"In the coming years, Bunge Fertilizantes will be much closer to the Brazilian farmer. To accomplish this, it has been necessary to redefine the mission and strategy. Our mission is to provide productivity solutions for the Brazilian agribusiness, achieving better and more profitable crops."

Daniel Maldonado (vice-president of Bunge Brasil's Fertilizers business)

Fertilizers 2.2

A national reference in fertilizer for agriculture, livestock and forestry, Bunge, one of the country’s main companies in the fertilizer market, sold its products directly to around 17,000 rural producers across Brazil, under the well-known brands Serrana, Manah, and IAP. Considering cooperatives and resale activities, the number of producers using Bunge products was exponential, thanks to the fact that this business maintains processing units and distribution centers located in strategic points around the country, so as to ensure that its products are available anywhere and everywhere in Brazil.

Liquid fertilizers were the major release in 2011. They increase the efficiency of nutrients use due to some factors, such as easier handling, better distribution in the soil and greater agronomic efficiency by using combined sources.

Focusing on a service provision that is differentiated and aimed at sustainability, the Fertilizers business has its own highly trained technical and sales teams whose job it is to establish relationships based on confidence and partnership, offering support, in relation to best practices and land management, to ensure soil fertility, which is considered a great differentiator when it comes to Bunge Brasil’s relationship with its customers. In 2011, five million tons of fertilizers were sold in total.  

The Year

Consolidating the transformations that had begun in 2010, this business area changed the way in which it relates to and does business with its farmer-customers, taking advantage of the process of synergy under way between the Company’s businesses aimed at reducing costs, focusing on professional experience and on the dynamic agility of market practices and commercialization, and offering solutions directly to end-customers. This helped bring the Fertilizers business area closer to the Brazilian farming community.    

This resulted in a more fruitful communication on subjects such as the best way of applying manure and fertilizer and their rational use in order to better preserve the environment, which helped implant and strengthen the concept of sustainability in the day-to-day work of all the Fertilizer business technicians and employees.  

This innovation also extended to the administrative and commercial areas, through the definition of new processes and new systems of pricing better suited to the reality of Brazil’s different regions. The business began to sell productive solutions, and new products were launched, such as liquid manure, foliar fertilizers and a complete line of hydrogenated products.  

Bunge Brasil offers innovative solutions directly to its customers. This solutions are always attuned to the needs of producers.

Inauguration of the Cruz Alta plant

The Cruz Alta unit, a new Bunge fertilizer plant, was inaugurated in May, in Rio Grande do Sul state, one of the country’s leading agricultural centers. With a capacity to produce 300,000 tons per year, the unit generated 300 direct and indirect jobs and cost in the region of US$24 million. Considered the most modern plant of its kind in Brazil, it will produce granulated mixtures (NPK) under the brand names of Serrana, Manah and IAP, as well as differentiated lines, such as Turbo Serrana, Fertiap and Fosmag Manah. 

The construction of this unit formed part of a strategy aimed at optimizing solutions, speeding up deliveries and guaranteeing a high level of quality of the productive processes. Its privileged location will enable the unit to supply, in an efficient and rapid manner, farmers throughout the northwest region of the state.     

The plant is located in an important soybean, corn and wheat producing region, with a great potential for fertilizers consumption. The region is also important logistically, in terms of the Mercosur trade block, thanks to its position as a main connection hub for the rail and road networks of Brazil, Argentina and Uruguay.  The Bunge unit is situated close to a railway siding, which allows it to make use of this mode of transport, thereby increasing its facility to receive in raw materials and to transport out its production.   

Measures to protect the environment, such as procedures for discarding and reusing materials and selective waste collection, were introduced both into the process of its construction, as well into the unit’s operations themselves. The introduction of the Safety and Occupational Health Management System was also in line with the company’s proposal to invest in the well-being of its employees.

The building of Cruz Alta helped strengthen Bunge’s traditional partnership with the farmers of Rio Grande do Sul state as a supplier of fertilizers and a buyer of soybeans, wheat and other grains, which goes back to the 1920s and the former SAMRIG.

Kaizen

Greater excellence in its business’ organization and the standardization of processes, together with an increase in quality and reduction in waste, are some of the continuous improvements that have been obtained by the Fertilizers business through the adoption of the Kaizen philosophy. In 2011, 41 Kaizens were held at 14 units, aimed at cost reductions of around US$ 1.2 million. Some of the important results obtained included:

  • An increase of 3% in the productivity of the mixing units;
  • A 22% reduction in the Negative Chemical Quality Index of intermediate products;
  • An improvement in the management of raw material and packaging inventories;
  • An improvement in the management of industrial costs. 

In addition to the positive results obtained, the maintaining of continuous improvements through the implementation of Kaizens and working groups produced 225 improvements focused on safety in the workplace, and 512 people were trained in the methodology of problem solving. For 2012, the goal is to hold a further 50 Kaizens, at 13 units.

The New Fertilizers Relationship Center

On completing its first year in operation, the New Fertilizers Relationship Center (FRC) innovated by acting as a service area for other business segments of the company. The integration with other areas and systems of the company opened the way for access, using a single tool and in real time, to an updated customer list, information on orders and customer complaints. This integral monitoring of processes resulted in a 93% success rate in the prompt resolution of requests made to the Center. The Center’s team also works on recovering outstanding debts.

The Center also unified the toll-free customer service telephone line (0800 number) and the “Contact us” links in the individual brand websites and on Bunge’s institutional webpage. The register of contacts in the FRC customer service system allows for a customer behavior analysis to be carried out in a structured manner, while at the same time respecting their relationship with the company.      

A satisfaction survey that is carried out among customers and with sales teams and representatives is another important part of the process. This allows one to obtain a better understanding of perceptions with regard to Bunge in terms of its model of service provision, products, prospecting for customers and competition analysis.    

The New Relationship Center team has also taken on the running of the Animal Nutrition Service Center for bran products, part of the Agribusiness & Logistics, business, which deals with complaints relating to product quality. The team has also implemented a channel to service customers of the Sugar &Bioenergy

2012 Outlook

To be the leader and most profitable company in the importation and distribution of productive solutions to Brazil’s agribusiness, by means of:

  • Logistical capacity;
  • Strategic assets;
  • Brand value; and
  • Team excellence. 1.2
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Commitment to Brazil. Field to table.
Bunge Brasil's Sustainability Icons
Represent the Social, Environmental and Economic dimensions of the actions and projects of the company in the Country. Learn more about Bunge Brasil Sustainability Platform in
www.bunge.com.br/sustentabilidade.
The Sustainability
Platform is a global
effort to ensure that
business performance
is enhanced on four
main fronts
Sustainable Agriculture Bunge is committed to raise awareness and train farmers to produce in order to reduce environmental impacts and maximize the use of finite natural resources.
The Sustainability
Platform is a global
effort to ensure that
business performance
is enhanced on four
main fronts
Climate Change Climate Change can bring significant impacts to food production worldwide. Therefore, Bunge believes it is a key factor in sustainability analyzes.
The Sustainability
Platform is a global
effort to ensure that
business performance
is enhanced on four
main fronts
Healthy Diets Offering safe and beneficial products to health. Bunge works to identify customer needs and provide the best food ever in the market.
The Sustainability
Platform is a global
effort to ensure that
business performance
is enhanced on four
main fronts
Waste Reduction Development of mechanisms and processes for the reduction of waste in industrial processes and expansion of the rational use of water and other non-renewable resources in the management of operational efficiency.