“When consumers purchase a jar of Cultiverde brand heart of palm, they are helping farmers stay in their region.” These were the words of Pepe Faro, Board member of Perini (Bahia chain of delicatessens and candy stores) during the inauguration of a new project under the concept of “store inside a store.”
The initiative, made possible by a partnership between Perini and the Bahia Southern Lowlands Heart of Palm Producers’ Cooperative (Coopalm), allows for the direct sale of the Cultiverde heart of palm, produced by the 490 members of Coopalm for the final consumer.
The ceremony, held on December 9, marked the start of the activities for the Coopalm store, located in the rural region of Perini Master Vasco da Gama, in Salvador (Bahia). The space has its own cash register and directs the earnings from direct sales to Coopalm – an institution associated with the Bahia Southern Lowlands Environmental Protection Area Mosaic Integrated and Sustainable Development Program (PDIS). The first sale was made during the event to Norberto Odebrecht, Chair of the Odebrecht Foundation Trustees Board.
With this partnership, the Cultiverde heart of palm is offered on the shelves of this social partner without surcharges, promoting a more fair and community trade. “There is no middleman between the agricultural unit in the field and the final consumer,” said Roberto Lessa, Vice President of the Odebrecht Foundation. “We are supporting the emergence of the Cooperative Act,” said Lessa. For Pepe Faro, it is important to show customers the importance of this initiative as a way of promoting social inclusion.
According to Roberto Adami, Operational Director at Perini, being part of the project is an accomplishment. “We are able to see that only through actions like this will we have a better future,” he said. “Believing that these families are leaving a situation of exclusion.” Adami also pointed out that the Cultiverde heart of palm is being incorporated as an ingredient in snack foods and other types of foods produced by Perini.
Present at the inauguration were Mauricio Medeiros, Executive President of the Odebrecht Foundation, Waldeck Ornelas and Vladimir Abdala, Vice President of the Odebrecht Foundation from the Social-Educational and Social-Environmental areas, respectively, as well as Carlos Rabello, Fair Trade Director, and Jued Andari, Marketing Manager at Cultiverde.
Since 2008, Perini, which currently has eight stores in Salvador, supports the cooperatives tied to PDIS. With the installation of the “store inside a store” project, the network expands its partnership with the program and contributes further to the generation of jobs and distribution of income in Bahia’s Southern Lowlands region.