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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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 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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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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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 and our Tropical Oil Sustainability Report 2019 

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AgroAmerica contributes once again to the development of the Central American region

AgroAmerica contributes once again to the development of the Central American region

GUATEMALA CITY- September 2020- AgroAmerica, a globally recognized sustainable company, has been invited since 2017 to sponsor the Central American Donors Forum, an initiative of the Seattle International Foundation (SIF), to generate alliances and advance in development efforts in Central America to generate a greater social impact.

The Forum has the participation of over 400 leaders from business,  government, private sector, media outlets, and civil society, as well as international and regional panelists, to discuss priority issues and promote Social Responsibility. For the first time since its inception, the 2020 Forum was held virtually and was open to all audiences.

From September 1 – 3, 2020, the interventions of the different Forum participants focused on the “Reinvention and resistance in times of crisis”. The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed many of the vulnerabilities and concerns of Central America based on the construction of alternative responses to the economic impact, gender approach, migration, and the role of companies to increase market access for all.

Promoting development:

For the 4th consecutive year, AgroAmerica participated as a sponsor of the Forum, promoting the development of the Central American region and the implementation of good business, labor, social and environmental practices.

During 2019, the Forum’s central theme was “Progress at the Crossroads”. More than 30 conferences, panels, and workshops were held in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, addressing Economic Development, Youth, Feminist Movements, Corruption, Migration, Human Rights, Democracy, Public-Private Partnerships, among others.

In 2018, the forum was held in San Salvador, El Salvador, developing the theme “Creating space for everyone”, highlighting the role of corporate social responsibility in building a more inclusive region through strategic alliances with social actors.

In 2017, AgroAmerica CEO, Fernando Bolaños, was a member of the host committee, as well as a panelist of the Forum that revolved around the theme “Reimagining Partnerships”  held in Panama City. 

Bolaños participated on the panel Social Responsibility: The Role of Influential People in the Construction of Democracy in Central America. “There are many challenges facing Central America,” said Bolaños during his intervention. “Our challenges are all connected and linked – food security, poverty gender equality, health and education to name just a few. At AgroAmerica we strive to create a sustainable development initiative through partnerships, so we can improve the lives of our employees and the people in the surrounding communities.”

AgroAmerica will continue contributing to initiatives that promote a more inclusive region through its Corporate Sustainability Strategy and strategic alliances with social actors.

About AgroAmerica:

AgroAmerica is an agroindustrial corporation dedicated the production and commercialization of food products, using sustainable and responsible farming methods. With operations in Europe, United States, México, Guatemala, Ecuador, Perú, and Panamá. AgroAmerica operates based on a Corporate Sustainability strategy to generate value and balance among economic growth, natural resource conservation, and our customers and stakeholders wellbeing. Visit us: https://agroamerica.com/en/

Contacts

Javier Aguirre
Corporate Director
comunicacion@agroamerica.com
(502) 2420-9600

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AgroAmerica and the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, and Food -MAGA- sign an agreement that will contribute to food and nutritional security in Guatemala.

AgroAmerica and the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, and Food -MAGA- sign an agreement that will contribute to food and nutritional security in Guatemala.

OUR PEOPLE, OUR COMMUNITY

49.8% of children in Guatemala suffer from chronic malnutrition, a condition that affects one in every two children under the age of five. To fight those numbers, AgroAmerica has developed the program One banana a day changes your life, which consists of the donation of bananas as a nutritious supplement to school meals, accompanied by preventive health activities.

To expand the scoop of the program, AgroAmerica signed an agreement with the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, and Food -MAGA-. The agreement establishes that AgroAmerica will donate 133 tons of bananas during the 2020 school year to 12 schools in Quetzaltenango.

The alliance was signed by Minister Oscar David Bonilla Aguirre of the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, and Food, aiming to contribute to food security proposed in the program “One banana a day changes your life” promoted by AgroAmerica in support of the Great Crusade for Nutrition, promoted by Guatemala’s government.

“In addition to reducing malnutrition, the main objective of the program is to seek the participation of each of the social actors (company, community, and government), promoting the community’s self-management capacity to generate development,” said Gustavo Bolaños, AgroAmerica COO.

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Working together towards integral health.

Working together towards integral health.

OUR PEOPLE, OUR COMMUNITY

Alejandro is an 8-year-old boy who was treated during one of the medical and dental care activities performed by physicians from the Colorado University at the facilities of the AgroAmerica Human Development Center. The economic situation of Alejandro`s family did not allow them to attend to the child´s medical needs, putting his life at risk. “Just a day or two after we extracted his teeth, Alejandro was doing much better. His infection and swelling quickly resolved, and he was able to smile without pain. This positive outcome was made possible by the concerted efforts of the dental students and the Guatemalan team of researchers and Doctors,“ said Dr. Elizabeth Shick, DDS, MPH, (Momentum magazine 2019, p. 14). Shick is an associated professor at the Colorado University School of Dental Medicine, who has leaded cohorts of students from the School to Guatemala to serve at dental care activities held at the Medical Clinic of the Human Development Center.

The Medical Clinic of Agroamerica Human Development Center:

It was inaugurated in 2014 to provide medical service to the workers, their
families, and the communities that live in the surroundings of the operations
located in the Southwestern Trifinio in Guatemala; area known as the
geographical point where the Departments of Quetzaltenango, San Marcos,
and Retalhuleu converge and has an estimated population of 60,000
inhabitants in more than 30 communities.

To make this project possible, an MOU was signed with the University of
Colorado of the United States that provides technical assistance and resident
doctors for patient care, alongside Guatemalan doctors and nurses. Learn
more here.

“We aim to provide access to affordable high-quality health care, in order to promote the development of people and communities in the areas influenced by our operations” said Fernando Bolaños, CEO Agroamerica. The anecdote lived by the doctors from Colorado University represents the reality of many families living in the Southwestern Trifinio, which like Alejandro’s family do not have access to specialized medical treatments or cannot pay the full price for the service, but they have benefited from the work carried out at the Human Development Center for more than 5 years. Read the full article published by the University of Colorado in the 2019 edition of Momentum magazine: Celebrating the impact of philanthropy in CU Anschutz, on pages 14 and 15.

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AgroAmerica continues to train Local Coordinators for Ddisaster Reduction in San Marcos, Quetzaltenango, Retalhuleu.

OUR PEOPLE, OUR COMMUNITY

As part of the efforts made to reduce the impact caused by Natural Disasters, AgroAmerica promotes the active organization and training of Local Coordinators for Disaster Reduction (COLRED) in the communities surrounding its operations.

Under the direction of the National Coordinator for Disaster Reduction and with the support of the Japan International Cooperation Agency –JICA-, COLRED directors actively operating in San Marcos, Quetzaltenango, Retalhuleu received a training workshop on the Japanese methodology “HUG” (Shelter Administration) as part of the development of Disaster Risk Management Capabilities in Central America.

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Agroaceite, a subsidiary of AgroAmerica Tropical Oil Holding Corp., is awarded with the Community Impact RSPO Excellence Award 2019

Agroaceite, a subsidiary of AgroAmerica Tropical Oil Holding Corp., is awarded with the Community Impact RSPO Excellence Award 2019

OUR PEOPLE, OUR COMMUNITY

The Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) held the 2019 Excellence Awards to recognize and honor RSPO members for their outstanding contributions across key impact areas, not only in meeting the initiative stringent standards but in leading the way towards the shared vision of making sustainable palm oil the norm.

With more than 4,000 members located in 92 countries around the world, the RSPO organized, for the first time, the RSPO Excellence Awards Ceremony to recognize their member’s contributions implementing practices that go beyond the standards that palm oil regulations require; thus contributing to sustainable production.

RSPO Excellence Award 2019

The 2019 Excellence Award was presented during the seventeenth Annual RSPO Conference -RT17- held in Bangkok, Thailand, by a jury that was composed of an independent multidisciplinary team, leaders, and experts in the palm oil and sustainability sector.

There were 5 categories for the 2019 RSPO Excellence Award ceremony: Human Rights and Labour Initiative, Conservation Leadership, Smallholder Impact Programme, Community Impact, and Outstanding Achievement.

The Community Impact RSPO Excellence Award 2019 was presented by the RSPO General Secretary to Gustavo Bolaños -AgroAmerica COO- for the implementation of the “Human Development Center” project. “It reflects the company’s comprehensive vision to provide access to high-quality education & health coverage,” said Bolaños.

RSPO CEO Datuk Darrel Webber said, “For the very first time, we are giving our valued members the opportunity to receive due recognition for their significant contributions in helping us in our shared journey towards making sustainable palm oil the norm…

Human Development Center (HDC):

The Human Development Center is a project executed by Agroaceite, a company that is part of AgroAmerica Tropical Oil Holding Corp; which has donated 10ha of plantations for the construction of the project that is comprised of a Medical Clinic and school for children of workers:

  • Medical Clinic: Conducted in partnership with the University of Colorado to promote integral health access. It opened in 2014 and has impacted more than 27thousand patients in the Southwestern region of Guatemala. The MedicalClinic also runs community programs, in which 3,343 children and 1,977 women have participated, to reduce maternal and infant mortality and improve the nutritional status of the area

  • School for children of workers: Established to raise the academic level of the area through a creative and innovative pedagogical methodology, which promotes the active participation of students. The school for children of workers has obtained regional recognition for academic performance and pedagogical methodology.

“We will continue to promote the well-being of the people in the community with this initiative. We hope this is the beginning of all the positive impact that we can make,” Gustavo Bolaños.

The project is based on the Sustainable Development Goals promoted by the United Nations General Assembly through resolution 70/1: To transform our World: 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

With the Human Development Center AgroAmerica contribute to:

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