The Carrefour Group Brazil and the Farmers’ Cooperative of Vale do Amanhecer (Coopavam) have entered into a partnership whose benefits go beyond the commercial issue to also promote sustainable landscape development in Mato Grosso. The agreement for the commercialization of sustainably harvested Brazil nuts, involves family farmers from the Vale do Amanhecer settlement, in the municipality of Juruena, and indigenous people from six ethnic groups (Mundukuru, Cinta Larga, Zoró, Kayabi, Suruí and Apiaká). The result is improved income and support for the conservation of 1.5 million hectares of Amazon Forest located in the northwest region of Mato Grosso and part of the state of Rondônia.
The opportunity arose under the PCI Regional Compact – a landscape approach strategy that aims to Produce, Conserve, and Include – of the Juruena Valley, of which the Carrefour Group and Coopavam are signatories. “The Compact was our great opportunity. It was thanks to the organizations that are part of it, that this became possible. We had already made other attempts at fairs, for example, but had not been successful. We can only be grateful because this is a dream of many years coming true,” says Luzirene Coelho Lustosa, president of the Cooperative.
The executive director of the PCI Institute, the entity responsible for raising funds and managing the implementation of the goals, Fernando Sampaio, also reiterates the importance of the Compact as a link between local production and the markets. “We are witnessing a practical example of this engagement: a large global company and a local cooperative working together and generating social and environmental benefits in a region of the Amazon”, he pointed out.
In the opinion of the Director of Corporate Affairs and Sustainability of the Carrefour Group, Lucio Vicente, this support translates into multiple benefits. “One of the strategies of Carrefour Group Brazil, aligned with the Act for Food transition movement, is to support small farmers and regional foods. We are very pleased with the partnership with Coopavam, as it is an opportunity to strengthen the community of the Juruena Valley, boost farmers’ income, enhance the value of native products and conserve the biome, where we have also sponsored other projects,” he says.
One of the distinctive features of this agreement, highlighted by Coopavam, is the freedom to establish the volume of delivery according to operational capacity, in addition to the exemption from distribution fees and other requirements usually adopted by the market, which is considered essential in cooperative reality and supportive economy. In 2020, 15 tons of nuts were made available on the shelves of the supermarkets of the chain across Brazil – from Manaus to Porto Alegre – and, this year, new volumes have already been scheduled.
“For IDH, which has invested around €9 million in Mato Grosso over the past five years, this agreement reflects the concrete results that PCI Regional Compacts can deliver to regions, and, at the same time, it is an example of how companies, by connecting with landscape initiatives, add value to corporate sustainability commitments,” points out Daniela Mariuzzo, IDH Brazil Executive Director & Latam Landscapes.
Since 2018, the Carrefour Group Brazil, the Carrefour Foundation and IDH have invested in the Juruena Valley region with funding for the Sustainable Production of Calves Program, which supports small-scale farmers to improve their activity and achieve a more solid income.