Ensure local and territorial development in a joint and participatory manner, in partnership with communities, support institutions and social movements, based on education, income generation and cultural appreciation projects; the strengthening of the relationship with local and traditional communities; and the integration of the interests of these different links in running and managing the company.
Colmeias (Hives) Program
The purpose of the Colmeias Program is to strengthen the beekeeping chain in the regions where the company operates, contributing to income generation and improving the quality of life of participating communities, as well as to environmental conservation.
The specific objectives of the Program are:
- Contribute to professionalizing beekeeping where there is a demand for beekeeping activities in the regions where the company operates
- Promote social inclusion through beekeeping
- Train participating associations to address their demands in order to strengthen and empower groups
- Promote compliance with legal compliance in the associations participating in the Program
- Contribute to obtaining certifications that add value to the product
- Stimulate product diversification in order to access new markets
Beekeepers associations and cooperatives are supported by technical teams that offer quality Technical Assistance and Rural Extension services (ATER). In addition, the program guarantees access to pasture for beekeeping, and can promote investments in infrastructure, equipment, and inputs necessary for this practice, geared toward the beekeepers participating in the associations/cooperatives.
The Program’s actions are organized in three main areas: organization and management (formalization of associations/cooperatives); technical assistance and technology (production and value added); sales and market (entrepreneurship). By promoting the organization of the beekeeping production chain, it is also possible to strengthen and qualify the local social arrangements and empower its members. This will allow them to accumulate experiences that will enable them to coordinate and establish community development models that are suitable to their realities.
Colmeias takes place within rural and beekeeping associations neighboring Suzano’s forests. The program currently benefits 46 associations and 1,281 families.
Highlights and achievements throughout 2020
The main achievements of the Program in 2020 were:
- certification of 70% of the honey produced by program participants with an organic seal for export
- record production of Colmeias‘ beekeepers in São Paulo, excelling in the state scene—regional honey production in Suzano’s areas in São Paulo was 357 tonnes/year, up 269% from 2019 production.
- productivity among the 1,281 beekeepers supported by the program was 27.5 kilos of honey per hive, 34% more than the national average, which currently amounts to 18 kilos of honey per hive.
In 2021, the main challenges will be:
- Move forward in strengthening sales.
- Create new sales channels to export Brazilian honey to foreign markets.
- Work with producers to facilitate access to product certification and improve access to specific markets.
- Help structure, strengthen, and expand the network of partnerships at local, territorial, and global levels.
- Establish partnerships with companies and/or organizations operating in the segment.
In the year 2021, we expect to:
- Innovate in the beekeeping chain and, consequently, foster entrepreneurial opportunities and business with a sustainable impact in the beekeeping sector.
- Create conditions to increase the export of honey.
- Incorporate protection of essential ecosystem services (water supply, pollination, etc.) as a condition for long-term support/funding.
- Promote the institutional strengthening of the organizations
- Seek adequate solutions to the context of each region, encouraging the transfer of technology.
wdt_ID Consolidation of project results, by region 2019 - Number of participants 2019 - Number of beekeepers' associations 2019 - Amount of honey produced (kg) 2019 - Total revenue generated (R$) 2019 - Average monthly income per participant (R$/person) 2020 - Number of participants 2020 - Number of beekeepers' associations 2020 - Amount of honey produced (kg) 2020 - Total revenue generated (R$) 2020 - Average monthly income per participant (R$/person)¹ 1 São Paulo 410 14 132,800 n/a n/a 764 18 356,761.00 2,801,946.45 997.84 2 Mato Grosso do Sul 170 6 117,000 n/a n/a 150 6 194,825.00 1,818,064.00 1,010.04 3 Espírito Santo 154 12 24,500 n/a n/a 147 12 214,466.84 2,511,898.80 1,701.83 4 Bahia 214 7 22,000 n/a n/a 132 7 44,780.70 554,122.58 369.42 5 Maranhão 66 3 - - - 88 3 0 0 - 6 Total 1,014 42 296,300 n/a n/a 1,281 46 810,833.54 7,686,031.83 1,013.45
According to Alcindo Alves, president of the Federation of Beekeepers and Meliponiculture Associations of the State of São Paulo and a participant in Colmeias, the 2020 harvest exceeded all expectations. The following is a statement from the leader:
“Ours was one of the sectors that increased sales the most in the period. People are linking health to the consumption of natural products such as propolis, pollen, royal jelly, and honey. The store of our cooperative is receiving many orders, and the kilo of honey, which was sold for R$5.50, is now selling for R$9.00, on average.”