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Corporate culture

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Ethics is what guides the corporate culture of Minerva Foods, which understands that the sustainability of its business depends on the commitment of its employees, to the integrity of its operations, in all areas and at all internal levels. The Company is committed to the continuous promotion of its values defined in its Code of Ethics, Guide of Conduct, and the Employee Handbook.

The Code of Ethics covers the fundamental principles governing all aspects of stakeholder engagement, management and compliance with all aspects of sustainability. Directing that any non-conformities of conduct in the Company must be reported. Through the Employee Handbook, the team learns about the history of the company and about other aspects such as employment relations, professional responsibilities, quality control, and asset security, among others.

Professionals receive both documents at the time of hire. They are required to read and sign the terms of agreement, in addition to taking part of training regarding the subject. Employees who have been with the Company for longer periods of time participate in new training whenever the Code of Ethics and Guide of Conduct are revised.

Employees in administrative and/or corporate positions, supervisors or those in supervisory roles in the industrial units, receive and are required to commit and adhere to the Conflict of Interest Management and Anti-Bribery and Anti-Corruption policies.

These employees undergo periodic training on the pillars of these policies.

Conexão Minerva – Ombudsman Minerva Foods, an exclusive channel for safe and, if desired, anonymous communication regarding conduct, suggestions, compliance with current legislation and best practices of Minerva Foods, which are analyzed with responsibility and earnestness. The portal is managed and conducted by an independent external company (ICTS Global), which directs the information to the Internal Ombudsman, who is responsible for processing and definitions, reporting to the Ethics Committee made up of executives delegated by the CEO.

The service is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, online, by phone, e-mail or post. The necessary information is collected by analysts within the company hired to investigate the cases, taking into account any data, facts, and details on the whistleblower’s motivation and level of commitment.

In 2019, the company registered 201 internal and 34 external registries, all of which were addressed and resolved throughout the year.

Within the organizational structure, there are other sectors that are responsible for improving internal controls, advising and strengthening the decisions and activities related to internal risk management: the Ethics and Integrity Committee and the Executive and Risk Committee, which discuss decisions and measures that are to be implemented; the area of Compliance, responsible for preparing, disclosing and updating internal procedures that establish rules and guidelines on the matter; Internal Audit, which is responsible for verifying internal controls and their effectiveness; the Legal area, which is responsible for approving the contractual processes, establishing specific anti-corruption clauses in the commercial contracts and their legal application; and the Sustainability and Integrated Management System (IMS) areas, responsible for Food Safety, Social Responsibility, Occupational Health and Safety, and the Environment.

Agreements and commitments

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Minerva Foods operates in line with the best practices of the market, which is reflected in the pacts and agreements it adheres to and is a signatory to. Among them is the Public Livestock Commitment, signed in October 2009, in which minimum criteria were established for the purchase of cattle and cattle products on an industrial scale in the Amazon biome. The criteria encompass refusals to invade indigenous lands and protected areas, slave labor, illegal logging and violence in rural areas, zero deforestation, and the adoption of a traceability system that can be monitored, verified, and reported.

A further commitment is to the National Pact for the Eradication of Slave Labor, which was signed in May 2005 and articulated by the Ethos Institute together with the International Labor Organization (ILO) and the NGO Repórter Brasil, which is currently coordinated by the National Pact for the Eradication of Slave Labor (InPacto). In it, the signatories commit themselves to fulfill the ten commitments that establish lines of action that companies must develop to combat slave labor within their productive chains. The fulfillment of these commitments is monitored annually.

In addition, there is the Conduct Adjustment Agreement with the Federal Public Ministry of Pará, which was signed in July 2009. Its was designed to curb the purchase of cattle within the Amazon biome from suppliers who operate; using slave labor as identified by the Secretary of Labor and Employment, in embargoed areas that are listed by IBAMA (Brazilian Institute of Environment and Natural Resources); in areas of deforestation; or are involved in agrarian conflicts with indigenous/quilombola populations.

In 2019 the Company joined the Global Roundtable for Sustainable Beef, which aims to develop strategies in meat production, prioritizing natural sources, the community and animal welfare. With the purpose of keeping itself updated on multi-stakeholder discussions and to contribute to the sustainability of the meat supply chain. Additionally, the Company is a member of the Board of Directors of the Grupo de Trabalho da Pecuária Sustentável (GTPS); a member of the Mesa Paraguaya de Carne Sostenible (MPCS) and Mesa de Ganadería Sostenible of Colombia, in addition to being part of trade entities such as the Brazilian Beef Exporters Association (ABIEC) and the Paraguayan Chamber of Meat (CPC).

Minerva S.A. is also the only company in the industry that is currently financed by the International Finance Corporation (IFC) of the World Bank Group, which supports its commitment to sustainability and leadership in the management of social and environmental issues within its production chain. The Company follows IFC’s performance standards in order to provide guidance on identifying, mitigating, and managing risks and impacts in order to foster sustainable business.

In Paraguay, Minerva advanced with the multistakeholder project Forest Conservation Agriculture Alliance, Alianza para el Desarrollo Sostenible. This alliance is formed by the following agencies: United States Agency for International Development (USAID), International Finance Corporation (IFC), World Wildlife Fund (WWF), Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), Asociación de Municipios de Chaco Central, Cooperativa Neuland and Minerva Foods.

The company also participates in entities that defend the interests of its industries, including the Brazilian Association of Publicly companies (ABRASCA), the Brazilian Rendering Association (ABRA), Sindicato da Indústria do Frio no Estado de São Paulo (SINDIFRIO) and the Governance Council of the Brazilian Association of Meat Exporters (ABIEC). It also participates on the Board of Directors of the Sustainable Livestock Working Group (GTPS), known internationally as the Brazilian Roundtable on Sustainable Livestock (BRSL). 102-13

Commitment to InPACTO

In 2019, Minerva Foods participated in the InPACTO Vulnerability Index. The project, developed by InPACTO Institute, consists of mapping out factors that make a municipality or a region including the population, vulnerable to incidences analogous to slave labor or any other human rights violations. The mapping utilized 420 national, state, and municipal indicators from the national statistical system, focusing initially on the State of Minas Gerais.

It was possible to establish a risk scale by cross-checking and analyzing socioeconomic and demographic data from cities where participants have suppliers through the use of innovative technology. This helps companies in the development and prioritization of actions in their productive chains to better combat slave or child labor.