Business & Economy

Uruguay adds sustainability to reliable food production

By Santiago Carbone

Montevideo, Feb 16 (EFE).- A benchmark in food safety and a reliable supplier to some 30 million people around the world, Uruguay is renowned for land that is suitable for agricultural use and environmental sustainability.

Uruguay’s native forests are protected by law and responsible soil management plans that are part of public policy.

The South American country is now pushing regulations to ensure a sustainable production system.

“Aligning environmental objectives with production policies” is a mission that is being addressed by all the departments linked to the issue, the national director of Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services, Gerardo Evia, told Efe.


With this in mind, Uruguay created in 2021 the Interinstitutional Technical Team for the Livestock Environmental Footprint.

If 15 years earlier the country established the mandatory tracking of all of its livestock, it now intends to demonstrate that the star product of Uruguayan exports “is part of the solution, not the problem,” said Pablo Caputi, Strategy and Innovation Manager at the National Meat Institute (INAC).

Caputi insists that meat is a product that, due to its nutritional importance, “deserves to be carefully analyzed for its positive nutritional effects and eventually if there are any negative ones, to address them.”

Raised on natural pastures, without hormones, antibiotics or proteins for fattening, and in the open air without the need for stables, meat is one of the outstanding products the country is presenting at Gulfood, the most important food and beverage trade fair in the Middle East, which ends on February 17.

Evia also talks about livestock production and argues that the working group is an important base for policy decisions regarding both greenhouse gas emissions and other issues such as pollution and biodiversity loss.

With a population of close to 3.5 million people, the ratio of head of cattle in the South American country is three and a half animals per Uruguayan.

In 2021, Uruguay XXI, the investment, export and country brand promotion agency, reported that the country exported beef worth US$2.449 billion to nearly 60 markets including China, the European Union, the United States, Israel, Brazil and Japan.

“The Uruguayan government establishes technical and regulatory requirements that set minimum standards for compliance with environmental regulations,” Evia said, citing as an example the development of a water and soil policy headed by the Ministry of Livestock, Agriculture and Fisheries (MGAP).

The policy seeks to prevent soil loss and degradation caused by agriculture, a consequence suffered in many places around the world.

When consulted on the issue, Caputi told Efe that Uruguay has an “almost neutral” balance between emission and capture, but added that thinking only about what happens in the country would be “selfish” because climate change exists.

“This absolute vision that what Uruguay does or doesn’t do doesn’t matter because we are minuscule is a mistake, because every country has to make an effort based on their size, it is an ethical issue and we are one human race,” he stressed.


With predominantly fertile land, Uruguay also stands out for the quality of other produce, including rice, citrus fruits, dairy products, honey and olives.

Along with neighboring Argentina, it is the world’s largest exporter of dairy products, ranking fourth in 2021 in the table of goods sold abroad behind beef, cellulose and soybean.

Related Articles

Back to top button