2018 Brazil, Latin America Winner

Coopavel Cooperative Agroindustrial - Cascavel, Paraná, Brazil

Life is good at Coopavel Cooperative Agroindustrial … yet the company is always trying to make it better with the help of technology.

Coopavel is based in Cascavel, in the Brazilian state of Paraná, where 300,000 hectare (ha) of fertile soil and a favorable climate predominate. Annual sales covering all areas of the business total 2.2 billion reais. With 27 branches in 30 municipalities, the cooperative serves 3,775 small producers (10 to 50 ha), 1,045 medium producers (51 to 120 ha), and 250 large producers (over 120 ha).

One of the goals at Coopavel is to deliver seeds of high physiological quality, treated and ready for use by farmers to ensure the establishment of their crops for high yields.

Seed Manager Charles Allan Telles credits Coopavel’s success to that of its users, who realize that the use of quality products, industrial seed treatment (TSI), and integrated solutions generates greater benefits to their crops while increasing productivity and profitability. “Our associates, despite being small farmers, are constantly seeking new technologies to leverage their productivities,” he says. “Our customers want and seek safety and want credibility of what is offered to them, aiming at guarantees and greater profitability of their businesses.”

To help achieve that, Coopavel must consistently overcome three environmental concerns, Telles says:

  • The correct disposal of processing residues and packaging of pesticides and leftovers from treated seeds;
  • The re-use of cleaning water in the seed-treatment system and the correct disposal of water contaminated with chemicals and polymers;
  • The sustainable use of firewood in the drying of grains and seeds.

No problem, Telles says. Coopavel adjusts its production processes so that the correct disposal of waste from the processing of seeds used as ingredients for animal feed goes to compost. Waste or leftover treated seeds are targeted to a specific company, he says. Meanwhile, chemical packaging, Telles adds, is directed to the collection company; in Coopavel’s case the Association of Distributors of Agricultural and Veterinary Defenses of the West of Paraná.

Contaminated water in the seed treatment process is not directed into normal sewage or waterways, Telles says. “In this case our concern and responsibility are to collect all water in 1,000-liter intermediate bulk containers and then direct in a gradual manner to water treatment plants before the complete release into the environment,” he says.

As for the firewood that is used as a source of energy for drying seeds, it arrives via a local reforestation unit, Telles says.

Coopavel has been working with seeds treated with manual machines since the 1980s and ’90s. In 2010 the company adopted TSI while using automated and more appropriate machines for such execution. This guarantees the end user a better coating of the seeds. “Today the volume of seeds sold and distributed by Coopavel revolves around 280,000 bags of seeds, and of this volume more than 90% already leave with TSI,” Telles says.

With the adoption of TSI and even the use of pre-inoculation in soybean, these services have added much value to Coopavel’s seeds. In addition to the genetic potential, it brings all the physio-logical potential for the best tools for protection and control of pest infestations and disease onset of crops. “We can say that it has leveraged the sales — because it adds value and brings security to the producer and agility in its agricultural activities,” Telles says.