Rede Guandu -
Responsible Production and Consumption
Through Ethical Consumption, we engage the community to rethink consumer culture, foster and empower agroecological producers.
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I am 18 years old or older.
Meeting with members of National Council for Food Security, Piracicaba School Feeding Council, Regional Articulation of Agroecology, Terra Mater Institute and the University of São Paulo, in order to strengthen the participatory construction processes and facilitate the socialization of knowledge related to agroecology, organic products, food security, and family farming. https://m.camarapiracicaba.sp.gov.br/nancy-e-instituicoes-debatem-sobre-agroecologia-e-seguranca-alimentar-4278
Ziane, an artisanal producer who sells traditional cuisine products from Northern Brazil
Workshop on Good Nutrition Knowledge - The workshop enabled Guadu producers to better understand issues related to food security, in the process of food preparation, ways of storage and conservation, and other important concepts and practices that will improve their business.
This is Thais, she is part of Guandu since 2007. Her family helps to conserve biodiversity through agroecological production, against the monoculture of sugar cane, prevalent in the region
"Cinema Guandu" - cinema samples and spaces to debate about environmental issues
"Knowledge table" - space for knowledge exchange, where a producer explains more about medicinal herbs
workshop about marketing in the Milton Santos settlement (Americana, São Paulo -Brazil)
producers and managers organizing the delivery day
Initiative's representative name
Fernanda Giannnini Veirano
Initiative's representative date of birth
25th January 1990
Initiative's representative gender
Headquarters location: country
Headquarters location: city
Where are you making a difference?
Piracicaba (engaging an Ethical Consumption direct trade channel) and Limeira, São Pedro, Piracicaba, and Americana strengthening organic and ecological farmers. All cities in São Paulo State, Brazil
Website or social media url(s)
Established (successfully passed early phases, have a plan going forward)
Yearly Budget : What is your current yearly budget for the initiative?
1. Founding story: Share a story about the "Aha!" moment that led the founder(s) to get started or the story of how you saw the potential for this project to succeed.
The insight of “Guandu Network” came from the contact with ecological-based family farmers, due to environmental education projects and technical advice, developed by Terra Mater Institute. It was identified difficulties in marketing their products through traditional sales channels and, on the other side, a lack of access to agroecological products.
The idea was to engage key actors for the consumption rethought using a direct sale system aligned with environmental education, fostering organic and agroecological-based foods’ consumption and, in consequence, a production that applies more ecological methods, creating a healthier environment and enhancing ecological interactions, beyond reversing the excessive use of inputs and pesticides.
2. The problem: What problem are you helping to solve?
The current agri-food system - based on large-scale production and supply chain - is a major driver of biodiversity destruction. Ecological-based producers are under pressure from agribusiness, with low access to marketing channels, financial insecurity and few incentives for agroecological production. Rethink forms of consumption and relationship with food production are necessary to promote a more sustainable production and local consumption to mitigate the long trade circuit’s impacts.
3. Your solution: How are you working to solve this problem? Share your specific approach.
Rede Guandu articulates direct trades, through a weekly order and delivery system combined with cultural and pedagogical activities, promoting sustainable production and human relationships, preserving traditional cuisine, ethnobotanical knowledge and information access. Interaction between consumer and producer is essential to create bonds of trust and transparency in production methods, favoring the improvement of the agricultural production chain, resulting in consumers’ engagement for prioritizing sustainable products, and incentivizing less degrading ways of handling the natural environment and emphasis on ecological production systems.
It’s a replicable example of how consumer groups and short supply chain impact locally the environment, society, and economy. Guandu participates in articulation and discussion spaces to mobilize consumers, professionals, students, farmers, public figures, linked to agricultural, artisanal production, ethical consumption and healthy nutrition in Piracicaba and region, as a strategy for strengthening sustainable production, ethical consumption, aiming environmental conservation end to integrating the agroecology in political and social agenda
4. Innovation: How are you innovating or using unique approaches to solve the problem?
Guandu was configured as an Ethical Consumer Group based on Solidarity Economy researches and meetings between the key actors. A pioneering counter-cyclical initiative in the region, it distinguishes itself from other trade channels by innovating consumer relations using principles as socio-labor insertion, participatory governance, disintermediation, local production appreciation, aligned with environmental agenda and key actors engagement. Besides its adaptability to social and economic challenges, it is a replicable low-cost initiative, due to the low complexity structure, collaborative nature and ordering system based on a free software digital tool, developed for this activity and which demonstrated strong consumer adherence.
5. Collaboration: How does your initiative seek to bring key players together to preserve biodiversity?
Collaborative work essential in an Ethical Consumer Group by mobilizing the community and agroecological and artisanal producers, through a direct trade system and cultural events. To supply within the short supply chain allows the accessibility of different social groups, once it provides a lower price for consumers.
It’s important to note that each key actor increases the marketing dimension and visibility, serving as an instrument to support and disseminate ideals. It is through these actors that awareness of consumption as social and political action is projected to the community. Thus, Guandu formalized partnerships with companies to carry out projects and events or supply food for internal consumption, and with the University of São Paulo, which offers technical advice and research. Finally, Guandu’s active participation in political forums and civil society strengthens the articulation with similar groups and the insertion of agroecology in the political agenda.
6. Impact: how has your project made a difference so far — in terms of both business outputs and social impact? How do you plan on measuring progress?
Through the systematization of purchases and sales, in addition to the registration of technical training and activities carried out by Guandu, it is possible to verify that more than R$ 800,000.00 were handled locally and directly, with an average of 35 consumers per week and 96 producers who participated (currently being 30 active), from cooperatives, family organic producers, urban and artisanal producers, benefiting from income generation and technical training. Farmers are making progress in adopting sustainable production practices, approaching formal certifications, using no pesticide and restoring the ecological balance. In recent years, Guandu Network has inspired the creation of two other similar groups and, in addition to the positive impacts caused by disintermediation, with the sales by order, the waste between the harvest and the consumer is nil. Furthermore, the chain does not use plastic bags in its deliveries, avoiding the consumption of approximately 800 bags/month.
7. Growth strategies: what are your main strategies for scaling your impact?
In order to scale the impact and reach of this initiative, it is necessary to replicate the working patterns for other local initiatives. From 12 years of experience and the systematic construction of a methodology, it reached to create a solid and efficient system that can be replicated by anyone within any community. Efforts are being made to mobilize other consumer networks in the territory and support other groups of Solidarity Economy, through the participation of the National Ethical Consumption Group Network, Solidary Economy Network, and spaces of influence in public policies. The ordering system is also being updated to more modern platforms, which will allow greater accessibility and the insertion of other similar initiatives.
8. Creating shared value: How does your initiative create value for society? Or different stakeholders?
Food and nutrition security: Contributing to affordable access to safe and nutritious food and, as part of the board of the Food Security Council in Piracicaba, contributing to public policy.
Rural development: promoting economic activity and sustainable agriculture; Improving livelihoods of agricultural workers; Farmer training.
Women’s empowerment: Empowering women (70% of Guandu team) from rural and urban areas to participate fully and autonomously in the group activities.
Business ethics: Governance, transparency and upholding ethical principles.
Resource efficiency: Reducing food waste and the use of resources; Disposing of waste appropriately; Promoting circular economy.
9. Financial sustainability plan: can you tell us about your plan to fund your project and how that plan will be sustainable in the short, medium, and long term?
Besides being a low-cost model, which works through self-management and articulation of producers, Guandu is financially maintained through two rates on product trading: 10% of the producer’s final price and 10% on the total value of the consumer's order. Thus, it is a way considered by all involved as essentially fair and democratic: there is neither excessive burden on the producer, with the devaluation of his work, nor price inaccessibility for consumers when purchasing products, keeping it interesting for both to maintain this sale channel.
10. Team: what is the current composition of your current team (types of roles, qualifications, full-time vs. part-time, board members, etc.), and how do you plan to evolve the team’s composition as the project grows?
The team is composed of a management core of 2 executive secretaries from Terra Mater Institute, and 1 intern from the University of São Paulo.Totaling 10h of weekly work for each. In addition, producers participate in deliveries and the pedagogical activities, in a rotating system. As the project grows, more producers will be articulate and the same composition will be recreated for the new groups.
11. How did you hear about this challenge?