AgroAmerica

Announcement of public consultation

Announcement of public consultation regarding the initial certification of audit of AgroAmerica according to the requirements of the RSPO Principles and Criteria

Announcement of public consultation regarding the initial certification of audit of AgroAmerica according to the requirements of the RSPO Principles and Criteria

IBD Certificações informs that the company AgroAmerica Tropical Oil Holding Corp. (1-0374-22-000-00) is now in the application process for RSPO Principles & Criteria Certification related to the production of sustainable palm oil. The audit is scheduled to take place between July 18th, 2022, and July 22nd, 2022

Standards that will be used for this assessment are Principles & Criteria for the Production of Sustainable Palm Oil (November 2018 version)

You can download the document in English here: Announcement of public consultation (PDF)

AgroAmerica ranks among world’s top 5 most transparent companies and reaches 92% of PRI expectations score

AgroAmerica, one of the most transparent companies in the world

AgroAmerica ranks among world’s top 5 most transparent companies and reaches 92% of PRI expectations score

AgroAmerica ranked in the top 5 out of 100 tropical oil producers, processors, and traders on the public disclosure of their policies, operations, and commitments to Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) best practice, in the results published by the renowned Sustainability Policy Transparency Toolkit – SPOTT- www.spott.org  

At the same time, AgroAmerica also achieved 92% of the last PRI expectations score, generated by the Zoological Society of London (ZSL) from a subset of SPOTT indicators to assess companies against the PRI “Investor Expectations on Sustainable Tropical Oil”. 

As part of the PRI-coordinated engagement on Sustainable Tropical Oil, more than 62 investment organizations with approximately US$8 trillion in assets under management endorsed a statement laying out their expectations of companies operating across the tropical oil value chain and highlighting their continued support for a sustainable tropical oil industry. Investors can use this to assess companies against the expectations set out in the Investor Expectation Statement on Sustainable tropical Oil. 

Fernando Bolaños, CEO of AgroAmerica, said: “This is the fourth year that AgroAmerica participates in this initiative, the result is only a reflection of the great effort made by our employees to guarantee good practices, transparency, and sustainability. AgroAmerica is and will continue to be an agent of change through sustainable production for the regeneration and restoration of our planet and the well-being of its people”.

About AgroAmerica

AgroAmérica is a family-owned company, headed by the second generation of leaders in the business. It is a competitively positioned, diversified and vertically integrated organization in the sector of agricultural production, agro-industrial processing, commercialization and distribution of sustainable tropical oils, bananas and food ingredients of the highest quality.

About SPOTT

SPOTT – Sustainability Policy Transparency Toolkit – is a free, online platform supporting sustainable commodity production and trade. By tracking transparency, SPOTT incentivises the implementation of corporate best practice. SPOTT assesses commodity producers, processors and traders on their public disclosure regarding their organisation, policies and practices related to environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues.

Under its “regenerate the earth and its resources” strategy, AgroAmerica creates a Macro Sanctuary to restore pollinator habitats

Regenerate the Earth and its resources

Under its “regenerate the earth and its resources” strategy, AgroAmerica creates a Macro Sanctuary to restore pollinator habitats

In alliance with BeeHub, AgroAmerica created a new concept of Macro Bee Sanctuary, as part of a regenerative project to promote the conservation of the pollinators and increase biodiversity.

April 22, 2022.  On Earth Day, business leadership and actions toward environment care take more relevance. However, conventional sustainability strategies are being surpassed by efforts that are moving forward to regenerative business models. In this line, AgroAmerica and BeeHub – an organization specializing in the protection and conservation of bees through rescues, creation of native bee sanctuaries and environmental education – began a pilot project at the Natural Ingredients Processing Plant located in the coastal lowland region of Guatemala, to protect pollinators and increase biodiversity.  

The protection of bees – in all their diversity – and other pollinators, is an environmental priority on the global agenda due to their important role in the ecosystem survival. In response to the dangers and threats faced by these insects, the project consists of the creation of macro-sanctuaries for the protection and conservation of all the region’s native bee species and other pollinators such as butterflies and hummingbirds, among others, that will be linked through biological pathways and will promote environmental education and community participation.  

The sanctuaries are places of special protection that promote the regeneration and conservation of bees. They are built in areas surrounded by gardens with flowering plants, prioritizing the biodiversity of native flora, landscape improvement, protection of water sources and the installation of special structures that favor the nesting of native species, to help the healthy development of these essential pollinators.

At AgroAmerica, we believe that it is necessary to regenerate the Earth and natural resources to save the planet. This is why we have made efforts to adopt business models that aim to guarantee the availability of resources in the future, placing nature and people at the center of our operations to become a regenerative company through innovative practices. Consistent with this belief, we are very excited that, in the region, AgroAmerica is the first company from the food and agro-industrial sector to implement actions to protect bees and other pollinators, in order to promote their conservation and, at the same time, promote the natural regeneration of biological pathways” – Fernando Bolaños, CEO of AgroAmerica

Different studies indicate that bees, in all their diversity of species, are the most important animals on the planet due to their relevance for the regeneration of plants and entire ecosystems. “To protect them is to protect the entire planet,” emphasizes Fernando Bolaños.  More than 70% of the world’s agricultural production depends on their work as pollinators, which is equivalent to 35%-40% of the world’s food production. However, a general fear of bees, lack of knowledge of biodiversity and its importance for life, pollution, and habitat loss, among other factors, are threatening the survival of these animals.

To address these problems, the project includes different phases that began with a diagnosis and data collection to determine the diversity of bee species and other pollinators in the area, and then moved on to the creation of the Macro Sanctuary and the implementation of training and awareness programs for company employees, students, and communities in the area.

Bee conservation is a matter concerning all of us.  From BeeHub we want to set the course for more ambitious programs for the conservation of bees and other pollinators, involving all sectors. We are excited to see agroindustry concerned and acting for bee conservation. Congratulations to AgroAmerica for being pioneers in the region in leading their efforts for a better world.” Ahmid Daccarett, founder of BeeHub

The pilot project is expected to be replicated in more than 980 hectares of conserved forest within AgroAmerica production sites, planning to have a positive impact on the biodiversity of at least 100 protected hectares in different locations. With this initiative, hope is given for the development and conservation of the most important living beings on planet Earth.

When we think about bees, we usually think about honey; but these animals do something much more significant: they maintain the life and diversity of flora through pollination” – Javier Aguirre, Corporate Director of AgroAmérica.

On this day dedicated to the Earth and its protection, it is worth highlighting actions that promote regeneration, sustainability, and conservation of nature.

“New grant-winning teams were announced in the 100K Innovation fund competition”

"New grant-winning teams were announced in the 100K Innovation fund competition"

Higher education programs in sustainability, environment and social sciences are awarded the 100K Strong Grant, sponsored by the US Department of State and Agroamerica

March 2, 2022.  The U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs, U.S. Embassies, and Partners of the Americas announce twelve new grant-winning teams between universities and colleges in the United States with higher education institutions in Central America and the Dominican Republic in the 100,000 Strong in the Americas (100K) Innovation Fund competition sponsored by AgroAmerica and the U.S. Department of State.  

The 100K Innovation Fund is the signature public-private sector collaboration between the U.S. Department of State, U.S. embassies, and Partners of the Americas working with companies, foundations, and regional academic networks to champion the power of education and create access to innovative training programs between the United States with Latin America and the Caribbean.  The 100K Innovation Fund inspires U.S. universities and colleges to partner with regional higher education institutions to design and implement new models of academic exchange programs for underserved students throughout the Americas.

AgroAmerica, based in Guatemala with a regional presence, joined the Department of State to stimulate and support partnerships to create innovative, inclusive training programs for underserved students in public health, environment, climate, engineering, entrepreneurship, and other timely areas. The 100K winning teams announced today will engage 25 higher education institutions in six countries – Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Costa Rica, Panama, Dominican Republic – in partnerships with a diversity of U.S. colleges and universities to create 12 new exchange programs that will impact hundreds of students in the United States, Central America, and the Dominican Republic during 2022-2023.  

At AgroAmerica, we know that the challenges we face as a region must be addressed jointly, with strategic alliances that are focused on generating prosperity for the United States, Central America, and the Dominican Republic. For this reason, we are proud to be part of the 100,000 Strong in the Americas Innovation Fund, to ensure that diverse students have the opportunity to make a positive impact on our societies. To the students who are part of the winning teams, I want to encourage you to continue working to successfully implement these academic development exchange programs throughout the region.” – AgroAmerica CEO Fernando Bolaños.

“Together, with contributions of the U.S. Department of State and Partners of the Americas, the generous support from AgroAmerica is providing opportunities for Central American and Dominican universities to build sustainable partnerships with their U.S. counterparts.  The partnerships we are creating will innovate, educate, and empower.  The winning programs we announce today are dynamic and ambitious. From public health to conservation, to entrepreneurship; these 100K programs are a starting point for addressing some of the most significant challenges and exciting opportunities facing our communities.” – U.S. Ambassador to Guatemala William W. Popp.

 

Programa de Desarrollo para Adolescentes

AgroAmerica implements a comprehensive development program for adolescents

AgroAmerica implements a comprehensive development program for adolescents

The Human Development Center of AgroAmerica, in southwestern Guatemala, is implementing a Comprehensive Development Program for Adolescents, under the guidance of the University of Colorado. “The main objective of this program is to provide teenagers between the ages of 12 and 18 with the opportunity to have a comprehensive development, which allows them to excel in both personal and professional areas, while becoming drivers of change in their families and communities,” said Fernando Bolaños, CEO of AgroAmerica. The program has three main components: trainings, scholarships and medical care.

Training
Training is provided to young students at the middle and high school levels in local schools in the influence area. Topics covered include: sex education, with the aim of ensuring that adolescents are informed and can make free, informed and responsible decisions; human values, self-esteem; life projects that allow them to set personal goals; leadership, changes during adolescence and how to manage them; personal hygiene and preventive health. The goal of these trainings is to allow young people to develop in a comprehensive and successful way, both in their academics and in their personal lives. In 2019, 1,194 adolescents from 12 middle and high schools participated.

Scholarships
Scholarships for middle and high school are awarded to young people between 16 and 18 years old who participate in the program, to help them complete their studies. The adolescents who participate in the scholarship program are part of a leadership project offered at the Human Development Center, in which they must commit themselves to generate actions of change aimed at promoting community development, with the purpose of developing future leaders who will generate positive impacts in their influence areas.

Medical Care
A medical clinic was inaugurated at AgroAmerica’s Human Development Center for the exclusive use of the Comprehensive Development Program for Teenagers, which provides medical services to young people to help them with their health and wellness. During 2019, surveys and general medical evaluations were conducted for more than 1,100 adolescents to learn about their physical and psychological health status in order to know their
profile and be able to provide them with the necessary medical care.

In 2020, staff from AgroAmerica’s “Young Leaders and Great Decisions” Leadership program provided support to communities and clinic patients in COVID 19 Prevention Measures.

Año internacional de las frutas y verduras

AgroAmerica joins in the celebration of the International Year of Fruits and Vegetables

AgroAmerica joins in the celebration of the International Year of Fruits and Vegetables

The United Nations General Assembly designated 2021 as the International Year of Fruits and Vegetables to raise awareness of the importance of consuming fruits and vegetables, which are essential for human nutrition, food security and health, and for the achievement of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), bananas are the most widely sold fruit in supermarkets and the fourth most important food crop in the world.

AgroAmerica is an international food company, dedicated to the production and distribution of fruits, mainly conventional and organic Cavendish bananas.

AgroAmerica has played a key role in food security during the Covid-19 pandemic. “Aware of the nutritional value of bananas in food security, we supported the Government of Guatemala, together with the Association of Independent Banana Producers, by donating $297,000 to the communities most affected by Covid-19 in Guatemala. Furthermore, we donated 1,248,900 bananas to 62,445 families in the communities surrounding our operations in the countries where we operate,” said Fernando Bolaños, CEO of AgroAmerica.

AgroAmerica is characterized for being a competitive company in the market for its high-quality products, excellence and its efforts in sustainability, from farm to fork.

Agroindustrial Sustainability

AgroAmerica uses sustainable crop methods, in compliance with the most demanding international quality, labor, social and environmental standards in the market.

Certified Production

In addition to being a competitive company, AgroAmerica demonstrates its commitment to the well-being of its workers, the communities and the environment. This is demonstrated by more than ten certifications and our social and environmental programs, which are aligned with the SDGs. The company is also a member of the Better Banana Project, which addresses environmental and social issues on plantations while increasing farms’ efficiency and maintaining high production levels. The ultimate goal of the project is sustainability. It is a win-win solution, because the working conditions are improved and the plantations are more productive.

Organic Seal

AgroAmerica complies with the strict guidelines offered by the United States Department of Agriculture and with European and international standards that guarantee the sustainable production and marketing of its organic products.

Traceability

AgroAmerica guarantees the traceability of its production and distribution chain by complementing its sustainable, world-class banana crops with logistics and transportation services and BASC (Business Alliance for Secure Commerce) certification.

“We congratulate the United Nations for raising awareness of healthy eating and join in the celebration of the International Year of Fruits and Vegetables by offering food products of high nutritional value, produced in a responsible and sustainable manner,” added Bolaños.

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AgroAmerica operates hand in hand with the ten universal principles of the United Nations Global Compact.

AgroAmerica operates hand in hand with the ten universal principles of the United Nations Global Compact.

For several years now, AgroAmerica has aligned its sustainability strategy with the Sustainable Development Goals and the Ten Universal Principles of the United Nations Global Compact.

On September 25, 2015, the 17 sustainable development goals were adopted by the leaders of 193 countries. The United Nations Global Compact was launched in 2000 for companies to align their strategies and operations with ten universal principles on human rights, labor standards, the environment, anti-corruption and to take action to promote the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

We are proud to mention the following achievements of our sustainability program. In the area of Social Development, we focus on our workers first, to improve their quality of life, through a dignified salary; and to their families and communities, with the implementation of health and education programs.

We have technologies and programs implemented that contribute to environmental sustainability:

In ethical integrity, we have labor, socio-environmental and anti-corruption policies, as well as a code of ethics and an ethical line for complaints.

“Our commitment this year is to continue contributing to local development through our social programs with responsible and sustainable practices, while contributing to the principles of the Global Compact and the SDGs,” stated Fernando Bolaños, AgroAmerica CEO.

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Sostenibles en Aceite de Palma

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

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

GUATEMALA CITY — AgroAmerica ranked as the 7th sustainable company out of 100 tropical oil 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 tropical 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 tropical 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 tropical oil sector, as well as promote a sustainable production and trade, ”stated Bolaños.

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Conservación de Bosques

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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Biósfera Maya

AgroAmerica supports the conservation of scarlet macaws in the Mayan Biosphere of Guatemala

AgroAmerica supports the conservation of scarlet macaws in the Mayan Biosphere of Guatemala

GUATEMALA CITY– Recently, 26 scarlet macaws were freed in Guatemala’s Maya Biosphere Reserve with the support of AgroAmérica, Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), Fundación Solidaridad Latinoamericana, and the National Council of Protected Areas (CONAP, by its Spanish acronym)

This was done with the purpose of increasing the number of these specimens in the Maya Biosphere Reserve and, therefore, contributing to the strengthening of the wild population of scarlet macaws. After their release it is estimated that there are about 300 macaws in the reserve.

“Macaws are increasingly threatened by poaching for the illegal wildlife trade, in addition to habitat loss, driven largely by intentional forest fires, livestock and the expansion of human settlements,” WCS reported.

“At AgroAmerica, we are fully committed to supporting activities to protect and maintain riparian zones in the areas in where we conduct agricultural operations, and in areas of biological importance for the country,” Fernando Bolaños, CEO of AgroAmérica, said.

To fulfill this commitment, the agro-industrial food company, AgroAmérica, signed an agreement with WCS and Fundación Solidaridad to strengthen the Guatemalan System of Protected Areas (SIGAP, by its Spanish acronym) through the implementation of pilot projects to restore and maintain the landscape, according to the strategies of CONAP and the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources (MARN by its Spanish acronym).

The agreement seeks to support the conservation of 19,000 hectares of forest at Laguna del Tigre National Park. This is to help protect and monitor endangered species and their habitats, including animals such as scarlet macaws, jaguars, white-lipped peccaries, tapirs and white turtles. This will assist us in maintaining natural ecosystems (forests, wetlands and savannas) protected from threats like fires, invasions and other illegal activities in the ecosystems of the project area.

AgroAmérica also joined the environmental conservation project of the Foundation of Cultural and Natural Maya Patrimony (PACUNAM, by its Spanish acronym) to contribute to the protection of the cultural and natural heritage, such as the tropical forest and the flora and fauna of the Maya Biosphere Reserve in Guatemala.

“At AgroAmerica we implement a Zero Deforestation policy, we share good practices and field experiences related to the RSPO standard; we actively participate in technical roundtables that seek to manage and develop sustainable landscapes and we support specific reforestation and conservation projects,” Bolaños stated.

The freeing of macaws is one of the many projects promoted by AgroAmérica.

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