Certification Is the Way to Internationalization, Brazil Concludes

Brazil's certified Tahiti lime More than 3,500 men and approximately 400 machines are already at work in the construction of the Transoceânica ('Trans-Oceanic') road, which will cover the remaining 1,100 kilometers (684 miles) between the city of Rio Branco, in the northern Brazilian state of Acre, and the city of Cuzco, in Peru.

The road, whose conclusion is forecasted to take place in 2011, should increase trade between the two countries, currently at approximately US$ 600 million per year, and will facilitate Brazilian access to the Pacific Ocean, thus making it easier to ship products from Brazil to the West Coast of the United States and to Asian countries.

Given that, the Brazilian Micro and Small Business Support Service (Sebrae) has joined forces in three different Brazilian states, Mato Grosso, Rondônia and Acre, to help micro and small businesses to seek new opportunities in this new route.

A project named "Mercado da Fronteira" ('Border Market') was created, Mercado da Fronteira, which will be one of the first programs to receive funding from the National Sebrae under the new directives for internationalization of micro and small companies.

The main objective of the internationalization project is to consolidate the participation of micro and small businesses in the foreign market, including involvement in new export modalities.

"The operation of Sebrae should translate into customized support that takes into account the individuality of each company," said the manager at the Market Access Unit of National Sebrae, Raissa Rossiter.

According to her, in 2008, the institution will launch a Program for Internationalization of Micro and Small Businesses, to be available to its partners and to the small businesses sector.

"We are going to implement or adapt new tools of support to micro and small businesses, training, information and diagnosis tools, and we are also going to support initiatives by Sebrae state units for implementing the program."

The aim, she explains, is to follow up the step-by-step development and to measure it by means of goals yet to be established, especially by assessing the profile of the small exporter companies in 2006, 2007 and 2008.

One of the tools for supporting micro and small businesses in the internationalization process of Brazilian products, according to the superintendent at Sebrae São Paulo, Ricardo Tortorella, is the support of the organization in seeking certifications.

"Here in São Paulo we have an extraordinary experience with Tahiti lemon, produced in six municipalities in the Catanduva region," she explains.

Recently, 59 rural producers received the European Retailers Working Group – Good Agricultural Practices (EurepGap), a certification created by initiative of supermarkets in the European Union (EU).

"Now, farmers are more confident and competitive. Demand has increased significantly with certification of products," says Tortorella.

Sebrae

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