The state of Mato Grosso in Brazil serves as a vital link in ADM’s South American soy supply chain, so during our 2009 fiscal year, we launched a program to help the region’s growers improve their performance in socially and environmentally responsible ways. The initiative, known as Doing It Right (in Portuguese, Produzindo Certo), is a collaboration between ADM and Aliança da Terra (AT), a Brazilian NGO formed by local farmers. Doing It Right offers farmers valuable instruction in agronomic and operational best practices and provides them with a sustainable agriculture action plan to promote continuous improvement. By giving growers the tools and knowledge necessary to expand yields on existing land, Doing It Right can minimize the need to expand farm acreage into environmentally sensitive regions.
The pilot phase of Doing It Right began in December 2008, when more than 100 growers attended a program launch event in Querência, Mato Grosso. Based on the response and additional interest from local farmers, experts from AT spent the next several months visiting 35,000 hectares (86,487 acres) of productive farmland to map the area, analyze growers’ operations and verify their licenses to operate, monitor farm laborers’ working conditions, and identify strengths and areas for improvement. ADM funded this mapping and analysis through ADM Cares, our social-investment program.
Farmers’ enthusiastic reaction to the benefits of Doing It Right prompted ADM and AT to extend the program to register an additional 207,000 hectares (494,209 acres) of land in the latter half of 2009.