Agro.BR Women: Expanding Horizons with a Technical Visit to Ceará


On June 27, a group of dedicated Brazilian farmers from the Agro.BR Women project undertook an insightful technical visit to the Pecém Port and Usibras Alimentos in Ceará state. This visit, organized by the Brazilian Confederation of Agriculture and Livestock (CNA), aimed to enhance their understanding of export processes and open new pathways for their products in the international market.
The Agro.BR Women project brings together women from several regions of Brazil, working in a wide array of production lines such as honey, coffee, teas, cocoa, fruits, and heart of palm. This visit was a pivotal moment for many since it provided firsthand knowledge of industrial and logistical operations crucial for successful exportation.

Porto de Pecém: A Gateway to the World

The journey began at the Porto de Pecém (Pecém Port), located in São José do Amarante, 60 kilometers from Fortaleza, the state capital. Natasha Assumpção, advisor to the Executive Board of the Pecém Complex, welcomed the group with an institutional presentation, followed by an informative tour of the port’s facilities.
The farmers witnessed the intricate processes of loading and unloading, gaining insights into offshore operations that connect Brazil with the United States, Africa, and Europe. The tour provided an invaluable understanding of international logistics, maritime legislation, and cutting-edge technologies to streamline the flow of goods.
Laura Vicentini, from SôZé Sustainable Cachaça company in São Paulo, shared her enthusiasm: “As we export our products to Europe and North America, it’s essential to explore opportunities like this to dispatch products from here. The privileged location means it takes only 10 days to reach these markets—and the taxation is quite favorable.”

Usibras Alimentos: Mastering the Art of Cashew Processing

Next, the group visited Usibras Alimentos in Aquiraz, a prominent member of the Fan Group, specializing in cashew nut processing and export. Usibras holds several certifications and supplies cashews to major brands such as Nestlé, Garoto, Mondelēz, Cacau Show, and Kopenhagen.
The Brazilian farmers attended a comprehensive presentation about the Fan Group, followed by a detailed tour of the processing stages—from the arrival of raw cashews to packaging and storage for export. This hands-on experience was especially significant for professionals like Paula Pagnoncelli from Mel Zen, who is considering entering the export market.
“We are just a step away from exporting. This visit, supported by CNA and APEX, is incredible. It gives us that little push to go further,” Paula said.

Inspiring Stories and New Relations

The Agro.BR Women project connects entrepreneurs at different stages of their export journey. Some are just beginning, like Noanny Maia from Cacauaré da Amazônia, a family-run business in its fourth generation of cocoa and chocolate production. For Noanny, the experience in Ceará was great: “We can now map routes, forge partnerships, and envision expanding our work in the Amazon to other countries. Thank you, Agro.BRWomen!”
Yala Santos, from Yala Café in Monte Carmelo, seized the opportunity to showcase her coffee to the group and engage in meaningful exchanges. “The visits were very productive. I felt honored to represent the producers from Minas Gerais. Besides the challenging bureaucracy of exportation, we also learned about product industrialization at Usibras. It was very gratifying.”

Looking Ahead: Empowering Women for Global Success

Maria Rita Padilla, CNA’s International Relations Advisor, highlighted the importance of the visit: “We hope that by the end of this journey, they can export directly, equipped with knowledge, business creation opportunities, and a network of connections.”
The Agro.BR Women project is set for a year-long mentoring cycle, including training sessions, business rounds, and culminating in an international mission. This initiative aims to provide women with practical skills and an encompassing understanding of the export process, fostering entrepreneurial spirit and opening new international expansion perspectives.