The Brazilian Association for Business Communication (Aberje) has launched the new Aberje Communication Lab for Agribusiness, an initiative carried out in partnership with the Brazilian Agribusiness Association (Abag) and sponsored by Bayer. It aims at fostering the culture of communication between companies in the industry. One of the highlights of the initial meeting, held in São Paulo, was the speech of the president of Abag’s Board of Directors, Marcello Brito, stating that the image of agribusiness – one of the most powerful sectors of the Brazilian economy – is hampered by the lack of effective communication.
According to the executive, Brazil was a pioneer in the issue of sustainable development since the days of Eco-92, but today suffers the consequences of the lack of effective communication, which translates into a reputation crisis in Brazil and abroad.
“The term sustainable development was coined by Brazil in 1992. It’s something unheard until then. We have evolved a lot within agribusiness in the 1980s here. We grew 75% in these 40 years, we added almost 85 million hectares to the Brazilian production sector, but we never bother to tell this story. Today we are experiencing the biggest outward image crisis in our history,” he said.
To try to reverse this situation, Abag is launching a challenge for the sectoral industry associations to take a firmer stand against land grabbing, an activity considered to be the source of most illegal deforestation in the Amazon.
“When I speak on behalf of Abag, I only speak on behalf of legal agribusiness. When someone talks about a farmer who deforests, they are referring to a bandit and not a true farmer,” says Brito. “Our communication needs to be more effective. We need to show this difference to society. It is no longer possible for Brazil to be looted by gangs that take away our riches and damages the results of the productive sector.”