With a smile on his lips, Raimundo dos Santos, a member and President of the Bahia Southern Lowlands’ Heart of Palm Producers’ Cooperative (COOPALM), stepped up to the podium to receive the 2011 ECO Award on behalf of the cooperative. “This achievement is a source of pride for small producers,” he said. “This reinforces that we are on the right track, promoting the development of our region.” With the award, COOPALM was recognized in the category Sustainability Practices – Process Sustainability (small and medium-sized).
The ceremony, held on December 2 last year in São Paulo, awarded projects divided into an additional three categories: Strategy, Leadership and Innovation and Sustainability. Em 2011, 108 projects were signed up and 10 were awarded.
During the award ceremony, Santos presented a heart of palm produced by the members of COOPALM. “We received lots of praise and were sought out by several executives who wanted to know more about our work,” he said. The farmer concluded: “What makes us stand out is that we bring the benefits of sustainability to the rural producers.”
The ECO Award is an initiative of the São Paulo branch of the American Chamber of Commerce (AMCHAM). Launched in 1982, it recognizes institutions that adopt socially responsible practices, generating reflections on sustainable business development in Brazil. In 2008, the initiative became a joint initiative by AM-CHAM and the newspaper Valor Econômico.