Keeping Brazil’s coffee fields tidy, safely

Empty chemical containers collected by Collective Action Initiative, showing positive impact on the ground

GCP’s “Responsible Use of Agrochemicals” Collective Action Initiative in Brazil has the main goal of improving the practices of the CSC (Coffee Sustainability Curriculum) related to agrochemicals. This includes the use of Personal Protective Equipment, safe application of pesticides, suitable storage place and the correct return of agrochemical packages among growers and workers in the main coffee producing regions of Brazil.

In order to expand the number of empty packages correctly returned and to disseminate information on the issue, GCP Brazil has partnered with inpEV (National Institute for the Processing of Empty Packages). By means of an e-learning program, inpEV has been training coffee growers, technicians and agronomists on the importance of returning packages and guiding them on how to be safe when dealing with and preparing the containers to be returned.

GCP Brazil and inpEV coordinated a joint activity to raise awareness and collect empty packages of agrochemicals in July, in the city of Ouro Fino, Minas Gerais. With the collaboration of coffee exporter and GCP Member Comexim, of technical assistance body Emater-MG, the Federal Institute of South Minas and several entities like cooperatives, associations, suppliers of inputs and municipalities, the action managed to gather 2,694 empty containers of different types in a single day, brought in by 80 growers from the city and neighboring towns.

Similar actions are being organized in the states of Rondônia and Paraná, and also in other areas of Minas Gerais.

GCP’s “Responsible Use of Agrochemicals” Collective Action Initiative started in 2018 in Brazil with an expected duration of 5 years. Its goal is to directly and positively impact 5,000 coffee growers, especially smallholders, while indirectly influencing and generating benefits for many more.

Being part of collective initiatives such as this one led by GCP allows for the monitoring of issues that require special attention, and for supporting growers so they can continuously improve in relation to sustainability and be able to adopt better practices, which is something we all work for.

– Thiego Duarte, from Comexim

The action was important to disseminate information and to allow producers to dispose of the packages correctly, avoiding contamination of the growers, their families and communities. It also enabled students, who actively participated in the event, to put into practice the theory addressed in the classroom.
– Bruno Melo, researcher and extensionist at the Federal Institute of South Minas

Due to the initiative we are now able to have a suitable place to store agrochemicals and wash the packages before returning them. Being part of the event was also a relief, given that there was a huge amount of empty packages accumulating on the property.
– Mario José Dias, a smallholder in Borda da Mata, MG, who is engaged in the GCP Collective Action Initiative. He is now advising the neighbors to also return their empty containers with appropriate handling.

Images: Eduardo Matavelli and socramdigital.

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GCP Collective Action Initiatives

Caroline Glowka

Senior Manager Member Relationsemail me

GCP’s “Responsible Use of Agrochemicals” Collective Action Initiative in Brazil