In Brazil, the organic product sector has become a growing market, expanding above the average of the conventional food, beverage and cosmetics sectors. Producing and selling green has turned into something more professional and gained scale. Worldwide, it has a yearly turnover of US$ 40 billion and growth of 30%.
Over the last two years there has been 50% expansion in sales, in Brazil, well above that identified in other countries, large global consumers of products free of pesticides, like Germany and the United States.
Biofach Latin America 2007, which began Tuesday, October 16, in the sidelines of ExpoSustentat, in the city of São Paulo, in the Brazilian southeast, confirms the sector's growth trajectory.
According to figures disclosed by the Brazilian Export and Investment Promotion Agency (Apex), organic product deals in the country should post a turnover of approximately US$ 250 million. Brazilian exports of organics, in turn, are around US$ 120 million.
The organizers of Biofach/ExpoSustentat expect a daily public of 3,000 visitors from 15 countries. Among the 300 exhibitors there are Brazilians and foreigners, suppliers of food, beverages, cosmetics and organic inputs, as well as natural medication. One space that is calling the attention of buyers and specialists is the Northeast & Savannah – Eco-Productive Communities, which is showcasing projects in 14 Brazilian states.
Exhibitors in the space represent over 17,000 families of small farmers of organic products and products derived within the proposal of sustainable family agriculture.
"The experiences presented at the Northeast & Savannah Room are developed considering respect to social and cultural difference and make clear the importance of generating income and social inclusion with food safety. All the groups work within social and environmental criteria," explained Luiz Roberto Carraza, technical advisor at the Society, Population and Nature Institute, one of the supporters of the space.
According to Carraza, the initiative is also going to add value to changes established in the way of organizing the farmers in productive groups, cooperatives, associations and social networks, which point at decentralization of management and make it possible to overcome and advance beyond the barriers of trade and industrialization.
"In this respect – one of the criteria for participation in the room was the capability of supplying larger orders from buyers. In all, there are 15 exhibitors, 10 from the northeast and five from the Savannah," he explained.
The stands are showing fruit, oil, coffee, sweets, essences, honey and its products, handicraft and much more. In the space of the Association for Settlement Areas in the State of Maranhão (Assema), the person presenting the products is seed cracker Dorenilde Souza Silva, aged 32, one of the 160 associates at the organization.
The main product made is organic babassu oil, which is produced from the seeds of babassu palms, used in the production of cosmetics, hygiene and cleaning products.
"In the process for production of babassu we do not burn, knock down, nor use pesticides," explained Dorenilde, who has been cracking babassu seeds since she was 10 years old. "I can crack approximately 10 kilograms of seeds a day," she guarantees.
She and other crackers earn 1.25 Brazilian real (US$ 0.70) per kilogram of seed delivered at one of the eight cooperative collection centers managed by the organization, named Coppalj. Babassu oil is traded on the domestic market and exported to Europe and the United States.
"At the end of the year, after all expenses are paid, the profits are shared among the associates, according to the volume each one delivered at the cooperative," she explained. The Biodynamic Institute (IBD) seal has been on the product since 1997.
The Association of Organic Producers of Taquaritinga do Norte (Aprotaq), based in the northeaster state of Pernambuco, took organic coffee produced by 22 associations to Biofach. "Our production is still small, on average 80 tons a year, but we are already exporting to Europe and the United States," stated Aprotaq vice president Pedro de Lemos Araújo Júnior, proudly.
According to him, in Taquaritinga coffee grows in the shade of plants native to the region, which guarantee to the product a different taste. "The shade guarantees a chocolaty flavor to our coffee and an unforgettable taste," explained Araújo Júnior. "We have had IBD certification for three years and are at Biofach seeking new markets in Brazil and abroad," he pointed out.
Biofach/ExpoSustentat ends on Wednesday (17), at the Transamérica Expo Center, in São Paulo. Further information on site www.biofach-americalatina.com.br
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