This study evaluates the social performance of monoculture (MC), intensive silvopastoral (ISP), and native silvopastoral (NSP) livestock production systems in the tropical region of southeastern Mexico through a social life cycle assessment (SCLA) approach. The methodological framework proposed by the United Nations Environmental Program/Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry (UNEP/SETAC) (2009) was employed based on a scoring approach with a performance scale ranging from 1 (very poor) to 4 (outstanding). Twelve livestock ranches for calf production were evaluated using 18 impact subcategories associated with the categories “human rights”, “working conditions”, “health and safety”, “socioeconomic repercussions”, and “governance”. The stakeholders evaluated were workers, the local community, society, and value chain actors. The ranches had performance scores between 1.78 (very poor) and 2.17 (poor). The overall average performance of the ranches by production system was 1.98, 1.96, and 1.97 for the MC, ISP, and NSP systems, respectively. The statistical analysis shows that there is no significant difference in the social performance of the livestock production systems. This assessment indicates that the cattle ranches analyzed in Mexico have poor or very poor social performance. The results show that socioeconomic and political contexts exert a greater influence on the social performance of livestock production systems than does their type of technology.
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