On October 28, Brazilian export company Tropical Nordeste S.A. was recognized by international food safety certification entity Global G.A.P. for its efforts in good agricultural, environmental and social practices. Tropical Nordeste S.A. is headed by EARTH graduate Hugo Carrillo (’93, Costa Rica) who has worked as general manager since 2007.
Every year, the Global G.A.P Award is given to four companies that have achieved outstanding results through their commitment to Global G.A.P. principles in terms of social and environmental responsibility and fair labor conditions. Under Hugo’s leadership, Tropical Nordeste S.A. was selected out of a pool of 40 other applicants. He says of the prize, “This is a great achievement and a victory for an EARTH graduate. I am a banana farmer who is trying to make sure that the necessary changes are made in order to have sustainable, environment friendly production and a high level of social responsibility.”
Tropical Northeast S.A. owns 1,600 acres in total, of which 370 acres are established as a biological reserve and 815 acres are devoted to bananas for export and local sale in Sao Paulo. The company has implemented a variety of good agricultural practices, including: responsible use of water, the protection of biodiversity, mitigation of environmental impact, waste management and the involvement of women, youth and people with disabilities, who make up approximately 10% of the staff. “Everyone has the same opportunities here, and this weighed heavily in our favor when choosing the winners of these awards,” says Hugo.
This achievement is just one example of how EARTH graduates are making positive changes in the workplace and in society. Hugo explains “One of the most important values we learned at EARTH is the development of a collective global interest (…) One big difference I’ve seen in the professionals that are trained at EARTH is that the goal of making money is secondary. Their priority is social awareness: they care about the welfare of those who live near, those who live around the world and those who will live here in the future.”
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