WE ARE VERY PROUD TO BE FROM BAHIA!
In addition to the love we have for this blessed region, we place great value on people. People who are used to rolling up their sleeves for work, seeking to learn and prosper, always with a smile on their face.
We are part of this multicultural environment with a lot of diversity, traditional communities, natural beauty, intense tourism activities and wonderful climate.
In this context, we position ourselves as partners in the development and training of communities in our neighborhoods by supporting family farming and education projects and generating employment and income in the south of Bahia.
Here, we will list some of these partnerships that we are proud to be a part of.
FAMILY AGRICULTURE: THE STRENGTH OF COLLECTIVE WORK
Family farming is able of driving a virtuous cycle of development. We have invested in and benefited people through rural collective work, fishing and indigenous communities, women’s groups and community associations. These resources have created the conditions to identify vocations, empower people and provide them with the required support for their autonomy and full potential are reached.
through our family farming program.
FOOD SECURITY AND LAND FARMING
Six women farmers in the Miramar Association, in Eunápolis (Bahia), the municipality where the Veracel Celulose factory is located, have lived a rich history. In a project in partnership with UFSB, for provision of inputs and technical support, one hectare of watermelon were planted, resulting in a harvest of 10 tons of the fruit!
Showing determination, these women farmers had their first experience of selling the watermelon production and have felt stimulated by better prospects for a promising life..
Other similar experiences have also been lived by the groups coordinated by Esalq/USP faculty of agronomy.
About 68 hectares of productive backyards were implemented. For some groups, the partnership with Veracel Celulose has created the required conditions to access public policies for more training, purchase of equipment and investments in new structures of social enterprises.
TRADITION AND EDUCATION
Respecting indigenous culture is the recognition of our formation as a people. In the Costa do Descobrimento region, we have supported initiatives to improve the quality of life in 32 Pataxó and Tupinambá villages, where around 22,000 indigenous people live together.
Based on out “Educação é Vida” program for the villages in the surroundings where we operate, we have helped to increase children’s self-esteem and reduce school truancy.
This program goes beyond the school supplies by including environment education and infrastructure improvements such as renovation and construction of classrooms and schools, access to quality water, among other priorities defined together with the educational unit’s managers in the indigenous villages.
TRADITION AND INCOME GENERATION
Our actions in the Meio da Mata indigenous village have contributed to the economy transformation of the Pataxó indigenous community in Porto Seguro (Bahia). We have invested in the improved queen bee reproduction, boosting beekeeping productivity.
By transferring technological resources to beekeepers, we have been able to expand their technical capabilities and autonomy of rural collective groups. In a continuous and collective learning, we have managed to generate better living conditions, income and autonomy for our neighbors.
During the dialog with the village leadership, we identified another opportunity for Pataxó community in partnership with Veracel to start a subsistence crop. The collective cultivation has been successful with more than 2.5 tons of food production, complementing the nutrition for 59 families and relatives in other villages. In addition to the food production throughout the year, the group has already stored seeds for new crops.
INCOME, ENVIRONMENT AND INCLUSION
The successful partnerships with communities for beekeeping have generated opportunities to introduce producers the very Brazilian stingless bees. The stingless bee beekeeping is called “meliponicultura” in Brazil and has gained significant support from young people and women. In addition to income generation, reintroducing the yellow uruçu bees – the specie chosen for the project – means a great environmental evolution, as these bees are pollinating agents for both native forest and crops.
PARTNERSHIP ON LAND AND SEA
Based on continuous dialogue, we seek together to identify new opportunities to improve the quality of life, income generation and safety when working at sea. Thus, we have supported several collective groups and associations of fishermen, fisherwomen and women shellfish gatherers in the south of Bahia.
An example is the partnership with Etno Consultoria, through which together we have benefited 20 associations and fishing communities in the cities of Porto Seguro, Santa Cruz de Cabrália, Prado, Belmonte, Caravelas, Alcobaça, Nova Viçosa and Mucuri, with the donation of 814 VHF and SSB radios in order to improve the safety of boats in the region.
With the communities of fishermen and women shellfish gatherers, we have provided courses based on the Empreender Sustentável (Sustainable Entrepreneurship) initiative in partnership with Sebrae – Brazilian Support Service for Micro and Small Enterprises (see box below). The objective is supporting the development of community associations in the region and their projects’ sustainability.
We strongly value workers whose profession is linked to the sea, as they are natural defenders of biodiversity and the protection of species and the environment. These initiatives are fully in line with our purpose of being responsible, inspiring people and valuing life.
SOCIAL PROTAGONISTS AND STRENGTHENED COMMUNITY
Our partnership with Sebrae, based on the Empreender Sustentável (Sustainable Entrepreneurship) initiative, seeks to develop the community associations’ entrepreneurship the their projects’ sustainability in the region. We have provided Field Management, Associativism and Product Quality courses, in addition to advice for the entrepreneurial management.
The partnership with the National Commercial Learning Service (SENAC), in line with agreements with city halls and community associations, has promoted courses for administrative assistants, sewing and gastronomy. In total, more than 300 people have been trained since the beginning of this program.
Results of the ECOAR Bahia project in Porto Seguro, including free workshops in ballet, theater, orchestral musical instruments and taking place after school hours for public school students, fill our heart with joy.
In addition to cultural and professional training, this project aims to promote the social and emotional development of children and young people based on art, promote their self-esteem, self-confidence and hope in a world beyond the social needs in which they are inserted.
Based on our support and the young people’s discipline and commitment, we are able to transform the reality of several families, and this a valuable motivation that shows us that Veracel is on the right path.
PROTECTION NETWORK FOR CHILDREN AND YOUNG PEOPLE
Ensuring rights for children and youth people is a collective responsibility. In addition to the family and institutions, society can mobilize itself, mainly when the challenge is preventing impunity for acts of violence and child exploitation.
Always open to dialogue on topics including sustainability, which goes beyond economic and environmental issues, Veracel Celulose together with the NGO Childhood Brazil supports training projects for the assistance network in Belmonte, Porto Seguro, Santa Cruz Cabrália and Eunápolis.