SAI Platform spreads its wings and launches ‘Brazil Committee’

17th March 2018

This initiative will address local sustainable agriculture needs for a wide range of stakeholders

The SAI Platform Brazil Committee, was a key outcome of a multi-stakeholder workshop hosted by Nestlé in São Paulo, Brazil at the end of February. Mr. Juan Carlos Marroquin, Market Head of Nestlé Brasil opened the workshop and gave a keynote address.

The workshop, organized by SAI Platform, was attended by more than 60 participants, including:

• Local representatives of member companies including Nestlé, Unilever, Agraria, Coca Cola, Pepsico 
• Potential members including JBS, Citrosuco, Amaggi, Bunge 
• Roundtables (GTPS, RTRS)
• A number of farmers and farmer coops 
• Key stakeholders such as WWF Brasil, TNC, Proforest, Imaflora, Solidaridad and Ipê.

Brazilian food and drink companies are becoming increasingly interested in the work undertaken by SAI Platform and the FSA tool. The objective of the workshop was to build on this interest in order to:

• Create common understanding of challenges and perspectives in the Brazilian context and learn from participants’ best practices and do’s & don’ts.
• Create a local Committee led by SAI Platform member companies based in Brazil to operate under the SAI Platform umbrella which will provide support and direction
• Share best practice & experience to promote sustainable agriculture in Brazil
• Establish a wide coalition of experienced and credible local leaders to facilitate and drive the sustainable agriculture agenda.

The workshop agenda tackled key sustainable agriculture challenges, opportunities and local solutions unique to Brazil. Part of the agenda focused on some of the key cross cutting issues such as water management; degraded land and landscape restauration and deforestation through climate change; impact on agriculture post COP21 and the role of the agro-food sector in both adaptation and mitigation.

Another part of the workshop was dedicated to key commodities in Brazil, falling under the following groups: Vegetable & Arable (including sugar cane), Fruit & Nuts (including coffee) and Livestock.

Role of SAI Platform

SAI Platform’s potential contribution, role and engagement in the region was a major point of discussion. The need to drive action and facilitate implementation of sustainable agriculture practices by availing of existing SAI Platform tools and practices was recognized. As a result 10 SAI Platform member companies have decided to create the new Committee which will consist of local members under local leadership and will operate under the pre-competitive SAI Platform umbrella.

Next Steps

The Committee will soon meet to identify key objectives, priority areas, way of working and the type of action needed. They will promote collaboration among different supply chain actors and the implementation of sustainable agriculture practices. This could include providing technical assistance to farmers, and access to new markets.

The next SAI Platform Brazil Committee Meeting & Workshop will take place on the 13-14 September, 2016 in Paraná, Brazil kindly hosted by the Cooperativa Agrária Agroindustrial.

The Committee is open to all food and drink companies based or interested in Brazil

For more information please contact Yael Fattal.

Participant Quotes

“Brazil is an agri based economy and one of the world’s leading exporters of commodities (soya, orange juice, sugar, coffee and meat). In 2015, the Brazilian agri sector represented 23% of the country’s GDP. Maintaining a leading position and growing to feed a 2050 planet of 9 billion can only be done if “Sustainable Agricultural Practices” are adopted and encouraged by all. Considering this is a pre-competitive matter and a responsibility of the whole industry, we participated, with more than 60 other companies and organisations, to the first SAI Platform Brazil Workshop. The main outcome was the proposed creation of a SAI Platform Brazil Committee where we could share local experiences and examples among companies who share the same objectives. In the next 3 months we intend to meet again and visit together sustainable farmers to share examples of best practices”. Initiators of the SAI Platform Workshop and the Brazil Committee; Olivier Marchand – Nestlé; Terence Baines – Unilever; Nayara Kaminski de Oliveira – Cooperativa Agraria Agroindustrial

“The workshop brought a very complete perspective of the status of agriculture in Brazil and stressed for good practices to arise, joint efforts among all players are essential. Food and drink companies, traders and retailers can play a key role in supporting willing farmers to make improvements in their sustainable agriculture practices on the ground by providing assistance to cooperatives, encouraging certification schemes, and considering farmer incentive programs. One of the tension points is that farmers question whether they are receiving sufficient value for all the effort they put in to meet environmental and labor requirements. It is therefore key to work closely with farmers and show how better sustainability practices and biodiversity protection can in fact bring economic gains”Giovana Baggio, The Nature Conservancy (TNC)

“From our perspective which is a producer’s one, SAI Platform Workshop had an important role by bringing so many companies together. We could see that the industry, apart from just asking for sustainable products, sees the producers’s needs and can help to achieve them. I believe that these companies have a great role in the promotion of sustainabilty as they are closer to the final consumers than the producers. They know better what these consumers want and they have the opportunity to guide the rural producers in this way”. Cynthia Moleta Cominesi, Associação Amigos da Terra – CAT Sorriso

“The SAI Platform Workshop raised a key issue of today´s global sustainability challenge: how to address food security for a global growing wealthy population, while addressing global deforestation, limitation and adaptation to climate change and the maintenance of vital ecosystems services (water, soil, etc). One of my main insight from the Workshop is that when there is such a huge problematic broad approach, it involves literally all sectors and overcomes sectoral barriers. This event, indicates this need and that these barriers and prejudices are fading away in front of the urgency and scale of the task. Finally, one of the essential parts of the solution is to be built at the level of and together with the producers”. Jean-François Timmers, World Wildlife Fund (WWF) Brasil

Relevant documents in Portuguese: FSA BrochureFSA InfographicFSA Online tool (Portuguese subtitles)