Brazil’s first FSA-verified sugar producer!
The Sustainable Agriculture Initiative (SAI), is an international community for companies looking to promote more sustainable agricultural practices. It developed an on-farm approach called the Farm Sustainability Assessment (FSA) which is now a requirement on the European market. Tereos has just become the first company to source from an FSA verified Brazilian sugarcane producer, Patrícia Matarazzo. This accolade rewards her work over the last twenty years since she took over the family estate.
With approximately 270 hectares of sugarcane on her farm in Bebedouro (São Paulo), Patrícia Matarazzo is one of 1,000 suppliers of sugarcane to Tereos Sugar & Energy Brazil. She took the initiative to have her work assessed in order to enhance her production. This approach makes her a pioneer in this sector. “At the beginning of last year, I wanted to evaluate the quality of my work. The initial evaluation revealed that there was scope for improvement: in particular, I had to make some of my storage areas compliant, develop a water filtration system for cleaning my agricultural equipment, and keep a register of all the activities taking place on my farm. Having complied in all these areas, I finally got the FSA verification during the 2018-19 campaign,” says Patrícia Matarazzo.
“The SAI platform is based on 3 principles”
- Environment: energy management, waste and CO2 emissions, biodiversity, water management, etc.
- Economy: farming management, market access, and economic viability.
- Social: local community, working conditions, and health and safety.
In 2015, Tereos opted for SAI Platform’s FSA verification. Since then, the 12,000 cooperative sugar beet producers in France have obtained FSA Gold or Silver level! The Group now aims to extend this approach to all the countries in which it operates, to enhance production and boost exports.
As Edilberto Bannwart, Sustainable Development Director at TSEB explains, “SAI Platform is one of the most widely-recognized platforms internationally. Obtaining FSA is proof of the quality of our production and guarantees its value on the international market.”
SAI (Sustainable Agriculture initiative)
SAI Platform was created by Nestlé, Unilever and Danone to promote a shared foundation for competitive sustainable agricultural practices throughout the food value chain. In 2015, Tereos was the first sugar cooperative to sign up to use SAI Platform’s FSA programme. Self-assessment questionnaires were sent to sugar beet growers who were selected on the basis of a representative sample.
“For several years now, the Group has relied on demanding and recognized benchmarks, such as the FSA, to meet our goal of ensuring that by 2020, 75% of our raw materials are certified or evaluated as sustainable. The FSA system is based on a self-assessment mechanism that helps us to continuously improve our agricultural practices. It also adds value to our agricultural raw materials, enabling us to stand out to our customers as a reliable supplier.”
Xavier Huchet, Group CSR Manager