbon. Among the main goals and projects of Renove we have:
• MRV Agro Project (2020-2021): carbon balance calculation for 23 farms in Brazil totaling 12% of the volume of cattle purchased in 2021. The results showed that the project farms sequestered more carbon than they emitted from good practices, being carbon negative; – ONGOING
• LATAM Certification Project: calculation of carbon balance and emissions intensity in 25 farms in the countries where Minerva Foods operates (Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Paraguay and Uruguay), after results, it was found that 3 of these are carbon negative. In 2022 Minerva Foods exported, for the first time, certified carbon neutral meat; – GOAL ACHIVED. – ONGOING
• Carbon on Track: study to define an emissions reduction plan at its production units and partner supplier farms to continuously mitigate and/or offset emissions originating in the production process; – ONGOING
• Carbon project: using remote sensing technologies to analyze the presence of environmental assets in 382 farms in Brazil and Paraguay. – ONGOING
4. Protein Diversification
– Production of alternative protein products of plant origin such as milanesas de soja.
– Marketing of other products of non-animal origin, such as: wines, potatoes, olive oils, etc., totaling in 2022, more than 4 thousand tons.
– Projected increase in the marketing of olive oil, potatoes, chocolate and wine for the year 2023.
5. Product diversification by reformulation
It aims to contribute to reducing dependence on food of animal origin by reformulating products using less animal raw materials, mixing other non-animal proteins in their composition, creating new recipes with a greater variety of ingredients.
Through the subsidiary Minerva Foods Industrializados, Minerva Foods has an extensive and diversified portfolio of products that prioritize the maximum use of the raw materials used. In addition, in 2022 we had a production of 30 tons of products with reduced raw material of animal origin in their composition, using wheat, corn or cassava flour as a complement.