Initiative has already produced around 480 tons in 2018
The Community Farming Project, supported by our company in the state of Bahia, has, in the first five months of 2018, produced over 480 tons of food products in various communities, including Bela Vista, Cravilina, Igrejinha, Juerana, São José and Taquari. This volume is practically the same as the total food production of 2017, when the project generated revenues of over R$830,000 for producers.
The initiative aims to boost local development and generate additional income, besides improving the quality of life of families and guaranteeing their food safety. The Community Farming Project currently involves 209 families and around 836 indirect beneficiaries, not to mention the multiplying effect related to the production and trade of agricultural produce. These are the participants who, based on an innovative model of participatory community development, determine the next stages of the project.
“This is a model supported by the community’s desire to discuss the paths towards regional development. And we at Suzano are willing to foster participatory projects and that’s why we are tremendously interested in promoting high-quality specialization in these communities as a way of contributing with a new source of income and qualification,” said Alexandre Di Ciero, Manager of Sustainability Management.
Participants receive theoretical training on diverse topics, especially on the activities they will carry out, such as planting, fertilization, crop treatment and sale of the produce. We also provide participants with the necessary inputs and lend areas, under a loan-for-use agreement, for agricultural production, which currently total 73 hectares of planted areas.
In this partnership model, our company also launches initiatives to support the direct sale of these food products. These are sold to employees at small sustainable fairs organized at our units, and since April 2018, these have been used in the meals prepared at the restaurants in the units. In this case, the food products are directly sold to the company responsible for meals at the Mucuri Unit. There are also permanent points of sale inside the communities that sell the products directly to the general public.
“We see this project as an initiative that benefits all those involved. Families now have additional income, the region benefits from the creation of new businesses and distribution of income, employees now have access to high-quality products and the environment benefits from the training imparted on the conscientious use of natural resources,” explained Di Ciero.
Among the results achieved by the Community Farming Project are the better quality of life in the community, greater sense of union between the beneficiaries, who are now formally organized in the form of associations, and the increased agricultural capacity of the region.