Smallholder Program in Brazil

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21 September 2016 - ASSOBARI First Sugarcane Farmer Organization in Brazil to Earn RSB Certification

Sugarcane field, © Assobari

Sugarcane field, © Assobari

ASSOBARI (Associação dos Fornecedores de Cana da Região de Bariri) is the first organization of sugar cane producers in Brazil to earn RSB certification. The RSB certification is for the production and processing of sugarcane by 62 farmers and approximately 1,860 hectares of sugar cane plantations. RSB certification is the recognition that farmers in the Bariri region produce sugarcane in a sustainable manner, in accordance with global standards,” said Acácio Masson Filho, Assobari’s President. “RSB is an important organization to help us access the market for multi-products from sugar cane.”

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15 September 2016 - Farmers Earn First RSB Smallholder Group Certification in Brazil

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For the first time, a smallholder group with 20 family farmers and a cooperative earned RSB certification in Brazil. The project in the Montes Claros region, Minas Gerais state of Brazil is a pioneer as the first RSB smallholder certification in Brazil, using RSB principles and criteria adapted to smallholders groups. The project was developed with support from RSB and the Boeing Corporate Citizenship program in partnership with Unidade de Beneficiamento de Coco Macaúba (UBCM) which is a small cooperative that processes macaúba fruits collected by local communities, with a local university Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais (UFMG), and with two family farmers associations. They participated in the RSB smallholder program which aims to improve the living conditions of small farmers and promote sustainable practices based on the RSB standard and seeking market for certified products.

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More Background on Macaúba Oil Smallholder Farmers Project

Macaúba palm tree (Acrocomia aculeata) is a species of palm native to tropical areas in Brazil. It can be found in natural stands or in existing pasturelands (integrated to cattle rising or agriculture), and has a great potential as a sustainable source of plant oil for biofuels and biomaterials. Small farmers have an opportunity to collect macaúba fruit directly from stands where it grows naturally, and also allows for more intensive production in the form of managed, commercial plantations.

Solaris field

Macaúba palm trees in Mirabela (Montes Claros, Brazil). Photo credit: Aurea Nardelli, RSB

This project involves a group of around 100 families that traditionally collect fruits from the Cerrado (Brazilian savannah). The smallholders have organized themselves as a farmer cooperative, which operates the oil processing facility.

The project raised interest from both the Minas Gerais State and the Brazilian Federal Government, who supported the development of the macaúba value chain for biofuels and biomaterials. Use of macaúba oil as a feedstock for biojet fuel is of particular interest.

RSB is looking forward to sharing the lessons learned from the pilot project in Montes Claros region with smallholders working in other regions in Brazil where macaúba palm tree grows, and to demonstrate the social and environmental benefits for all actors involved in the value chain.

Solaris field

Smallholders collecting macaúba fruits in Montes Claros region, Brazil. Photo credit: Aurea Nardelli, RSB

SOCICANA and RSB Launch the Sustainable Sugarcane Programsocicana flyer cover image

The goal of this ”Programa Cana Sustentável” is to help smallholder producers to implement sustainable practices according to the RSB standard, and thus improve the management of the property, the quality of raw materials and, consequently, obtain better business results. Download flyer for more details.

Videos

Watch videos about macaúba production, prepared by EMBRAPA. The first video below contains English subtitles, the others are in Portuguese.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jTutEZ5ZfjU&authuser=0
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LxmpRMCHVPo&authuser=0
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EJBLm0ZbBDg&authuser=0