Establishing consortia with the objective of expanding existing markets and conquering new ones is a strategy that Brazilian cooperatives may adopt in order to place their products on the international market. The consortium is a legal tool that brings the participating cooperatives closer to the production, manufacturing and distribution phases, enabling each to retain its identity and at the same time operate together in the market.
The director of the Department of Rural Cooperatives and Associations (Denacoop) of the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Supply, Daniel Amin Ferraz, explains that the ministry sets the rules for cooperatives to establish a consortium.
"We provide support so that they may have market access, increase their production scale and standardize their product, and thus compete in the globalized world," explains Amin Ferraz.
According to the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Supply, there already are consortia of cooperatives operating successfully in the market. In the state of Paraná, for instance, 21 agricultural cooperatives have established the National Agricultural Cooperative Consortium (Coonagro), in 2008, bringing together production of soy, corn, wheat, barley and dairy products.
The consortium defined as its priority to increase the scale for sales, purchasing of fertilizers, logistics and distribution. The participating cooperatives posted revenues of 8 billion Brazilian reais (US$ 4.2 billion) over the course of one year.
Another case of success is that of the Brazilian Agricultural Cooperative Consortium (CCAB), which comprises cooperatives from the states of Santa Catarina, Minas Gerais, Mato Grosso do Sul, Mato Grosso, Bahia and Goiás.
The CCAB has more than 79,000 farmers and accounts for 20% of domestic soy production, 20% of maize, 15% of coffee and 70% of cotton. In 2008, the CCAB invested 2 billion reais (US$ 1 billion) in logistics, already has its own brands of pesticides, imports and distributes generic products, and is responsible for holding back prices.
From World Bank to Bahia
The UN Radio informs that the World Bank has cleared a project worth US$ 30 million to fight poverty in rural areas of the state of Bahia. According to the bank, the figure represents additional financing and should help increase the chances of development.
The project by the government of Bahia and the World Bank also aims to improve the infrastructure of municipalities in the interior of the state. According to the organization, 70% of the funds will be channeled into forestry, agricultural and fishery sector activities. The remainder should be spent on the administrative and water supply sectors.
According to a report on the loan, using the funds, the government of Bahia should create approximately 1,800 sub-projects, benefiting a total of 810,000 people in the rural areas of the state.
Researchers with the Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation (Embrapa) are going to visit British institutions, such as the Cambridge University, to articulate the implementation of the United Kingdom-Brazil project: research on second generation biofuels, funded by the UK-based Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra).
The aim of the project, with forecasted duration of two years, is to promote closer professional relations and create a research network involving the two countries and focusing on second-generation biofuels.
Passed in April this year, the project has a total cost of 300,000 pounds and provides for 15 researchers with Embrapa and the National Agricultural Research System (SNPA) to spend six months at the Defra.
According to the head of Research and Development of Embrapa Agroenergy, Esdras Sundfeld, the main result of the mission will be an action plan for implementing the project, which will provide an opportunity for Brazilian researchers to undergo training and updating at cutting-edge institutions in the United Kingdom.
Dance Against Polio
Held on an annual basis, the "Dance Against Polio in Africa" show aims to gather funds for the Rotary Foundation, which manages program Polio Plus – one of the main programs of the Rotary Club, which was established in 1985 and fights for the total eradication of poliomyelitis in the four countries where the disease still victimizes millions of children: Nigeria, India, Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Over the course of 24 years, by means of the program, 3.6 million children were prevented from contracting the disease. Currently, there is an ongoing effort worldwide (there are 1.2 Rotarians around the world) to raise US$ 100 million for the foundation to contribute to the total eradication of the disease.
"Dance Against Polio in Africa" will be presented on Friday (31st) at Theatre Paulo Autran (Sesc Pinheiros). The show features Brazilian ballet dancers who work in foreign companies, was conceived by the Rotary Club in Butantã, São Paulo, in 2005, and in four years it has raised the equivalent of 310,000 doses of vaccine, sufficient to immunize 51,000 children.
Grape and Wine
The municipality of Bento Gonçalves, in the state of Rio Grande do Sul, is going to receive investment of approximately 1.5 million reais (US$ 790,000) from the Brazilian Ministry of Tourism for developing its tourism industry. The funds will be invested in tourism infrastructure works in the city, which is known as the Brazilian capital of grape and wine.
The funds will be used for implementing tourist signs, modernizing the Fenavinho Events Park and the center of Tourist Services in the city.
The Ministry of Tourism also informs that Bento Gonçalves is going to be the pilot city for the Tourism Management Software created by the Ministry of Tourism. The tool is going to enable the ministry and local tourist destinations to carry out real-time management of the actions and goals set under the Tourism Regionalization Program. The program was developed using the data, and the methodology is already used at 65 different tourist destinations in the city.
The leading producer of grape and wine in Brazil, the tourist region of the Vinhedos Valley, in which Bento Gonçalves is located, receives a large number of tourists during winter to taste its products.
According to the Association of Fine Wine Producers of the Vinhedos Valley (Aprovale), the number of visitors is increasing. This year, the expectation is for the number of tourists to grow 15%, compared with 65,200 visits in 2008. From June 21st to July 15th, nearly 36,000 tourists had already visited the region.