European Directors of IDH have visited Brazil and were impressed by the agriculture and livestock developed in the country

IDH’s Global Chief Financial Officer, Lizet Friesen-Leibbrandt, and Landscape Global Director, Matthew Spencer, from the European team, were in Brazil in April to get to know the reality of Brazilian agriculture and livestock and to understand how the landscape strategy has been supporting sustainable development. They had the opportunity to address issues that are relevant to an increasingly sustainable future for natural resources. On this occasion, they talked to several local actors, partners, and producers.

The program started with a meeting with the governor of Mato Grosso, Mauro Mendes, during which they reinforced the partnership commitments that involve support for the Strategy and the PCI Institute, and Sema-MT’s environmental regularization agenda.

© © Marcus Mesquita Photographer. All rights reserved

L/R: Mauro Carvalho, then secretary of the Civil House of MT, Lizet Friesen-Leibbrand, IDH Global Chief Financial Officer, Mauro Mendes, governor of Mato Grosso, Matthew Spencer, IDH Global Director – Landscapes, Fernando Sampaio, executive officer of the PCI Institute, and Marcela Paranhos, IDH Global Carbon Finance Specialist.


“More and more, we need to take our news to the world; to disseminate what Mato Grosso does about Production, Conservation, and Inclusion to demystify concepts. We need not only investments but also communication. And our partnership with IDH helps us with that too,” reinforced Mauro Mendes.

During a visit to Sema-MT’s Monitoring Center, the IDH directors were also able to follow, in real-time, the work done by the secretariat in controlling and combating illegal deforestation.

The reality in the field

IDH and NATCAP teams, Mr. Paulo Agostini, producer in the Calf Program in Juruena-MT, Walter Estella (translator)


Matthew and Lizet also traveled to get to know some municipalities in the states of Mato Grosso and Maranhão in which IDH supports PCI Regional Compacts and co-finances field programs with the private sector. In Juruena, the agenda included visits to the properties served by the Sustainable Production of Calves Program. They also visited the Vale do Amanhecer settlement, where IDH is supporting the process of land regularization. The directors also visited the Centro de Atendimento ao Produtor – CAP (Producer Service Center), structured in partnership with the city hall to offer, in a single place, guidance on land and environmental regularization, and information about opportunities to participate in programs.

“I have many stories from my recent trip to Brazil, but I would like to highlight the work of Coopavam, a signatory to the Vale do Juruena PCI Compact, because it works on many levels: an enterprise that shares values with its members, working women and indigenous communities as the main beneficiaries,” said Matthew. This effort was reinforced in 2021, with the commercial partnership between the Carrefour Brasil Group and the Cooperative, established under the Vale do Juruena PCI Regional Compact. Learn more here.

L/R: Luciano Alves, agronomist, Guilherme Justo, Lizet, and Matthew, from IDH, Walter, during a visit to a grain-producing property in Sorriso-MT


In Sorriso, Matthew and Lizet got to learn about large-scale sustainable grain production and were able to understand the dynamics of operating a property that produces grain and livestock in an integrated manner. The European directors also visited the Jonas Pinheiro settlement to understand the reality of family farmers. Mayor Ari Lafin also took part in the meeting, in which the commitments towards the sustainable development of the municipality were reinforced.

“Over 180,000 hectares of soy have already been certified or are in the process of certification, and around 200 small-scale farmers are being assisted in the development of production chains”, CAT informed.

Matthew during a visit to a soy farm in Balsas-MA


In Maranhão, the European delegation traveled to the Balsas region, where 12 municipalities are part of the PCI Compact, supported by IDH. Matthew Spencer learned about the work developed by the signatory municipalities and entities, their challenges, and strategic opportunities.

In Cuiabá, ACRIMAT – Associação dos Criadores de Mato Grosso (Mato Grosso Breeders’ Association) treated everyone to lunch and, afterward, presented a summary of the results of the implementation of the Calf Program in the Araguaia Valley region and, also, the strategy to engage farmers in the Pantanal.

IDH teams during meeting with Acrimat: Eloisa Hage (black blouse), director, Amado de Oliveira Filho (striped shirt), consultant, Josiane Marques (blue T-shirt), supervisor of Acrimat’s Sustainable Production of Calves Program


In Brasília, Matthew attended the launch event of the Protocol for the Sustainable Production of Calves, held at the headquarters of Confederação da Agricultura e Pecuária do Brasil (CNA) – Brazilian Confederation of Agriculture and Livestock. Learn more here. And, in São Paulo, he met with representatives of Marfrig.