AgroAmerica ranks among the top 10 of the most transparent companies in sustainable palm oil practices in the world

AgroAmerica ranks among the top 10 of the most transparent companies in sustainable palm oil practices in the world

GUATEMALA CITY — AgroAmerica ranked as the 7th sustainable company out of 100 oil palm companies in the world. This year the company received a rating of 84.95% in the latest Sustainability Policy Transparency Toolkit (SPOTT) Assessment recently released by the UK-based Zoological Society of London (ZSL).

The SPOTT platform promotes the transparency of companies by disclosing their policies, practices, and commitments related to environmental, social, and governance issues.

Fernando Bolaños, CEO of AgroAmerica, said that this is the third consecutive year that AgroAmerica participates in this sustainability evaluation, intending to improve, year after year, its practices and commitments, and continue to offer food products sustainably produced and distributed.

SPOTT evaluates 180 indicators grouped into 10 categories: Sustainability and leadership; Landbank, maps and traceability; Certification standards; Deforestation and biodiversity; HCV, HCS and impact assessments; Peat, fire and GHG emissions; Water, chemical and pest management; Community, land and labor rights; Smallholders and suppliers; Governance and grievances.     

The evaluation aims to measure the progress of companies towards sustainable production and marketing of palm oil. Among the most notable results, AgroAmerica obtained the complete qualification in HCV, HCS and impact assessments, for its commitment to the conservation of ecosystems, especially in areas of High Conservation Value.

Additionally, its commitment to zero deforestation and the use of technological tools for the optimization of natural resources, as well as the implementation of programs and projects for compliance with labor and land rights and the verifiable establishment of good relations with communities, allowed AgroAmerica to be among the top 10 of the companies evaluated in the transparency ranking.

The SPOTT evaluation team, comprised of professionals from prestigious London universities, belongs to ZSL, and is part of the Palm Oil Roundtable (RSPO).

“Participating in this evaluation is part of our policy of being transparent in our sustainable production practices and reaffirming our commitment to comply with international standards, which leads us to differentiate ourselves and have a competitive advantage in the oil palm sector, as well as promote a sustainable production and trade, ”stated Bolaños.

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AGROAMERICA EN LAS NOTICIAS

AgroAmerica promotes forest conservation and a cease to deforestation.

AgroAmerica promotes forest conservation and a cease to deforestation.

The agro-industrial food company, AgroAmerica, in its No Deforestation, No Peat and No Exploitation Policy, expresses its commitment to conserving forests and protecting areas of high conservation value.

The company recognizes primary forests, high and medium density forests, regeneration forests as well as high carbon stock forests. It also understands and supports the fact that research and development are based on the fundamental principles of ecological landscape conservation that aim to identify and protect as many high carbon stock forests as possible.

Landscape Conservation

AgroAmerica is part of the LandScale initiative as a key player in landscape conservation in southwestern Guatemala, in partnership with the Rainforest Alliance and Solidaridad Network.

LandScale has identified six productive landscapes to work on in Costa Rica, Ghana, Mexico, Peru and Guatemala, where AgroAmerica was invited to participate as a key player in landscape conservation in the area.

Forest Conservation

  • AgroAmerica conserves more than 972 hectares of forest in its plantations, which contributes to environmental balance, since forests assimilate a billion tons of carbon which reduces greenhouse gases, thus mitigating global warming.

 

  • AgroAmerica supports biodiversity and forest conservation efforts on more than 19,000 hectares in the Maya Biosphere Reserve, in a project in partnership with Solidaridad and the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS)

Reforestation

  • Forest Nursery

In coordination with LandScale, the Climate Change Institute and the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Food, AgroAmerica has financed a forest nursery with a capacity of 100,000 trees in the Southwest’s operations, which will be used to reforest the banks of the rivers in the area and conserve the ecosystems.

  • Donation of trees for reforestation

Additionally, AgroAmerica has donated more than 20,000 trees to government institutions, NGOs and communities for their reforestation programs. The institutions that have benefited are: MAGA, MARN, INAB, municipalities, Government Environmental Management Units and the Rainforest Alliance.

The beneficiary communities have been: San José Las Flores, Blanquita, Valle Lirio and Tres Cruces in the municipality of Retalhuleu; Chiquirines, Colonia Barillas and Morenas in the municipality of La Blanca; El Reparo and Esmeralda in Coatepeque.

 

Forest Monitoring

Using the digital tool Global Forest Watch, AgroAmerica has developed practices to monitor online the deforestation rates around its plantations. This technology also allows the monitoring of the state of hot spots, fires and forest fires in the proximity of operations.

«With this tool, we have been able to detect that there are zero deforested hectares and zero fires detected in our operations and those of our suppliers,» said Fernando Bolaños, CEO of AgroAmerica. «We will continue to support all forest conservation and Zero Deforestation efforts.»

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AGROAMERICA EN LAS NOTICIAS

Children’s day in Agroamerica

Children’s day in Agroamerica

OUR PEOPLE, OUR COMMUNITY

Childhood is a unique and crucial stage of life and all children must be safe, healthy and educated. (United Nations).

«Children are a fundamental part of our Corporate Social Responsibility programs at AgroAmérica, which are aligned with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and run throughout the year, so the Day of the Child at AgroAmérica is EVERY DAY,» said Javier Aguirre, Corporate Director of AgroAmérica.

One of the programs that AgroAmérica implements is a school for the children of employees. 

AgroAmerica’s School for workers Children

It currently has 179 students in Kindergarten and Elementary school.

  • The school promotes gender equity: 47% of the students enrolled are girls.
  • 84 students have graduated from elementary level.
  • The school was founded 9 years ago to bring quality education to the children of employees.

During 2020, the school has kept its classes remote, adapting to the change required by the pandemic. «We are awaiting instructions from the Ministry of Education to define the dates and methodology of graduation,» Aguirre reported. «During these days we will visit the students to verify their learning process and we will bring candy and joy to celebrate «International Children’s Day».

Another of AgroAmérica’s contributions to children, is its active participation in the Municipal Commission for Food and Nutritional Security (COMUSAN, for its acronym in Spanish) in the municipalities in its area of influence in Guatemala.

COMUSANs are made up of a multi-sector groups and hold discussions on the reality of food and nutritional security in the municipalities, proposing actions that provide and communicate quality and timely information for decision making and to be on the look-out for specialized agreements to generate proposals or projects in areas focused and prioritized in food and nutritional health. Its objective is to reduce the rate of malnutrition and chronic malnourishment in children in the area.

In the Southwestern zone, where AgroAmérica operates, chronic child malnutrition is at 4%, compared to 50% of the country’s total. (Source: Unicef).

Human Development Center

AgroAmérica’s «Growing Up Healthy» program, implemented at the Human Development Center in southwestern Guatemala, serves children from zero to three years of age. Its objective is to reduce malnutrition in the community and contribute to the achievement of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDG).

During 2019, 105 children finished this process of care within the program, for having reached three years of age with satisfactory growth and nutritional development.

ONE banana a day changes your life:

It is a complement to the school snack. It seeks to improve the nutrition and food security of the children participating in the program.

To date, 20,505 children have participated in Guatemala, Peru, and Ecuador. During 2019, the program was present in 13 schools.

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AGROAMERICA EN LAS NOTICIAS

AgroAmérica joins the International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer.

AgroAmérica joins the International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer.

INTERNATIONAL DAY OF THE OZONE LAYER, RESPONSIBLE PRACTICES OF AGROAMÉRICA, ENVIRONMENTAL CONSERVATION

«Ozone for Life» is this year’s motto to remind all citizens and sectors of their responsibility to take care of this fragile gas band that protects the Earth from the harmful effects of the sun’s rays, thereby contributing to the preservation of life on the planet.

AgroAmérica, through its responsible practices in its banana and tropical oil plantations and voluntary actions with local alliances, contributes to the Ozone Layer and the environment.

Carbon neutral (carbon negative)

According to the international organization WWF, in its article «Planting on degraded lands», the oil palm has the capacity to absorb 15 metric tons of carbon dioxide CO2 per hectare. This means that it is carbon neutral, since the amount of tons of carbon dioxide that the palm fixes is greater than the total emissions generated by agricultural and industrial activities. In Guatemala, greenhouse gas emissions from the production of palm oil represents only 0.45% of the nation’s total emissions.

“At AgroAmérica we preserve more than 972 hectares of forest in our plantations, which contributes to environmental balance and reduces greenhouse gases, thereby mitigating global warming,” said Fernando Bolaños, CEO of AgroAmérica. According to a WWF report, forests absorb a billion tons of carbon dioxide.

Reforestation in AgroAmérica

AgroAmérica has implemented reforestation programs for several years. In 2019, it reforested 11.27 hectares along the riverbanks of several Guatemalan rivers, in partnership with the National Council of Protected Areas of Retalhuleu, surrounding communities and volunteer workers from AgroAmérica. These reforestation actions have helped to preserve the water, flora and fauna that make up the ecosystem, as well as reduce flooding and emissions of greenhouse gases.

“Agroaceite, a subsidiary of AgroAmérica, is the fourth company worldwide, third in Latin America and first in Central America to obtain the RSPO Next certification,” Bolaños added. This certification emphasizes No Deforestation, No Peat Soil Plantations, Reduction of Greenhouse Gases, Respect for Human Rights, Traceability and Transparency at all organizational levels. This standard provides a series of advanced criteria that exceed the RSPO standard.

Cutting edge technologies in tropical oil plants in AgroAmérica

The technologies used in the tropical oil processing plants of AgroAmérica help preserve the environment and the ozone layer.

Biomass boiler

The energy that is generated with biomass is one of the most renewable and the most beneficial for the environment. With the biomass boiler, clean energy is generated and covers the demand for electric energy in the tropical oil processing plant of Agroaceite. The biomass boiler is electrically connected to the National Interconnected System-SNI to which all the generation plants in Guatemala are interconnected, thus allowing the production, distribution and consumption of electric energy generated by the boiler.

Biodigesters

The water used inside the oil processing plants of AgroAmérica does not come from the river, but is extracted from a well and remains in a closed circuit. After the water is used, it is integrated into biodigesters. Biodigesters are containers that process and reduce organic matter through an anaerobic and aerobic process.

Learn more about our environmental conservation programs (https://agroamerica.com/en/environment/) and our Tropical Oil Sustainability Report 2019 (https://agroamerica.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/AgroAmerica-Tropical-Oil-Sustainability-Report-2019.pdf)

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