Exchange of experiences between producers in the cane and coffee sector

Aiming at the promotion sharing good practices for improvement in productivity and management of Occupational Health and Safety, two exchanges of experience were carried out to identify productivity techniques, practices and innovations in the fields of sugarcane crops and coffee.

Exchange of experience in the coffee sector

The exchange with coffee producers took place in November 2019. The participants (14 men and 12 women) visited a nursery in Atempa, in the municipality of Tequila, Veracruz, where they were able to learn about good practices and experiences with producers and technical staff of the coffee nursery project of the partner Fondo para la Paz. In this activity, the participants observed good practices in the processing of coffee, the elaboration of organic fertilizers and the management of nurseries.

As a result of the coffee experience exchange, the participants became interested in building their own drying systems following the design promoted by the Fund for Peace, thus preventing the beans from being damaged by the growth of fungi. The project will prepare a manual for the development of drying systems and their management, so that it can be used in the next harvest, considering recommendations for the protection of the health and safety of the workers and producers who handle the grains.

Exchange of experience in the cane sector

The sugarcane sector exchange took place in March 2020, where 16 representatives of national and local sugarcane organizations, a sugar mill and Bonsucro, visited the Carmelita Sugar Mill in Colombia.

Carmelita Mill presented their process from cultivation to the extraction of sugar, emphasizing technological innovations, personal protective equipment and risk management. Field visits were made where the participants were able to speak with field personnel and the cane cutters, they were able to corroborate the implementation of a preventive management program for occupational safety and health.

During the visits, the staff of the Carmelita sugar mill shared statistics on the reduction of work accidents as a consequence of a health and safety management strategy. Their strategy is based on three pillars: 1) constant monitoring and periodic evaluations, 2) the implementation of a training and certification program for technical and field personnel, and 3) the provision of personal protective equipment and ergonomic tools to the development of their daily tasks.

As a result of the visit each participating organization committed to implement a good practice based on the experience in Colombia. Some of their proposals are: promoting an organization initiative among sugar mills in the region to standardize contracting criteria and payment schemes; disseminate the benefits of social security and other public programs or services among producers and cutters; monitor and measure the impact of social improvements on improving productivity in the field; and, take advantage of the tools and spaces for dialogue promoted by the Campos de Esperanza program to materialize the initiatives.

Photos: Exchange of experiences in sugarcane (left and center) and coffee (right)