The PCI Sorriso Pact fosters RTRS soy certification in Mato Grosso
Through a loyalty program, Bayer has covered 50% of the expenses of the RTRS certification audit for producers in the region.
In partnership with the IDH – Sustainable Trade Initiative and Clube Amigos da Terra (CAT), Bayer has directly supported RTRS certification in Sorriso (MT) as part of its commitment to sustainability in agricultural production in the region. The company has covered 50% of the costs of the audit process needed to receive RTRS certification in the country’s primary grain producer region.
Since 2013, Bayer and RTRS have cooperated to raise awareness of the importance of certification for producers. The subsidy covers about 25 producers who are part of the Cultivando a Vida Sustentável (Cultivating Sustainable Life) program, co-financed by IDH and CAT in Sorriso. The farmers acquired the audit through the Impulso Bayer loyalty program in the Orbia platform, a marketplace for inputs, seeds and commodities. The total area of certified farms is 128,000 hectares, with 75,000 hectares devoted to grain production.
“Working with sustainability and focusing on environmental, social and economic issues is one of Bayer’s premises; as such, we understand our need to directly support producers in striking this balance, as well as those seeking RTRS certification. Initiatives like this are meant to increase the uptake of grain certification, which is yet another excellent alternative that contributes to a more sustainable agriculture. In addition to improving the sector, we also collaborate to overcome any demands and challenges that come up”, says Alessandra Fajardo, Director of Engagement Strategy for agriculture and the environment for Latin America at Bayer.
“Private sector engagement is essential to scaling up the sustainable land development model and generating the impacts expected by all parties involved in this collective endeavor”, adds Daniela Mariuzzo, executive director of IDH for Brazil and the Sustainable Landscapes in Program Latin America.
In RTRS 2019 Annual Conference, RT14, in Utrecht, the Netherlands, RTRS signed a MoU with IDH and CAT Sorriso to adhere to the Produce, Conserve, Include (PCI) strategy intended to promote sustainable soy production in Sorriso through a jurisdictional approach. One year later, Bayer joined the PCI (Produce, Conserve and Include) Pact in Sorriso, Brazil
“Jurisdictional approaches have a strong value as they bring together producers, players in the private sector and local governments pursuing the transformation of a region; enabling and driving high impact initiatives that are socially, environmentally and economically sustainable. We are truly motivated to see tangible results from tangible actions”, says Marcelo Visconti, RTRS Executive Director.
Benefits for producers
RTRS’ production and chain of custody certification ensures that soy – used either as a raw material or as a by-product – originates from a process that is environmentally appropriate, socially adequate and economically feasible. RTRS production is based on five principles: legal compliance and good business practices; responsible labor conditions; responsible community relations; environmental responsibility and good agricultural practices.
This process contributes to building a more sustainable supply chain and also provides direct benefits to producers, as explained by Dudy Paiva, president of CAT Sorriso and owner of Fazenda Santana – a farm that has been certified since 2014 and has 900 hectares devoted to soybean production.
“As certification requires compliance with 106 different indicators, we have seen significant improvement in farm management, with much greater control over information and processes. We record all the times when PPEs (Personal Protection Equipment) are washed and vehicles are refueled, as well as domestic waste disposal measures and training courses attended by our employees. This level of control really helps ensure the property operates smoothly on a daily basis”, she says.
In addition to the environmental and social benefits of employing sustainable practices, certification also ensures financial returns through the sale of soy credits or RTRS certified soy to companies wishing to support the production of sustainable soy like RTRS. According to Dudy, “it is beneficial because it motivates farmers; we have seen growing interest in supporting sustainable soy production”.
Certification in Brazil
From an environmental perspective, RTRS certification enables the preservation of biodiversity and high conservation value areas while helping improve soil quality and waste management, among other benefits. From a social standpoint, there was a decrease in the number of work accidents, training is provided to employees and there are interactions with the community around certified farms. The economic benefits are reduced costs, assistance in monitoring and managing inputs and fewer operational risks.
Brazil is one of the largest producers of RTRS soy in the world, accounting for more than 85% of the total volume. There are currently around 10,000 producers in the world and 4 million tons were certified in 2020. Studies show that the states of Maranhão and Mato Grosso feature the highest volumes of certified production in the country. In Maranhão, approximately 25% of all production is RTRS certified; in Mato Grosso, more than 1.8 million tons have been certified.
Bayer is a global company focused on Life Sciences in the fields of health and nutrition. Its products and services benefit people by supporting them to overcome the greatest challenges imposed by population growth and aging. The company also aims to create value through innovation and growth. Bayer is committed to the principles of sustainable development, as the Bayer brand signifies trust, credibility and quality around the world. The company made € 43.5 billion in sales in the 2019 fiscal year, with around 104 thousand employees. Investments totaled € 2.9 billion and Research & Development expenses totaled € 5.3 billion. For more information, visit www.bayer.com.
IDH is a public-private institution created in 2008 and based in Utrecht, the Netherlands. We work in partnerships that leverage private sector resources with the mission of accelerating sustainability in key agribusiness chains, causing a positive impact towards the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). IDH brings together governments, companies, rural producers, civil society and other organizations with the power to plan, implement and expand initiatives that support the intensification of production, the conservation of natural resources and the inclusion of small farmer chains in commercial systems. With over 500 partners, IDH develops, conducts, co-finances and evaluates innovative business models with the potential to generate impact at scale.
About CAT Sorriso
CAT Sorriso is a non-profit association that brings rural producers together and strives for technological development in harmony with the environment. Created 18 years ago, Associação Clube Amigos da Terra (CAT) values transparency in everything it does to preserve the environment, recognize and value rural families and build on – and consolidate – proven work. To learn more information, visit: www.catsorriso.org.br.