As a business enterprise, we have accepted the obligation to make fruit and vegetable farming more sustainable on a global scale. In cooperation with several strong partners, the Eckes-Granini Group is committed to improving the living conditions of small farmers and harvest workers in the growing regions in the long term – through sustainable agriculture and compliance with minimum social standards along the entire supply chain.
We have been supporting the “Small Holders, Big Opportunities” project since March 2020 in cooperation with Solidaridad, an international non-profit organization, and our partners Cutrale, innocent, the Coca-Cola Company and the Coca-Cola Foundation. The project is devoted to training 480 small-scale Brazilian orange farmers in the use of sustainable agricultural methods and technologies over a period of three years.
The objective is to certify at least 50 percent of the trained small farmers at the “Bronze” FSA Performance Level and enable them to share their know-how with other producers in the region.
Roughly 75 percent of all Brazilian oranges are grown in the “Citrus Belt” in the Brazilian states of São Paulo and Minas Gerais. The number of small farmers in the region has declined markedly in recent years, due (among other things) to difficult economic conditions and the spread of the citrus greening disease.
Thus the Eckes-Granini Group and our project partners are now promoting measures designed to improve natural resource conservation in the Brazilian growing region, while enhancing the competitive strength of small, family-run orange plantations through extensive training programs in such areas as resource allocation, operational management and the establishment of fair working conditions.