In this interview, Luis Fernando Guedes Pinto talks about his role in introducing a sustainable cattle certification scheme in Brazil. He begins by discussing why the development of a cattle certification program was central to Imaflora’s (The Institute of Agricultural and Forest Management and Certification) forest conservation mission. He explains the challenges that Imaflora faced in convincing cattle ranchers of the benefits of certification. He articulates the critical difficulties in setting acceptable sustainability standards that balanced minimization of a deforestation risk with developing a critical mass of certified beef. He discusses the reasons for the limited success of the certification scheme. He concludes by asserting that an increase in beef certification could be achieved through increased consumer demand for certification from cattle producers.
At the time of this interview, Luis Fernando Guedes Pinto was the manager of agriculture certification at Imaflora. In this role, he was responsible for overseeing the implementation of Sustainable Agriculture Network certification in Brazil as well as for participating in research partnerships with local universities and research institutions. He joined Imaflora in 1996 and served as executive director from 2005 to 2010. He earned a bachelor's degree in 1993 and a Ph.D. in crop sciences in 2003 from the University of São Paulo.