Solidaridad Network joins Brazilian sugarcane industry in retraining sugarcane cutters displaced by mechanization

By Brazilian Sugarcane Industry Association unica, PRNE
Tuesday, November 9, 2010

SAO PAULO, November 10, 2010 - Solidaridad Network (, one of the most
prominent global non-government organizations supporting the development of
sustainable production chains, headquartered in The Netherlands, is the
newest partner of the RenovAcao Project. The agreement was signed on
Wednesday (November 3), after a meeting at the Brazilian Sugarcane Industry
Association's (UNICA) regional office in Ribeirao Preto, in the heart of
Brazil's most important cane growing region.

"Adding an organization like Solidaridad to the RenovAcao Project is
extremely significant, because it adds recognition to our efforts and
positive results achieved so far to improve the quality of life and generate
new opportunities for sugarcane cutters. With time, we hope to welcome more
companies and organizations so that we can continue to improve and expand our
reach," said UNICA's Executive Director, Eduardo Leao de Sousa.

Introduced in 2009, the RenovAcao Project was designed to retrain up to
seven thousand workers per year, both those working in sugarcane manual
harvesting operations as well as members of the communities where mills are
located. The training programs qualify workers for new activities within the
mill, often connected with expanding mechanization. Alternatively, workers
can also be trained to work in other sectors of the economy where there is

The initiative was developed by UNICA in partnership with the largest
labor union representing sugarcane cutters in Sao Paulo State, the Federation
of Rural Workers of the State of Sao Paulo (Feraesp). RenovAcao is also
supported by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and sponsored by
Syngenta, Case IH and John Deere.

The Projects Coordinator for the Solidaridad Network in Brazil, Fatima
Cristina Cardoso
, sees at least two important points in the partnership. "We
want to prioritize the presence of women in the courses offered for
mechanized activities within the mills and also dedicate part of the
resources to courses focused on the construction industry, a sector with
growing demand for skilled labor across the state," she explained.

During the final meeting in Ribeirao Preto, with representatives from
UNICA, Feraesp, Solidaridad and the companies that sponsor RenovAcao, it was
agreed that the initial contribution by the Solidaridad Network would total
90 thousand euros, with a second investment in the same amount slated for
mid-2011. Until then, the group will meet several times to examine results
obtained by the Project on an ongoing basis.

After the meeting, all participants visited the National Industry Service
(Senai) of Ribeirao Preto, one of the organizations that administers the many
different courses offered by RenovAcao.


The Brazilian Sugarcane Industry Association (UNICA - represents the top producers of sugar, ethanol and
bioelectricity in the country's South-Central region, especially the state of
Sao Paulo, which accounts for about 50% of the country's sugarcane harvest
and 60% of total ethanol production. In 2009, Brazil produced an estimated
605 million metric tons of sugarcane, raw-material used to produce 33 million
tons of sugar and 26 billion liters of ethanol.


Solidaridad Network is an international network organization with more
than 20 years of experience in creating fair and sustainable supply chains
from producer to consumer. Originating in Holland, Solidaridad Network
currently has nine regional centers, including South America, comprised by
the offices in Buenos Aires and Sao Paulo. In Brazil, the network has
projects to support the sustainable trade and production in several
ago-industrial chains, such as, the sugar and ethanol, soybean, cotton,
livestock, palm oil and cocoa. In the case of sugarcane, Solidaridad supports
the development of the Better Sugar Initiative (BSI) certification in the
country, aimed at environmental and social improvements in the sector.

    CDN Corporate Communications - Sao Paulo
    Rosa Webster             +5511-3643-2707
    Mariane dos Santos       +5511-3643-2730

CDN Corporate Communications - Sao Paulo: Rosa Webster, +5511-3643-2707, rosa.webster at or Mariane dos Santos +5511-3643-2730, mariane.santos at

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