AgroAmerica

Materiality Assessment of AgroAmerica

AgroAmerica Materiality Assessment

Materiality Assessment of AgroAmerica

AgroAmerica Materiality Assessment

To establish updated sustainability priorities for Agroamerica in 2020 the company carried out a materiality assessment stipulated by the GRI (Global Reporting Initiative), identifying the most important topics that define the company’s sustainability strategy.

Whats is the Materiality Assessment ?

The materiality assessment is a two-dimensional diagnosis that analyzes the most important topics according to their relevance in:

  1. The impact and contributions of the company in the economic, social, and environmental fields.
  2. The influence of this impact on the evaluation and decision-making of the stakeholders, both internal and external. That is to say investors and shareholders, creditors, collaborators, unions, clients, consumers, suppliers, community, authorities, institutions, and others.

Assessment Objective

This diagnosis makes it possible to report AgroAmeirca’s priorities and establish its sustainability strategy based on them, and thus communicate transparently and assertively to its stakeholders on which economic, social and environmental aspects the company has had the greatest impact.

Investigative Process

To meet its objectives, AgroAmerica carried out research on the priorities of its stakeholders, as well as a benchmark study with industry leaders, surveys and interviews with both internal and external leaders.

The process for conducting the materiality assessment of AgroAmerica entailed interviewing more than 25 people including members of its Executive Committee, along with NGOs, Certifying Bodies and Clients; as well as the contribution of more than 100 people that completed online surveys.

Research result

As a result of these activities, AgroAmerica was able to identify and prioritize 19 relevant topics, which are shown in the following Materiality Map. This matrix was developed and validated by the company’s Executive Committee.

The completion of the AgroAmerica Materiality Analysis allowed the company’s priorities on business sustainability to be more clearly established. In this way, AgroAmerica is able to execute more precise and effective sustainability strategies to meet the needs and expectations of the stakeholders and communities around the company’s operation.

 

Mayan Biosphere

What is the Mayan Biosphere?

Mayan Biosphere AgroAmerica

What is the Mayan Biosphere?

Guatemala has been characterized for being a country with great wealth in flora and fauna, that is why it is called the country of eternal spring, without a doubt this title is a great privilege but it is also a great responsibility. In 1990 the Mayan Biosphere Reserve was created in Guatemala, which is a sparsely populated region composed of forests, rivers, wetlands and Mayan sites.

Characteristics of the Mayan Biosphere

This protected area is the largest in Guatemala and represents one-fifth of the national territory, extending over more than two million hectares in which there are natural ecosystems essential for the country’s flora and fauna.

The Mayan Biosphere in Guatemala also conserves a large part of the archeological sites that are currently considered icons of the Mayan civilization.

32 years of the Mayan Biosphere

Currently, Guatemala’s Maya Biosphere Reserve is 32 years old since the publication of decree 5-90, which assigns CONAP as the institution responsible for its enforcement.

AgroAmerica and its contribution to the conservation of the Mayan Biosphere

The company has carried out different actions to guarantee the conservation of the Mayan Biosphere in Guatemala, as well as the conservation and restoration of landscapes.

AgroAmerica has been part of the environmental conservation project of the Maya Cultural and Natural Heritage Foundation, which works to protect tropical forests, flora and fauna.

Agreement to strengthen protected areas in Guatemala

The company also signed an agreement with WCS and Solidaridad to strengthen the Guatemalan Protected Areas System (SIGAP) through pilot projects in accordance with the strategies established by CONAP and the Ministry of the Environment and Natural Resources.

Agreement Objectives

The agreement aims to monitor and conserve 19,000 hectares in Laguna del Tigre National Park as well as threatened species such as:

– Scarlet Macaw

– Jaguar

– White-lipped peccary

– Tapir; and

– White Turtle

Macaw release project

Recently, with the support of AgroAmerica, Wildlife Conservation Society, Fundación Solidaridad Latinoamericana, CONAP and other organizations, 26 scarlet macaws were released into the Maya Biosphere Reserve in Guatemala.

Objective Project

The goal is to increase the number of scarlet macaws in the reserve, estimating that a total of 300 macaws currently inhabit the reserve.

Conservation Technical Committees

AgroAmerica also has zero deforestation and zero waste policies, as well as constant participation in mangrove technical roundtables and soil and water conservation systems.

Forest Reforestation

In addition, the company has participated in various tree donation activities for reforestation of forests.

AgroAmérica will continue contributing to the conservation of the Mayan Biosphere

Undoubtedly Guatemala has an immense wealth of landscapes, flora, fauna and cultural heritage of the Mayan civilization. It is the responsibility of everyone in this country to contribute to its constant care and conservation.

Throughout its years of operation, AgroAmerica has collaborated with the mission of the conservation of the Mayan Biosphere in Guatemala and hopes to continue to do so more and more.

 
"2022 Conservation Leadership Award"

AgroAmerica won RSPO’s «2022 Conservation Leadership Award» for its Maya Biosphere Conservation project 

"2022 Conservation Leadership Award"
"2022 Conservation Leadership Award"
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AgroAmerica won RSPO's "2022 Conservation Leadership Award" for its Maya Biosphere Conservation project

Guatemala City. The conservation project in the Mayan Biosphere of Guatemala received the “2022 Conservation Leadership Award” from the Round Table on Sustainable Palm Oil –RSPO-. This initiative is executed through a formal agreement signed between AgroAmerica, the Wildlife Conservation Society, Solidaridad Network, and the National Council of Protected Areas.

Conservation Project Objective

The project’s objective is to conserve the area’s biodiversity, natural ecosystems, and natural heritage through monitoring the population of endangered species and their habitat, protection of natural ecosystems such as forests and wetlands, and alliances strategies for implementing socio-environmental management initiatives.

What has been achieved with the project?

One of the project’s main results was the release of 60 macaws after great efforts to protect their natural habitat. Likewise, the project has included joint work with the El Paso Caballos community to protect biodiversity through early warning systems for forest fires and macaws monitoring.

At AgroAmérica we help to regenerate the land and its resources

“Our business model is focused on regenerating the Earth and its resources. In the framework of our sustainability commitments, at AgroAmerica, we participate in conservation efforts carried out in one of the most important biodiversity areas in Guatemala,” said Fernando Bolaños, CEO of AgroAmerica.

RSPO Awards Objectives

The RSPO Excellence Awards recognize how RSPO members across the globe seek solutions to address the sustainability challenges the industry is currently facing and expand its value chain. 

“At AgroAmerica, we reaffirm our commitment to exceeding environmental and social expectations, driving positive impact, and leading conservation projects in the countries where we operate,” concluded Fernando Bolaños.

Premio AmCham 2022 AgroAmérica

AgroAmerica was awarded AMCHAM’s «Grand Prize» for Business Sustainability for the second consecutive year

AMCHAM "Grand Prize" for Business Sustainability
Honorable Mention for the Project on "High level education for employees' children"
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AgroAmerica was awarded AMCHAM's "Grand Prize" for Business Sustainability for the second consecutive year

AgroAmerica is committed to the conservation of biodiversity, reforestation and the protection of ecosystems

Guatemala City. The “Mangrove Ecosystem Restoration” project, implemented through a strategic alliance between AgroAmerica, Rainforest Alliance, the National Institute of Forests – INABSolidaridad Network, Private Institute for Climate Change Research – ICC, the National Council of Protected Areas – CONAP, and the Municipality of Champerico, Retalhuleu in Guatemala, was awarded the Grand Prize for Business Sustainability from the Guatemalan-American Chamber of Commerce – AMCHAM. The project began in 2021 to help conserve and restore the mangrove area known as Manchón Guamuchal, located on the Guatemalan Pacific coast, and declared a RAMSAR site as a wetland of international importance.

Since its beginnings, AgroAmerica has based its business model on a simple philosophy: “Doing well by doing good.” Following this philosophy, the company works under a comprehensive regenerative agriculture model which focuses on improving food quality and transforming supply chains to place people and nature at the center of its operations.

We will continue to recover more hectares of the Mangrove

“Our goal is to recover 250 hectares of landscape level mangroves, by 2025, with our initiative allies, as a nature-based solution that can help minimize the effects of climate change. We are proud that we recovered 68 hectares of mangroves in 2022, exceeding our initiative’s goal and achieving the restoration of more than what has been reforested nationwide in the last 10 years, thanks to the strategic alliances in the project.” indicated Fernando Bolaños, CEO of AgroAmerica.

Project to reduce climate change

Mangrove forests are one of the most carbon-dense ecosystems in the world, with the potential to act as long-term carbon sinks, playing a vital role in the fight against climate change. The initiative projects the capture of thousands of tons of carbon each year, helping to reduce global warming and achieving corporate and global decarbonization goals. However, the impact of this project is not limited to environmental issues. It also promotes the development of nearby communities by improving their quality of life, their skills and their economies.

Support for the Environment and Communities

This initiative directly employs more than 300 people from nearby communities on a daily basis. These workers benefit economically by taking responsibility for collecting and reforesting mangrove propagules. Additionally, 135 families surrounding the restoration area are trained in environmental issues, have access to fresh water, earn a stable source of income for their advancement and have their livelihoods restored.

“At AgroAmerica, we continue to work with an integrated approach to regenerating the earth and its resources. We are convinced these actions can make a difference.” noted Mr. Bolaños.

Honorable Mention in High-level Education

AgroAmerica was also presented with an honorable mention for the project “High-level Education for Workers’ Children.” The company has carried out this project in southwest Guatemala for 12 years. Its purpose is to provide access to quality education to the children of employees, with an innovative pedagogical model focused on students and their environment. As of 2021, more than 120 students have graduated from the primary level.

AMCHAM Recognition

AMCHAM grants this recognition to companies that go above and beyond to positively impact countries and fully comply with legal and environmental regulations. For 17 years, AMCHAM has recognized the Corporate Sustainability work of its partners for the impact they generate on society, beyond its Corporate Social Responsibility programs.

SPOTT’s ESG ranking

AgroAmerica, for the third consecutive year, ranks in the top ten of SPOTT’s ESG ranking

SPOTT’s ESG ranking

AgroAmerica, for the third consecutive year, ranks in the top ten of SPOTT’s ESG ranking

Guatemala City. A new assessment led by ZSL has placed AgroAmerica 8th out of over 100 palm oil producers, processors, and traders on the public disclosure of their policies, operations, and commitments to environmental, social, and governance (ESG) best practices. The results were published by the renowned Sustainability Policy Transparency Toolkit – SPOTT- www.spott.org   making it known that AgroAmerica was among the top ten in the SPOTT´s ESG ranking.  

AgroAmerica among the 10 most transparent companies

This is the third consecutive year that AgroAmerica was among the world’s top 10 most transparent companies, receiving a rating of 88.9% in the latest SPOTT Assessment released by the UK-based Zoological Society of London (ZSL).  

AgroAmerica continues to improve

Fernando Bolaños, CEO of AgroAmerica, said that the company has participated in this initiative for five consecutive years and has improved its practices to take on new and progressively more demanding challenges. 

Best scores in the ESG Ranking

Among the most notable results, AgroAmerica obtained a 100% score in “Sustainability policy and Leadership” and 97.1% in “Community, Land and Labor Rights” categories for its strong commitment to sustainable business and respecting the rights of all employees, nearby communities, and stakeholders.

committed to continue working

“Through the SPOTT assessment, we demonstrate our commitment to purpose-driven and effective ESG management for the benefit of our stakeholders and the planet. The diligence and dedication of our employees have allowed us to achieve great results. We will continue to work to improve sustainability in our operations and to distinguish ourselves in the market by providing high-quality, sustainable natural foods and ingredients to the world, ” states Mr. Bolaños

SPOTT evaluation categories

The SPOTT platform promotes the transparency of companies by reporting their policies and practices and their commitments to environmental, social, and governance issues. It assesses 180 indicators grouped into ten categories:

  • Sustainability policy 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

SPOTT encourages more transparent practices

The evaluation measured and benchmarked companies’ progress toward sustainable production and marketing of sustainable palm oil over time. SPOTT incentivizes the implementation of corporate best practices by tracking transparency. Investors, buyers and other key influencers use SPOTT assessments to manage ESG risk, to inform interested parties and to increase transparency across multiple industries

RSPO Standard AgroAmérica

Public Announcement of initial audit in accordance with the RSPO Standard of Principles and Criteria (P&C)

Public Announcement of initial audit in accordance with the RSPO Standard of Principles and Criteria (P&C)

As part of AgroAmerica Tropical Oil Holding Corp, Agropalma de Inversiones S.A. in Panama has applied to Control Union Malaysia Sdn Bhd to carry out Initial audit activities in accordance with the RSPO Standard Principles and Criteria (P&C) for Production of Sustainable Palm Oil (2018). The Initial Audit is scheduled to begin on September 12, 2022, and will be completed on September 15, 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: Public Announcement of Initial Audit.

 
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.