In order to build a joint agenda with the Ministry of the Environment to show the reality of fruit production in Brazil and deconstruct the negative image of the country before the international market, the Brazilian Association of Exporting Producers of Fruits and Derivatives (Abrafrutas) held today (10) meeting with the Minister of the Environment, Ricardo Sales. The meeting was held for the first time and had the participation of the entire board of Directors of Abrafrutas and members of the Association.
The president of Abrafrutas, Guilherme Coelho, spoke about the great concern of the sector about the image of Brazil in environmental, social and economic sustainability issues, especially in the Community of the European Union, where about 85% of brazilian fruits exported are sent.
According to Coelho, the sector has the goal of reaching the one billion mark in exports, a small number, compared to other countries that began recently exporting fruits, which is a big nuisance for the sector that needs to be heard more.
Although Brazilian fruit is well consumed in Europe, there is a large collection of customers linked to environmental issues, especially the Amazon. However, it is worth mentioning that Brazilian fruit growing is not present in the Amazon region, the main production center is located in the Brazilian semi-arid region.
"We need to join forces to change this misrepresented view that the market has of Brazilian agro, which includes fruit growing. Although we are a small part, we have a very important role, such as in generating jobs. We are ready and we really want to change the image of our country out there," said Waldir Promicia, vice president of the Association.
The country's fruit exporting producers are certified by at least one major international certifier in good agricultural practice, including sustainability issues.
"Even if we are not inside the Amazon biome, we have to meet a number of requirements. Within this sector, no one can export a fruit container if they do not have international certifications," said Luiz Barcelos, abrafrutas' institutional director.
A veteran of the chemical industry, the commercial director, Antônio Zen, says that because fruits are largely consumed in natura, producers have great responsibility and concern for the waste and pesticides that are used. They work in constant monitoring, with all the necessary care for the environment and with the people who handle the products.
According to Zen, Brazil has led the revolution in organic and natural agriculture. Beneficial microorganisms such as fungi, bacteria, bi stimulant and etc. are being used. as a way to reduce the chemical load that are used in cultivation. In this segment, although still small, the country grew 45% per year, while in others, only 15%.
The Minister of the Environment, Ricardo Salles stressed the efficiency of the sector in offering a product of the highest quality and said that Brazilian production is environmentally appropriate, which respects perhaps the most restrictive legislation in the world.
"No competing country has legislation as restrictive as ours, which runs from the use of water, water resources, to the forest code and that follow responsibly," Salles said.
It is not today that the image of Brazilian agriculture is attacked, however, Sales defends the idea of bringing information permanently to importing countries belied by those who denigrate the image of Brazil.
"If they think they are saving the environment by boycotting the Brazilian product, they are mistaken, because the absence of prosperity causes disrespect for the environment," said the minister who proposed an agenda in Europe promoted by Abrafrutas defended by the Ministry of the Environment.