President and CEO, Bunge Brasil
At such a delicate moment for Brazil, we at Bunge reaffirm our commitment to the country, driving sustainable growth in agribusiness, generating employment, income and export earnings by means of the sustainable supply of foods and energy and care for the communities in which we operate.
In 2015, we commemorated 110 years of activities in Brazil. Reaching this milestone was only possible through the support and commitment of our employees. In 2015, we also celebrated the 60th anniversary of the Bunge Foundation, and we received more than 30 awards and acknowledgements for our work. Particularly worthy of note among these was the Company of the Year award from the 2015 Exame Sustainability Guide, the major and most respected award in this area in Brazil. Additionally, the Exame Guide recognized Bunge, as the most sustainable agribusiness company for the seventh year running. Meanwhile, Você S/A magazine elected Bunge one of the 150 Best Companies to Work for.
Another high point in the year was the acquisition of the Moinho Pacífico mill in Santos, São Paulo, reinforcing our growth strategy in wheat flours and premixes for the industrial, domestic and baking markets. Today Bunge is the largest wheat flour producer in Brazil and the Pacífico acquisition expands our presence in the Southeast region, particularly in São Paulo, the largest market in the country.
In 2016, we will have even more reasons to celebrate. The Soya Recicla program, considered to be the largest voluntary collecting network for used cooking oil in the country, will complete ten years. Focused on the correct disposal of post-consumer waste, the program comprises more than two thousand collecting hotspots and has collected more than three thousand metric tons of used cooking oil in this ten-year period.
We also took another decisive step in promoting sustainable agriculture with the launch of our Global Non-Deforestation policy. This is a voluntary commitment unrelated to any external agreements or motivations, which reinforces the work we are already doing and strengthens the connection between our business goals and social and environmental responsibility.
Our goal is to drive efficiency in food production in areas that are already under cultivation in order to eliminate deforestation in our agricultural supply chains worldwide, employing proven methodologies that avoid carbon emissions and protect biodiversity.
With the same purpose, we obtained excellent results in the partnership we initiated at the end of 2012 with the non-governmental organization The Nature Conservancy (TNC) to raise awareness among producers, especially in Pará, Mato Grosso and the West of Bahia. On the BR-163 highway corridor, for example, we mapped externalities in the region of influence of our transshipment terminal in Miritituba (Pará), we created and launched planning and monitoring systems to support municipal governance in controlling deforestation; we organized workshops to foster CAR environmental regularization for farms in the Tapajós River region; and we signed the Environmental Regularization and Sustainable Production Pact in the municipality of Trairão (Pará).
In Mato Grosso, the project trained environmental technicians from local governments in the registration of environmental data for CAR and the identification of areas where cultivation may be intensified. In the West of Bahia, we mapped farms in the key municipalities in which we operate, concluded a study on water availability in the region and shared best agricultural practices in workshops with partnering agricultural producers. We believe that this work will enable producers to go beyond mere compliance with the requirements of the Brazilian Forestry Code.
But we cannot forget that we are faced with one of the major challenges in the contemporary world: ensuring sustainably sourced food and bioenergy for a constantly growing population, both in Brazil and worldwide. Brazil is considered to be the bread basket of the world, and it is our responsibility to ensure the ever increasing availability of affordable foods. The challenge is enormous, but we are certain that the sustainability incorporated into our business strategies is the best way for us to achieve this.