A group of companies from Brazil launched this Tuesday, September 9, the Brazilian Association of Producers of Non-Genetically Modified Grain (Abrange). The idea is to increase crops, improve production and strengthen the image of Brazil as an exporter of non-GM grain.
"We have been observing that there is space to work with this kind of product and decided to establish the association," stated the president at the organization, César Borges de Sousa, who is also the vice president at Caramuru Alimentos, one of the main players in agricultural commodities in the country.
According to him, with the creation of the Abrange, Brasil establishes itself as the main certified producer of non-GM grain and products. The last Brazilian soy crop, the most exported Brazilian grain, for example, totaled 60 million tons, being 24 million in non-GM grain.
Currently, Europe is the main market for Brazilian grain of the kind. "While the European Union is interested in purchasing non-GM grain, Brazilian businessmen will continue interested in producing," said Sousa.
To promote the Brazilian grain, Abrange plans to participate in international events starting in 2009. Among the sites to be visited by the executives at the association are Belgium, England, France and Germany.
According to the market development manager at Imcopa, one of the associates, Osíres de Melo, apart from the European market, Asian countries like Korea and Japan are also interested in non-GM soy. "Tofu (bean curds) and soy sauce, for example, are only produced from non-GM soy," said Melo, who is on the board of Abrange.
According to him, another point to be observed is that the foreign demand for meats from Brazil is greater and greater and that many markets demand that no GM inputs may have been used in the animal feed. To provide incentives for producers to work with non-genetically modified soy, for example, Brazilian companies are going to continue offering awards per bag produced.
To Melo, the Abrange forecast is that production of non-GM grain should continue growing and guaranteeing supply of inputs for foreign markets. "Abrange plays a fundamental part, which is to stand up against the idea that there is no space for non-GM grain." He added that planning is necessary. "Buyers need to get in touch with us so we know what their demand is," he said.
The annual demand for soy chaff in France, for example, is 5 million tons, being around 20% non-GM. "This is a very high volume. Last year there was not enough supply to cover the demand," said Melo. For next year, Imcopa should crush 2 million tons of soy, and over 20% has already been purchased.
In the case of Caramuru Alimentos, the organization processes 1.5 million tons of soy. "Our production is all bought," stated the company director, Weslley Sousa Rezende.
Headquartered in Goiás, Caramuru buys from over 4,000 producers of grain. The company's production is 2 million tons of non-GM soy, which represents one third of the grain production in the whole of the state.
Goiás is among the main Brazilian producers of non-GM soy, alongside Mato Grosso, Paraná, Tocantins and Bahia. The six companies that are establishing Abrange are: André Maggi Group, Brejeiro, Caramuru Alimentos, Imcopa and Vanguarda. Maggi Group is the largest soy producer in Brazil.