In early May, for the first time after two years of pandemic, the institutes of Frontiers of Development and Regenera were in Belém for a series of face-to-face meetings involving the project “From the Amazon to Belém: Promoting local systems of regenerative food.” Although there are hundreds of agroecological food producers in the state of Pará, the supply of these products is limited in Belém, the state capital and one of the most important cities in the Legal Amazon. The produce often loses out to products that do not originate from the region, which frequently come from the southeast of Brazil. Fabrício Muriana, from the Instituto Regenera, explains that there is an enormous opportunity to promote local products and culture but that this supply is still limited. Consequently, although there is a large supply of flours, tapiocas, açaí and so many other products in the city, few know where they come from, or about the people and the organizations that are involved in the chain of production, distribution and sales, or with respect to the productive context and its benefits for society and for the environment.
“To try to solve at least part of this problem, we identified in Belém who from the sales chain is already committed to the supply of food without pesticides and we learned about the history of the local producers who supply the capital,” explains Fabricio.
In addition to the research in the territory, in the first quarter of 2022 the institutes carried out a cycle of workshops. Together with local actors, these co-created a set of guidelines that formed a social technology aimed at the structuring and strengthening of initiatives for the fair and transparent trade of these products.
From this work, two guides will be published: the first is based on the translation of the regenerative values of each food and the functioning of the chain: where it comes from, the transparency of the amounts received by the producer, the characteristics of the place of sale, and information that allows the public to learn more of the benefits of these products and to make a better informed and more conscious choice, among others. There are six dimensions that can serve as a basis for any person, institution or company to establish a more virtuous link between the producers and local consumers. This first guide also converses with public administrators, thereby helping in the understanding of not only the weaknesses but also the potential capabilities of the farmers, for example.
The second guide, in turn, has a specific focus on communication. During the research, which involved listening to the demands of the participating organizations and the observation of good local, national and international practices, the requirement was noted to format parameters for everyday communication, which included listening to the consumer and to the producer and being able to translate, objectively and pedagogically, the history and importance of the food starting with its production. The intention is to fill a gap in the difficulties of the producers and sellers, who are entirely dedicated to multiple activities (from the time required for the production up to the activities of transport and others related to the sales operation), and who often have few parameters or resources to communicate, in a better manner, the attributes, benefits and stories behind the foods to the consumer.