Protecting tropical forests by means of green markets and sustainable consumption
Title: Green Markets and Sustainable Consumption
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Lead executing agency: Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Food Supply (MAPA)
Overall term: 2016 to 2020
The rainforest in the Amazon region of Brazil is shrinking. Advancing deforestation is releasing greenhouse gases, reducing biodiversity and destroying the settlement areas of traditional populations. As its contribution to the Paris Climate Agreement, Brazil has therefore set itself the goal of reaching zero illegal deforestation by 2030. The country aims to promote sustainable production systems to protect the forest. The production systems are based, for example, on nuts or fruits that are gathered in the natural forest without destroying it. At the same time, eco-friendly cultivation methods in agriculture can open up economically viable prospects for smallholders. The main challenge facing many smallholder cooperatives is gaining market access for their products.
Smallholders and traditional populations have improved market access for sustainably produced products from the Amazon region. This encourages them to conserve and use the forest instead of clearing it and transforming it into arable and pastureland.
The project improves the state policy for promoting sustainable Amazonian products. One example of this is the creation of five Chambers of Commerce in four federal states. In them, all the relevant players work together to find ways of promoting sustainable value chains.
One important element is to provide support in building management capacities in cooperatives. Needs range from advice on bookkeeping basics and the development of business models to organisational development and sustainability seals. The technicians of rural advisory services are being trained to teach management content and to apply innovative advisory methods in their work with the cooperatives.
Sustainable consumption is also being strengthened, with campaigns to encourage conscious consumption and provide information about sustainable production conditions in the Amazon region. New marketing channels for environmentally friendly products from the Amazon region are being opened up.
Private business is an important partner in the development of sustainable value chains. The project supports public-private partnerships (PPPs) in order to direct private investment into such production systems. It is also working with ‘impact investors’ whose aim is to achieve a positive social and ecological impact with their investment in the Amazon region.
In its implementation of the project, the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH is supported by the Eco Consulting/IPAM consortium.
- The project has increased the visibility of the supply and demand of sustainable Amazonian products. To this end, data was collected on the products of some 341 cooperatives and smallholder organisations and 170 companies were recorded.
- Five federal states have set up Chambers of Commerce with over 120 members. They operate in Manaus, Rio Branco, Belém, Macapá and Santarém and have enabled additional sales revenues of more than EUR 13 million through public food procurement. Indigenous communities also benefited from additional income as, for the first time, they were able to supply their products for school meals in indigenous schools. This new approach is now to be introduced throughout Brazil.
- Together with school cooks from the Amazon region, a popular chef developed recipes using sustainably produced, regional ingredients. The resulting cookbook is used for school meals in the federal states of the Amazon region.
- 121 technicians from rural advisory services received training to improve the management of cooperatives. The services provided advice to 69 cooperatives in 46 towns and cities in which 5,000 smallholder families are organised. New planning instruments were used in pilot projects to improve gender equality.
- 225 public employees responsible for food procurement received training on the stronger use of sustainable products from local smallholder cooperatives. As a result, purchases were made from smallholders totalling EUR 5.5 million in 20 tenders.
- Preparatory training for cooperatives made their participation in the 2018 and 2020 BIOFACH trade fairs more effective.
- Market access has improved. First, through stronger weekly markets with organic produce, through which 18 cooperatives with 400 families increased sales by 80 per cent. Second, through the marketing of sustainable wild fishing in high-priced customer segments. This resulted in a threefold increase in the price obtained, benefitting 4,000 fishing families in the federal state of Amazonas. Third, the traceability and transparency of sustainable products have improved. As a result, consumers and processing industries know the sustainable origin of a product.
- Dialogue with public, private sector and civil society participants of brazil nut and açaí value chains has been established to improve the technical and policy framework conditions for products and promote sustainability.
- The project launched three partnerships with the private sector, which resulted in investment in the sustainable production of cocoa and açaí berries worth EUR 4.5 million. More than 1,000 families are benefitting from the measures. Support for a start-up programme secured a further EUR one million in sustainable investment.
- Good practices have been systemised and replicated in the project region. Comprehensive documentation of these examples with instructions are available on the Ministry of Agriculture’s homepage.
- The cooperatives’ sales of sustainable products in the Amazon region increased by 25 per cent from 2017 to 2019, adjusted for inflation.