Global-Bio-Pact News

29-30 January 2013
Final Global-Bio-Pact Conference in Brussels, Belgium

17-21 September 2012
Global-Bio-Pact Meeting, Workshop, Study Tour in Buenos Aires, Argentina

18-22 June 2012
Global-Bio-Pact Participation at the 20th European Biomass Conference and Exhibition (EU BC&E)

15-17 February 2012
Global-Bio-Pact Meeting
in London, UK

28-29 September 2011
Workshop & Site Visit
in Bamako, Mali

26-27 September 2011
Meeting in Bamako, Mali

06-10 June 2011
Global-Bio-Pact Participation at the 19th European Biomass Conference and Exhibition (EU BC&E)

17 March 2011
Study Tour in Medan, Indonesia

16 March 2011
Workshop in Medan, Indonesia

14-15 March 2011
Meeting in Medan, Indonesia

9 September 2010
Workshop in Costa Rica

7-8 September 2010
2nd Global-Bio-Pact
Meeting in Costa Rica

03-07 May 2010
Global-Bio-Pact Participation at the European Biomass Conference and Exhibition (EBCE)

08/09 March 2010
Kick-off-Meeting in Germany


Case Study Brazil

National level: Brazil is worldwide the largest sugarcane producer and the second largest ethanol producer (the largest producer from sugarcane). The most traditional area of sugarcane production in Brazil is in the Northeast, which currently contributes less than 10% of the total output. The Brazilian Northeast is one of the poorest areas in the country and has the worst socio-economic indicators (e.g. health, education, income, wealth distribution). On the other hand, the state of São Paulo is the richest region in Brazil, and concentrates a large amount of the sugarcane production.

Regional level: The two regional Case Studies in Brazil are the states of Alagoas and São Paulo. São Paulo is the largest producer in Brazil with around 40% of all sugarcane employments of the country, and 60% of sugarcane production, representing one of the most important sugarcane production regions in the world.

In São Paulo, the sugarcane sector indicators of income and schooling are higher than the Brazilian average for the sector, as reported in the 2006 National Survey by Household Sampling (PNAD). These averages are also among the highest averages in the agricultural sector, behind only two traditional crops (soy and citrus). In the near future, the labour requirements will decrease due to higher mechanization levels, and the schooling requirements will increase, since trucks and harvest machines require higher educational levels than sugarcane cutting.

Alagoas is a traditional sugarcane producer with 54% of Northeast’s total sugarcane production, most of it used for sugar production (68%). In Alagoas, the analysis of the socio-economic indicators showed that the state itself has worse conditions than other sugarcane producing states. But, within Alagoas, the municipalities with sugarcane and ethanol are still better off than the municipalities without sugarcane and ethanol production. Although the state represents only 5% of all national sugarcane production, it has 14% of all employments in the sector.

Local level: The two local Case Studies were selected because of their uniqueness. The São Francisco mill, situated north of São Paulo state is the largest organic sugarcane producer in the world, and the Pindorama mill is a cooperative in the Alagoas state. Social and technical issues of these two production systems differ from usual plants.

The São Francisco mill harvests 1,400,000 tons of sugarcane per harvest season, and employs over 400 people in the field. Because organic sugar is mainly exported, it demands a wide variety of certifications granting trustfulness to an organic product. The São Francisco mill was the first in Brazil to receive international certification in 1997 as an organic sugar producer. Today it is certified with eight seals that guarantee their organic origin as well as environmental and social standards. The seals are recognized in Europe, USA and Japan.

The Pindorama mill is a small mill that harvested 610 thousand tonnes of sugarcane, and produced 35 million litres of ethanol in 2009/2010. Being a cooperative, it has better economic returns for small associated producers. However, in comparison with other mills in the region, it cannot be said that the benefits are transmitted to workers. The comparison done with two other mills in Alagoas, showed that Pindorama did not performs any better or improved social, economic or environmental, indicators. On the other hand, there are several social projects done by Pindorama, including technical teaching such as reading and computer classes and new professions (like welders).

The following Global-Bio-Pact report has been published:

Global-Bio-Pact Case Study: Socio-Economic Impacts of the Sugarcane chain in Brazil
UNICAMP; Report of the FP7 Global-Bio-Pact Project (FP7-245085) [download]

Copyright: WIP Renewable Energies 2010