Cotton producers maintain sustainable practices in Bahia

In the final stretch of planting, rural producers in Bahia continue to maintain the practice of sustainability in all stages of cotton production

01.02.2021 | 20:59 (UTC -3)
Herbert Regis

With the start of another harvest, in the final stretch of planting, rural producers in Bahia continue to maintain the practice of sustainability in all stages of cotton production. The entity that represents the sector, the Bahian Association of Cotton Producers (Abapa), made it possible in the last 2019/20 harvest, for 245.219 thousand hectares of fiber produced on 80 properties in the state to receive the seal of sustainability in their administrative and production processes. From farm to office, 78,2% of the cotton planted area in Bahia was certified in Bahia, proving compliance with strict protocols that take into account respect for environmental and social legislation, such as labor, health and safety of employees, in addition to the adoption of social responsibility and sustainability criteria inside and outside the properties.

Through voluntary adherence to the Responsible Brazilian Cotton (ABR) program, the producer is structured to comply with a strict protocol of good agricultural practices on rural properties. The volumes total more than 487 thousand tons of feather from farms certified by ABR and which, through benchmarking with the Swiss entity Better Cotton Initiative (BCI), guarantees the delivery of sustainable feather to Brazil and the world. For final certification, the property must maintain good practices by meeting 222 items on the Property Diagnostic Checklist (VDP) and 178 items on the Property Certification Checklist (VCP).

The coordinator of the ABR/Sustainability Program at Abapa, Bárbara Bonfim, reinforces that "by joining the program, the producer promotes improvements in the organization of infrastructure and management processes, becoming even safer in running the agricultural unit, by meeting the regulations", he analyzes. During the pandemic, the program's activities were reinvented with the establishment of a remote format for technical visits and audits in compliance with the health rules of isolation and social distancing. "In addition, also in the last harvest, we began to certify the processing industries, which must be expanded”, he reinforces. 

In the 2019/2020 harvest, there was a 21% increase in the number of properties that joined the program, which demonstrates that ABR/BCI has been growing along with the demands of new consumption and production standards established by the world market. According to the president of Abapa, Luiz Carlos Bergamaschi, the effort has been continuous on the part of Bahian producers to maintain sustainable pillars in the day-to-day operations of the properties. “With the collective and coordinated work through Abapa, I am sure that we will continue to encourage the development of sustainable feather throughout Bahia”, he reinforces.

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