In September, the Food Systems Summit (FSS) will take place, held by the United Nations (UN). The event will take place during the High Level week of its General Assembly.
The Brazilian government, under the coordination of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MRE), has been promoting dialogues with federal public administration and private sector bodies on domestic food systems to define proposals to be submitted to the international body.
To help the country form its position for the summit, the Council of Coffee Exporters of Brazil (Cecafé) represented the national coffee production chain in the round of debates that took place last Friday (14), which focused on the theme “Building Resilient Food Systems” , and on Wednesday (12), when the theme “Encouraging the Production and Healthy and Sustainable Consumption of Food” was addressed .
The entity's general director, Marcos Matos, presented the success story of the resilience of Brazilian coffees, centered on organization, synergy and efficiency of the national coffee growing segments, which generates added value and greater transfer of the price Free On Board (FOB ) from export to the coffee grower.
According to him, what sustains the resilience of the coffee activity is the existence of sustainability in its environmental socioeconomic tripod. On the economic side, there is an offer of official rural credit, a growing investment of own resources from the main banks, in addition to the differential of the Coffee Economy Defense Fund (Funcafé), which has R $ 6 billion annually to serve all segments.
“This financial framework supports coffee growers, industrialists and exporters, allowing balance in the chain, which makes Brazil quickly negotiate its harvests, taking advantage of the price spikes in the market, through future locks and barter. In addition, in the country, the External Producer Price Index (IPEP) has fluctuated between 80% and 91% for 15 years, well above the average of other coffee nations, which pass between 40% and 60% of the FOB price. In other words, when we add value to the product, the Brazilian coffee grower wins the most ”, he explains.
The financial strength of the national coffee industry also allowed the country to make investments in research, innovation and technology, resulting in an important preservation of the environment. “Brazil increased its productivity from six bags per hectare, in the 1960s, to 33 bags in the 2020/21 harvest, thus reducing the area for cultivation, which went from more than 5 million hectares to just over 2 million ha, making room for other crops and, above all, preserving the environment ”, points out the director of Cecafé.
Marcos Matos points out that the country also demonstrates proactivity to increase its environmental sustainability in agriculture, with works focused on the optimization of the Rural Environmental Registry (CAR), the Environmental Regularization Program (PRA) and the consolidation of the Forest Code.
“Specifically on coffee, there are still several works for integrated pest management, biological control, carbon balance, traceability and preservation of natural resources, such as water, and native forests in rural areas, which are unique differentials in Brazil, be attractive to international payment programs and, above all, they are very positive for the country's external image ”, he reports.
The director adds that environmental respect is superior to the reality of other coffee nations and that the entity has been intensifying actions to further optimize the production process. “We have several actions that Cecafé develops to promote good agricultural practices and to mitigate and avoid illegality in the field. Reflecting these efforts and punctuating the social relevance of coffee growing, mainly exercised by family farmers, who account for 72% of the activity in Brazil, Embrapa studies prove that the Human Development Index is higher where coffee production is installed ”, he concludes.
Healthy and sustainable consumption
On Wednesday (12), Cecafé's Sustainability manager, Thiago Masson, contributed to the debates regarding incentives for the production and healthy and sustainable consumption of food. He highlights the global insertion as a quality and safety certificate for Brazilian coffee, with exports being made to more than 120 countries, from all continents, a 40% market share and a revenue generation of US $ 5.6 billion. "These figures reveal the capacity of our coffee activity to serve consumers who are looking for different characteristics of the drink worldwide", he considers.
Regarding socioeconomic importance and socioenvironmental responsibility, Masson reports that the culture is present in more than 250 thousand rural properties, strictly family farming, with about 72% of these establishments having a maximum of 20 hectares. He also highlights the growth in national exports of differentiated coffees, which jumped from 5.9 million bags in 2016 to 7.9 million last year, of which 20% refer to fruits with socio-environmental certifications.
To contribute to this performance, the Cecafé manager explains that, in addition to the environmental legislation for agricultural systems in the country, the coffee agro-industrial segment also has specific references and regulations in the social, environmental and economic pillars, such as, for example, the Curriculum Sustainability Program (CSC) and Integrated Coffee Production (PIC-Café).
According to him, the advances achieved by Brazil in research, innovation, technical assistance and rural extension caused the average productivity of the sector to grow 416% between 1960 and 2020, the area destined for culture decreased 51% and also helped Brazil to position itself as the largest producer and exporter and the second largest consumer in the world.
“When we think about regenerative agriculture, it is clear that coffee properties in the country are advancing in agroforestry systems and integrated pest management, with scientific studies that prove the efficiency of sustainable practices for carbon sequestration and increased productivity, as well as conservation native forests, assets that may attract so-called payments for environmental services ”, he points out.
In citing that the world needs to move forward in regulatory frameworks that encourage the international carbon offset market, for example, Masson concludes that the Food Systems Summit may be the international coordination that will contribute to the fight against poverty and global food insecurity in the post -pandemic.
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