Delivery service Matas Sociais complements the income of family farmers
In addition to supporting small-scale farmers, the system helps organic produce reach the homes of local residents
Paraná, November 12, 2020 – Over the course of the year, faced with the novel coronavirus pandemic, the program Matas Sociais – Planning Sustainable Properties has sought alternatives for continuing its support for family farmers in the sale of organic produce. The company helped to set up a home delivery service via WhatsApp. From March to September, more than 1,000 baskets were sold, for a total of 12,000 kilograms of produce and around R$40,000 in income for small-scale farmers.
People in the local community placed orders directly in a group on WhatsApp called “Agricultura Familiar,” specifying the quantities and types of fruits, vegetables and fresh greens, from Sunday to Tuesday, and every Thursday the baskets are delivered by a driver hired especially for orders made via the system. “When Klabin came to us with the idea of a basket, we thought it was a great idea. We received a lot of support to create the service, and the results have been very positive. It gives us cooperative members another source of income, not to mention that it comes during a very delicate moment,” said Ivone Coelho, a member of the Caminhos do Tibagi Beekeepers Cooperative (Coocat-Mel) of Telêmaco Borba.
In addition to Coocat-Mel, other cooperatives have also adopted the produce home delivery system, such as the Cândido Abreu Family Farmers Cooperative (Coopercandi) the Rural Resistance Group (Grupo Resistência Camponesa) and the Cerrado Grande – Mimo da Terra Rural Producers and Residents Association. For the farmers, it is a great opportunity to expand their sales of produce.
“The Klabin program has been providing important help for a long time. I would have never come up with the idea of making deliveries to people’s homes, and with the Matas Sociais program we were able to reinvent ourselves to continue selling our produce during this difficult time with the pandemic, since schools and stores are all closed. It’s a great solution for consumers who are unable to leave home and for us farmers,” explained Anésio Roberto dos Santos, a farmer in the city of Imbaú and a member of the program Matas Sociais – Planning Sustainable Properties.
Most of the locations, such as schools and farmers’ markets, where the produce was sold had to stop operating because of the pandemic. Meanwhile, this increased demand for home delivery services. So the solution developed by Klabin seized on this opportunity and drew on technology to be able to help the famers sustain their income during this period.
To Júlio Nogueira, Sustainability and Environment Manager at Klabin, maintaining the activities of the Matas Sociais program with family farmers is essential for supporting the continuation of the region’s sustainable development. “With these adaptations, Matas Sociais has been able to ensure the continuity of the work of these famers, supporting local development and income generation during a delicate time, while helping fresh, organic produce to reach local residents in the safety of their homes, which is an important service during these challenging times,” said Nogueira.
The program has been employing technology in other activities of the family farmers. In addition to virtual meetings, Matas Sociais has created a series of informative podcasts for the farmers to stay active, receiving knowledge and working to improve their properties. Over its five years of existence, Matas Sociais has provided services to more than 500 properties in the municipalities of Telêmaco Borba, Ortigueira, Imbaú and Reserva. During this period, 52% of participants have expanded their sales network at local farmers’ markets to cooperatives, restaurants and companies.