Brazilian and German institutions supporting family farming, research centers and a selection of ten Brazilian small organic entrepreneurs related to biodiversity and green economy participated at the second edition of the Green Latin America Bioeconomy Workshop, organized by Planeta Orgânico, on February 13th at the Nuremberg Convention Center, Germany. An audience of more than 70 persons attended this event supported by GIZ (German Corporation for International Cooperation GmbH), a day before BIOFACH, the leading international b2b fair for organic and sustainable trade, started.
Satisfied with the full-day conference, Maria Beatriz Martins Costa, General Manager of Planeta Orgânico, illustrated it following the physical theory, “where force is combined with speed to create power.” As result of “a firm engagement by a total of 194 countries in favor of bioeconomy, there is no better time than now for sustainability”, added Martins Costa.
Brazil´s position inspires other countries in the world to be part of the same “physical movement.” “Brazilian family farming involves more than 4,500 million of persons, and in 2017 it represented the income of US $20 billion to Brazil, although 70% of what it is produced ends up in Brazilian households”, shared Jefferson Coriteac, Secretary at SEAD – Brazilian Special Secretariat for Family Farming and Agrarian Development.
Phytotherapy from Amazonia
“Family farming represents 38% of the gross value of the production”, stated Marco Pavarino, General Coordinator on Agroecology and Sustainable Production. Beyond traditional crops cultivated in Brazil such as “Cassava, bean, corn, coffee and rice,” other innovative projects are emerging, such as the “phytotherapy initiative, where 20 vegetal species extracted from Amazonia are being commercialized in the beauty and cosmetics industry to international firms”, said Mr. Pavarino.
Brazilian Micro and Small Business Support Service – SEBRAE- deputy manager of the Agribusiness Unit, Augusto Togni de Almeida Abreu, also shared the Pirarucú project (known as Araipama). It is a large fish of Amazonian rivers and lakes, an endangered species which is now cultivated in sustainable areas of different Brazilian states, creating a new boost to the local economy. Together with Embrapa, the leading public agricultural research institute in Brazil, SEBRAE achieved some milestones in the production value chain.
Science was present with the participation of research institutions and labs related to cultivated plants (Julius Kühn Institute), Tropical and Subtropical varieties (from the Technische Hochschule Köln) or biofuel project (Itaipu Technological Park) and their link to bioeconomy.
Fair price to the producer
However, as Maritta Koch-Weseer (Earth 3000) stated, “the connectivity between research and its business implementation is still far from what it should be.” “To stand for deforestation in Amazonia, we need to generate more incomes for local families and communities by involving them more in sustainable projects.” Following to this initiative, Frauke Fischer, a business partner of the “Peru Puro GmbH,” cacao producer and exporter based in Germany and in Brazil, confirmed its engagement of paying a fair price to the local families exploiting cacao and through an NGO that help local communities through health and educational projects.
Certification: main challenge
Besides the successful cases shared, certification remains significant challenge entrepreneurs have to face if they want to export their goods from the Brazilian biodiversity to foreigner markets. “Don´t focus on the method, focus on the outcome,” highlighted Norma Tregurtha, Policy and Outreach Director, International Social and Environmental Accreditation and Labelling Alliance – ISEAL. Mrs. Tregurtha informed to the audience about the availability of ISEAL code of Good practices, followed by its 22 members, to get inspired by good international practices in sustainability standards.
Planeta Organico was able to unite same vision towards green economy combining diverse initiatives and entrepreneurial scopes with talent. Now the team is preparing the “Green Rio” marketplace to promote Bioeconomy through conferences and an exhibition that will take place in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 24-27 May 2018. For more information, check www.greenrio.com.br