The president of the Brazilian Agribusiness Association (Abag), Marcello Brito, opened the 2021 Brazilian Agribusiness Congress this Monday morning with a speech in which he condemned land grabbing and stated that it is not possible to remain silent . “We entered the 9th year in a row with an increase in illegal deforestation. We cannot see this in the midst of a deafening silence”, he said during the event broadcast over the internet, with the expected presence of ministers and important executives from the agribusiness sector. “We call the responsibility of governments and of us, good citizens of the country, who have made silence our complicity. The Amazon is not only an environmental asset, but mainly a tool for accessing markets and international agreements. In the ESG world, whoever has the best asset to trade wins, and we are destroying ours.”
Brito also stated that Brazil’s negative image abroad is consolidating. “We’re almost to the point where, on our own, we can’t easily reverse this curve. You don’t need to be a Master in International Relations to understand the seriousness of this situation and possible long-term impacts on products with the Made in Brazil brand”, he said. “Image rescue has to start inside here.” In this sense, Brito praised the work of the Brazilian Rural Society (SRB) and the Minister of Agriculture, Tereza Cristina, who, said Brito, “has been working day to day to improve public governance for the sector.”
A positive side mentioned by Brito was that it began to be observed that the international media has been separating most of the national production in relation to the Amazon from those who deforest illegally – although this is still not so seen in cattle raising.
Brito questioned whether Brazil will be a protagonist in the three major events that will take place this year: the food systems summit, in September, the biodiversity conference, in October, and the climate conference, in November. “What will be Brazil’s role in the three conferences? Will we be mere participants or protagonists?”, asked the president of Abag. “At the summit of food systems, we will be leadership with Minister Tereza Cristina. We cheered for the other two.”
‘Sustainability has guided actions’
Minister Tereza Cristina reaffirmed this Monday that sustainability has guided the actions of the Agriculture portfolio and that Brazil will be one of the main suppliers of low-carbon food in the next decade. “Brazilian agriculture is the solution to the challenges of sustainable production that we are facing,” she said at the event.
Tereza Cristina mentioned as part of these efforts the launch of a “greener” Crop Plan, especially due to the 101% expansion in the ABC Program credit line, the Sectoral Plan for Mitigation and Adaptation to Climate Change for the Consolidation of a Low Carbon Economy in Agriculture. “We are guaranteeing financing for reforestation and also for renewable energy generation systems, such as with biogas and biomethane”, he added, saying that the 2021/22 Harvest Plan presented the ABC+, with guidelines for the next decade.
Another project mentioned by the minister was the carbon neutral or low carbon meat protocol, launched in partnership between Embrapa and the private sector. According to her, the state research company is already developing the same technology for other main agricultural commodities.
From the producer’s point of view and the commitment to advance in the effective implementation of the Forest Code, a highlight is the “Analisa CAR”, a system that uses geoprocessing technology to advance the automated analysis of the Rural Environmental Registry (CAR), in order to regularize agricultural properties. “We need the help of the States to implement this tool. It is fundamental for Brazil to be able to reconcile production with environmental conservation”, said Tereza Cristina.
As for green bonds, the minister believes that the country can become a leader on the global agenda. It is estimated that, for the time being, around R$30 billion are invested in managing these assets in Brazil. Abroad, the minister comments, there are already more than US$ 1 trillion in resources invested in international sustainable funds.
Tereza Cristina, who has just returned from Rome after the pre-summit on food systems, commented that the meeting had, for the first time, an agreement and a single policy between all the countries of South America and the Caribbean. “This is an important union so that the agenda that will be debated and launched at the September Summit, in New York, encompasses 16 common points that the countries of the Americas took as the main ones”, he assessed.
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