In 2015, the Land Conversation Organization (OCT) and family farmers from the Bahia Southern Lowlands celebrated some important achievements in the environmental area. The institution – which is part of the Odebrecht Foundation’s PDCIS Program – directly benefited some 1,500 families and reached the milestone of more than 180,000 trees planted. It also supported 17 small producers so they could obtain the Sustainable Agriculture Network (RAS) social and environmental certification, identified by the Rainforest Alliance Certified™ seal.
The recognition makes the group the first in Brazil formed exclusively by family farmers to obtain the title. Last year, OCT also trained 20 Multiplying Sustainable Agriculture Farmers (AMAS). With properties considered models, these producers share their land management and social and environmental adjustment techniques, transferring what they learned to other farmers. “We are seeking to implement a conservationist-based development model,” said Volney Fernandes, Executive Director at OCT. “Our role is to offer technical orientation to farmers so they can realize that they are part of the forest context and become a partner of the environment. And this is happening,” he said.