Since 2002 we have encouraged the Family Agriculture Program. Currently, the Program assists 192 families of small farmers who own 6 to 10 hectare of palm plantation.
In the years of 2000’s, the company engaged with 185 family farmers, several governmental agencies and a smallholder union, in a way to negotiate a formal contract, explain the risks and duties of each signatory part and assess the wiliness of families to be part of such project (many of them did not want to participate, used their right to say no and were not involved in the initiative).
The project was carefully explained to the community and to the families, whom took an informed decision (the ones who decided to engage and the ones who decided do not participate). After the families have agreed to engage, the general contract was signed by the smallholder association, smallholder union, Agropalma and the governmental agencies. Plantations were established only after the contract being signed, in the years of 2002, 2004, 2005 (with 50 families each year) and 2006 (35 families).
In 2013, more five families decided to engage in the program, but in their own private land. As before, a contract was negotiated, explained and signed before the family farmers establish their plantations.
The company provides seedling, fertilizers, tools and PPE at cost price as well as technical assistance and ensures the purchase of the whole production at market price.
Socio-environmental studies have shown that, within benefitted communities, the Family Agriculture Program has improved environmental performance, including activities not directly related to palm cultivation, such as reduction of wild animals hunting.
In 2017, besides the 192 family farmers, Agropalma also received FFB from 42 integrated outgrowers, who have plantations areas ranging from 30 up to 3000ha. Together, family farmers and integrated producers have 13,832 ha of palm plantation.
Agropalma is still open to engage new FFB suppliers as integrated family farmers or outgrowers. In order to do that, company has due diligence process used to assess, among others, the following topics:
All integrated outgrowers and family farmers are assessed every three months. Deforestation, use of forced or use of child labor result in immediate suspension of the purchasing contract. In case of deforestation or forced labor, the contract is terminated within one month after suspension. In case of child labor, if the farmer does not fix the situation up to the next harvesting round (10-15 days), the contract will be terminated within one month after this harvesting round. Lack of compliance or progress toward with the requirements listed above will also result in contract suspension and termination, within maximum 2 years after the issue is identyfied, depending on the issue.