Giovana Baggio is Sustainable Agriculture Manager at The Nature Conservancy in Brazil. We welcome her as a member of our Advisory Council, particularly as we have just launched the SAI Platform Brazil Committee and her local knowledge will be of great benefit to this initiative.
We asked Giovana to tell us about the activities she is involved in and to share her views with us.
Can you tell us about your responsibilities at TNC Brasil and the type of activities you are involved in?
My role at TNC Brasil is to manage the sustainable agriculture team which is involved in several initiatives within Brazil. TNC is leading projects relating to a variety of producers, regions and products, for example:
- The implementation of Forest Code requirements in soy production areas; support and assistance to implement cocoa plantations in agro-forestry systems;
- Sustainable intensification units for cattle ranching in Amazon;
- Development and restoration programmes in Cerrado areas as part of rural landscape projects.
What are you key priorities and objectives?
Our main priority is to help producers comply with environmental legislation and to show that is possible to expand or to increase productivity in degraded lands. These are crucial strategies to address the problem of deforestation. We believe that sustainable and productive agriculture is possible in these regions bearing in mind that it must also be economically viable.
As part of the Advisory Council, what do you think you can bring to SAI Platform?
I think I will bring the knowledge and expertise from my professional experience and from that of our agricultural team particularly in the dairy sector. Here we have results to show that by creating the right conditions you can make challenging environmental and social changes on the ground.
As you know, we have just initiated a SAI Platform Brazil Committee. Where do you see the added value of such a Committee in the Brazilian landscape?
This Committee will bring an industry perspective that can influence and help producers to see not just the market value but also the need for sustainable measures to improve the environments in which they operate.
There are many sustainability initiatives out there, what do you think the Committee should focus on in the future to tackle sustainable agriculture challenges in this region?
I think the Committee should focus on solutions for the main challenges facing agricultural production in Brazil. For example, the conflict between expanding/increasing production without adding to our deforestation problem. Brazil is vast country and to recover degraded lands that are suitable to agriculture will demand a joint effort from the entire society.
What social issues do you think are on the horizon and that SAI Platform should tackle in the future?
The increase in world demand for food is for sure the main social issue, however to give communities the opportunities to improve their income by producing in a sustainable way (examples are cocoa and cattle production projects that we are involved in in the Amazon region) should be part of the solution.