Since October 2019, Agro.BR, a project developed by the Brazilian Confederation of Agriculture and Livestock (CNA) in partnership with the Brazilian Trade and Investment Promotion Agency (APEX), has been helping rural entrepreneurs who want to expand their presence in the international market.
Consultants from all over the country have worked alongside more than 900 entrepreneurs providing training, capacity-building, marketing, and interaction tools.
In this short time, 636 digital portfolios were produced in five different languages: Portuguese, English, Spanish, Mandarin, and Arabic. The online platform of the project showcased 194 quality products available for international buyers.
“Agro.BR exceeded all expectations and initial goals for generating business,” says the international advisor at CNA and member of the working group responsible for the project, Rodrigo da Matta.
Data from APEX shows that small and medium producers enrolled in the program reached a total of US$ 158 million in export trades during 2020. “We’re helping entrepreneurs to understand that export should be more than a momentary opportunity – it must be part of the policy from their company,” explains Rodrigo.
Denise Cardoso, president of Canudos, Uauá, and Curaçá Family Agricultural Cooperative (COOPERCUC), has been part of the project since it began. Her cooperative was founded in 2004 in the North of Bahia. Today, it has 271 members, mostly women, who produce sweets and jellies based on fruits native to the “sertão” (backlands).
“We didn’t have much experience with exports and Agro.BR helped us through the whole process. From the moment of starting the negotiations to closing a deal, to presenting and transporting the products, to dealing with currency exchange. They were there and they still are,” says Denise.