With an eye on our legacy and a focus on the future, the NGO Aliança da Terra became Produzindo Certo, retaining its purpose of bringing technical assistance, information, and transparency to grow the number of farmers, ranchers, and companies committed to responsible agribusiness
Over the past 16 years, the Aliança da Terra team has walked through thousands of farm gates in the interior of Brazil. The team has looked in the eyes and shook the hands of thousands of farmers and ranchers and learned firsthand every detail of their properties. For more than 1,500 of them (and for some of the main agribusiness companies in the country), those were transformative meetings. A non-governmental organization (NGO) whose mission was to disseminate best agricultural practices while respecting the environment and people, Aliança paved the way for bringing together producers and companies that were seeking a balance between their activities and environmental preservation, while improving working conditions and, obviously, financial results for each property.
This mission has become a purpose, and the NGO is now a company. Based on this legacy and the growing challenges of agribusiness, Aliança became Produzindo Certo. The name, which was formerly given to the farm evaluation and technical assistance platform, today represents the new phase of this work, intended to transform agribusiness chains, bringing together producers and companies committed to the proper management of natural resources and respect for society.
With its roots in the fields, Aliança da Terra was formed by rural producers in the Midwestern region who understood the need to seek knowledge and joint solutions to challenges such as compliance with environmental legislation, fighting forest fires, and increasing market demand for transparency and best production practices. The objective was to demystify the concept of sustainability for producers based on the reality of the fields and to add value.
The work expanded consistently, year after year. Thus, Produzindo Certo was born with the responsibility of monitoring nearly 5 million hectares of rural areas in the five regions of Brazil, of which approximately 2.1 million hectares are protected areas of native vegetation. Between agriculture and livestock, there are 1,500 properties where 20,000 people work. Their social and environmental actions have helped prevent the release of 1.5 billion tons of CO2 into the atmosphere.
“We have a model that has been tested and approved by some of the main agribusiness companies, which can gain scale and multiply the benefits. We are looking for new investments and partnerships with industries in segments such as food, inputs, consumer goods, and financial institutions that will maintain a relationship with this network of producers to maximize results and increase social and environmental performance in the fields. This way, producers receive, at no cost, the assessment and the improvement plan and bear the costs of the necessary adjustments”, explains Aline Locks, CEO of Produzindo Certo.
The focus on the process and technical assistance to farmers and ranchers is one of Produzindo Certo’s differentiators. Knowledge of the reality of rural workers, which is the origin of the company, facilitates relationships built on trust. The assessments identify the sensitive points. Without the pressure of negative sanctions, producers undertake, within their means, implementation of adjustments and agree to monitor progress. Annual monitoring allows continuous improvements and evolution to be parameterized and verified.
One example of this convergence and of the benefits in the chain is the partnership with Unilever. Support to nearly 70 farmers resulted in the supply of 1 million tons of soybeans with RTRS (Round Table on Responsible Soy) certification in four years, in addition to the preservation of more than 1.100 kilometers of rivers and streams and 5.900 hectares of riparian woods. As part of the NGO Aliança da Terra initiative, the Produzindo Certo program selected and supported farmers in preparing to obtain certification, which is essential for Unilever to fulfill its commitment to purchase soy cultivated under responsible criteria. Inspired by the results, other companies have joined the initiative: Bayer and Yara adopted best practices in the use of their agrochemicals, and Banco Santander considered Produzindo Certo’s assessment in the social and environmental risk analysis to extend credit to producers participating in the initiative.
With the trading company ADM, a partner since 2009, best practices in soy production are in place in almost 450 properties, covering more than 1.4 million hectares. The Produzindo Certo methodology also played an important role in partnerships with Grupo Pão de Açúcar for the beef chain, among other ventures.
PRODUZINDO CERTO IN ACTION
Being close to producers is a mandatory condition for Produzindo Certo. Company specialists visit the properties and evaluate at least 70 indicators that measure aspects such as conservation of soil and native vegetation, use of pesticides and fertilizers, fire prevention methodologies, waste management plans, and environmental and labor regularization, among others. The assessment and monitoring tools consider the best protocols in responsible agriculture, facilitating audit or certification processes. The tools are also adapted to the main agribusiness chains such as soy, corn, cotton, tobacco, and livestock, among others.
“Producers and customers can safely identify sensitive points and the path to evolution. Through better understanding, it becomes easier to achieve objectives, which range from the exact calculation of the areas allocated as legal reserves, the correct use and storage of agrochemicals, how to isolate permanent protection areas (APP) and preserve river springs, and provide the best infrastructure for workers’ locker rooms and quarters”, explains Charlton Jahn Lock, the Chief Operations Officer (COO) at Produzindo Certo. In a program in partnership with Unilever, for example, the 70 participating producers invested close to R$ 1.4 million over four years in farm improvements.
In addition to greater transparency in the relationship between companies and producers, the work also opens up new markets for farmers and ranchers. Producers registered on the platform are apt to become suppliers for companies that seek, through Produzindo Certo, to qualify their production chains based on the best social and environmental parameters. Many of these companies are willing to pay premium prices for responsible production.
Technology is constantly present in this process and is being enhanced. The company invested in the development of the new Produzindo Certo system, a tool to digitize the processes of its teams and its relationship with customers, whether they are companies or producers. Companies, for example, can use technology to follow the status of the properties in their supply chain and the progress in pre-defined social and environmental and production indicators, all digitally. See more here.
PRODUZINDO CERTO SOLUTIONS
Produzindo Certo designed services that adjust to the needs of its customers, allowing for the collection of information, monitoring, and transformation of the supply chain. This information is key to bringing companies closer to the fields to assist in decision making and to generate social, environmental, and production improvements. Geared to both corporate clients and rural producers, Produzindo Certo’s tools combine the best of technology with the essence of field work and have been grouped into three different solutions, one for each audience profile and need.
- Produzindo Certo Consultation – See, in real time, the social and environmental risks of your property or your entire supply chain.
- Produzindo Certo Management – Update your rural property or supply chain using the best social and environmental standards and practices in the market.
- Produzindo Certo Value Chain – Find the best processes and partners to restructure your company’s supply chains from a network of certified producers.