The result of the social mobilization of fish farmers and families from the rural zone, the Continental Water Aquaculturists’ Cooperative (COOPECON) supports workers by providing them with technical assistance and contributes toward the development of the aquaculture activity in Bahia’s Southern Lowlands. Through such efforts, it seeks to align social inclusion with the generation of jobs and income.
“COOPECON proposes to offer a unique product, one with certification,” said Cleiton Passos, the cooperative leader. “We hope to win over a wide range of consumers and also improve the families’ quality of life,” he said.
Associated with the Bahia Southern Lowlands Environmental Protection Area Mosaic Integrated and Sustainable Development Program (PDIS), COOPECON has 30 cooperative members who work with the production of fish in continental waters, primarily tilapia and pirarucu. Founded in October 2010, the cooperative inaugurated its head office in the municipality of Ituberá six months later. “Here it is all for one and one for all,” said José Raimundo, cooperative member and Chair of its Board of Directors.
Different partnerships have supported the initiative: The Brazilian Ministry of Fishing and Agriculture, the bank Banco do Brasil, Odebrecht Foundation, AguaVale, Pratigi Alimentos, the restaurants Baby Beef Bahia,Noronha Pescados, Qualimar Pescados, Netuno Internacional, Exceler Pescados, Alliance for Sustainable Production and the Pratigi EPA Guardian Association. The last two institutions are also associated with PDIS.