Image description
  • Sustainability
  • Highlights

Brazilian fruit growing and ESG practices: check out the interview with Priscilla Nasrallah

Friday June 14th, 2024

In the search to understand the advances and challenges faced by Brazilian fruit growing in the context of sustainable production, we interviewed Priscilla Nasrallah, director of ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) at Abrafrutas. 

With extensive experience in the sector, Priscilla shared valuable insights into the practices adopted, competitive differences and projections for the future of Brazilian fruit farming with regard to sustainability. The conversation highlighted not only the efforts already made, but also the opportunities for growth and the importance of paying close attention to environmental, social and governance issues in the fruit production chain in Brazil.

She also revealed the dedication of Brazilian fruit farming to adopting sustainable practices, aligned with ESG principles. By emphasizing the responsible use of natural resources, the broad implementation of bioinputs and the measurement of carbon footprints, the sector demonstrates a commitment not only to product quality, but also to environmental preservation and social well-being. 

Check out the full interview:

Frutas do Brasil: In your opinion, what stage is Brazil at when it comes to ESG production, especially in Brazilian fruit growing?

Priscilla Nasrallah: I think we are quite advanced, especially in the first two acronyms, environmental and social. I say this because almost 100% of Abrafrutas members are exporters, and there are very strict regulations and certifications for exports. This is because we need to prove that we follow all labor standards and that we have adequate spaces for employees, in addition to taking care of the surroundings.

On the environmental side, for example, we need to show how we store our chemical product containers, how we recycle, and how we use water, especially in regions that use water resources such as the Vale do São Francisco. 

Fruit growing has a large workforce compared to other agribusiness sectors, so we need to take special care with our employees. In governance, we are still in the implementation phase, especially because many companies are family-owned and are going through succession. Good practices are being implemented gradually due to certifications.

FB: What are the most used practices in fruit growing?

PN: The conscious use of resources, especially water, is an essential practice, in line with the country’s legal requirements. Recycling chemical packaging, waste management and the use of renewable energy, such as photovoltaic panels, are common practices. Many companies opt for clean energy due to the intensive use of energy in pack houses and cold storage rooms, especially in the Northeast.

FB: Any innovation that stands out in the area?

PN: Brazil is the country that uses bioinputs the most. We are very advanced on the issue of biological products, partly because it takes time to release new products by Anvisa. As many crops produce several times a year, the use of organic products is an important differentiator.

FB: Are companies adhering to certifications? What are the main ones?

PN: Yes, anyone who wants to export needs to be certified. The main certifications are GlobalGAP, which includes social and environmental aspects, Grasp and Smeta, focused on social aspects, and the Rainforest Alliance, which is well used by more mature companies. Other certifications include RA and HACCP, for those who have a packing house and cold storage.

FB: How is Brazilian fruit growing in relation to carbon measurement?

PN: We are advancing studies on our carbon footprint. Some crops, like lemons and mangoes, retain a lot of carbon. We already have companies that have certified as carbon neutral, and this is something we want to expand.

FB: Can any sustainable initiative practiced in Brazil be considered a competitive differentiator?

PN: The use of bioinputs and measurement of the carbon footprint are differentiators. For example, Agrodan maps the fauna and flora on its farms and is meeting Paris Agreement targets due to its large share of the export market.


Notificação de Cookies

Ao clicar em “Aceitar todos os cookies”, você concorda com o armazenamento de cookies no seu dispositivo para melhorar a navegação, analisar a utilização do site e contribuir para melhorar sua experiência. mais informações