The Brazilian Agricultural Cooperatives Company (CCAB) has launched Cropline, an access platform for non-shareholder farmers, extending its operations from the center-west of Brazil to the southern and southeastern states of the country.
The company evolved from a small group of cooperatives from the state of Bahia, Mato Grosso and Mato Grosso do Sul – which joined forces to import agricultural pesticides, at a time when the market faced supply crises, to a market company in which shareholders are farmers’ cooperatives, and has been gaining muscle since the entry of French group InVivo in 2016.
“Both InVivo, which is also controlled by farmers’ cooperatives, and the other shareholders understand that it is possible to grow in an increasingly concentrated market, such as that of pesticides, without losing the focus of representativeness. Today we have 22 cooperatives as shareholders, which have 55,000 rural producers under their umbrella,” says CEO Jones Yasuda. According to him, CCAB’s goal is not to be a supplier of generic or biological chemical defenses, but a company that, as farmers, talks with its peers and understands its demands “to offer products and technologies that actually meet the needs of their needs, “he says.
With Cropline, the CCAB, which prioritized the cultivation of cerrado – soybean corn and cotton – in its 11 years of existence, now also talks with producers of vegetables, fruits, sugar cane and beans, among others. “We are opening the dialogue with farmers in the South and Southeast, through the various private traditional cooperatives and distributors, because our goal is to understand what this producer needs. They work in other bases, with smaller agricultural modules, but they have great relevance in the national food production. We set up a team of experienced technicians strategically positioned in these regions,” Yasuda says. The leadership in the CCAB, however, remains the shareholder, mostly the cerrado farmers, according to the CEO.
The entry of InVivo, besides being an engine of this expansion, favors the exchange of experiences with France, which has been incisive in the development of innovations to favor a more productive and sustainable agriculture. “There are initiatives within InVivo itself that can be replicated here, and we are doing a deep analysis to find out what is feasible. They are opportunities in the field of biological control, digital agriculture and food technology, which aim at both the sustainable protection of crops as the reduction of waste and the increase in the useful life of agricultural products, from the crop to the shelf. The strategy is to provide multiple solutions for the farmer, such as the provision of traditional chemical pesticides and organic products, as well as digital agriculture, seeds, business model, among other tools,” he explains.
According to Jones Yasuda, all actions of CCAB have as a guide the responsibility of Brazil to be the great food supplier in the world, in the near future. He cites figures released by the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) that, in 10 years, the country will supply 41% of the additional global demand for food.” As farmers we are, we work for this and we understand that this reality also has to guide the Brazilian agricultural policy. We are not an association of farmers, but we have representation to alert governments to urgent changes that need to happen to ensure food security in the country and in much of the planet,” he concludes.