Brazil Week highlights the value of cross-commodity community

1st October 2019

SAI Platform members in Brazil came together on 24-27 September, in Itapeva, Minas Gerais, to take part in a series of interactive workshops and field visits. The aim of the week was to bring members together and investigate opportunities and solutions that are unique to Brazil. Focus was given to climate resilient farming through the Brazil Water & Climate Adaptation 2020 project.

Over the 4-days members took part in field visits and meetings that addressed climate resilient farming, climate adaptation and mitigation practices. The workshops gave members the opportunity to use the committee as a space to harmonise companies’ different standards with SAI Platform’s tools such as the Farm Sustainability Assessment (FSA) and Sustainable Dairy Partnership (SDP).

The governance structure for the Brazil Committee was agreed as two Co-Chairs were voted in: Stenio Zanin from PepsiCo and Corrado Meotti from Barry Callebaut. The Nature Conservancy will act as Technical Advisor with the aim of working with other NGOs and academic institutions in the future.

Highlights from the field visits included the Centro Internacional em Restauração da Paisagem Florestal e Serviços Ambientais, located in the Mantiqueira mountains region. Restoration work here has been ongoing since 2005 and as a result of a working legal framework, now includes the full support of landowners in the project. One of the first to join the project was Elias Alves Cardoso, here participants could see how important water areas were restored to his property.

Other visits included a family dairy farm in Carmo do Rio Claro and the Fazenda Recanto, coffee farm as well as the progressive municipality of Extrema.

Over the course of the week, the Brazil Committee demonstrated an enthusiasm to go beyond one commodity discussion and to leverage knowledge exchange. Already with a firm commitment by SAI Platform members in the region, there is great potential to attract more members and potential new members on collaborative, pre-competitive work through 2020 and beyond.