Brazil possesses the second largest area of organic agricultural production in the world, surpassed only by Australia. The country was in 34th place, but it rose in the ranking through the inclusion of sustainable extractive activities in the Amazon region in the calculation.
In all, 6.5 million hectares of land are available for the cultivation of such organic products as bananas, pineapples, coffee, honey, milk, meat, soybeans, palm hearts, sugar, chicken, vegetables, and some Amazonian products, such as Brazil nuts, acai berries, latex, and fruit.
For the head of the Ministry of Agriculture’s Division of Certification and Control of Organic Production, Roberto Mattar, with such a large certified area, “we are guaranteeing producers enhanced value for their products and the generation of jobs and income for the families that live in the region, in addition to the preservation of the environment for future generations.”
Mattar recalls that organic products have been gaining market space every day in Brazil and outside the country.
“The conscientious consumer knows that when she buys an organic product, paying more than for conventional products, he is not only acquiring a product free of chemical contamination and pesticides but one which also embodies respect for cultural traditions, labor laws, and the social conditions of workers,” he affirms.
To give the reader some idea, Brazil signed contracts worth US$ 41 million (31.4 million euros) at the Biofach, the international organic products fair held last month in Germany.
“At the fair in Nuremberg, the 87 exhibitors of Brazilian organic products sold twice what they did last year,” Mattar informs.
According to Mattar, the creation of the Agroecology Coordination Board this year by the Ministry of Agriculture demostrates the government’s interest in developing this sector with support from the states, municipalities, and the Ministries of Agrarian Development and Environment.
“Our interest is to keep farmers farming, producing healthful foods, not poisoning themselves, and enjoying technical and economic conditions to produce.
“We develop activities in the area of incentives, certification, and training, and we assist all the segments involved in the organic agribusiness chain to fulfill their roles within the system,” the specialist concludes.
Translation: David Silberstein