The “Fair in the Port” project, proposed and developed by the Port of Açu, celebrated its first anniversary, with 50 market fairs organized inside the enterprise, in São João da Barra. During this period, more than 7,000 kg of food were sold by merchants, generating about 60,000 reais in income.
The fair is held every Wednesday in the Port of Açu, gathering farmers living in the Vila da Terra settlement, who offer and sell their produce at the company’s community area. The concept was planned to boost the household budgets of small farmers, while allowing port associates to purchase affordable produce with more quality.
The Port of Açu’s Social Responsibility coordinator, Izabel Sousa, believes that the numbers attained over the past year are proof of the project’s success: “We are very pleased with results achieved by Fair in the Port. It strengthens integration between the enterprise and the surrounding community, and values and encourages local agriculture. The project was so successful that other companies with facilities in the Complex are getting organized to hold fair days in their premises as well,” she said.
The fair’s anniversary was celebrated with cake, balloons and declarations of gratitude by people like the Chairman of Vila da Terra rural producers association, Manoel Toledo: “By the expression on the faces of merchants, one can see that everyone is very pleased. We are very thankful to the Port of Açu for the opportunity and to our customers, who, after a year of fairs, became our friends,” he said.
IMG_7928.JPGOn fair days, merchants wear T-shirts and aprons sewed especially for the project by Costurarte, a cooperative of seamstress from São João da Barra that also gets support from the company. Reusable shopping bags made from worn-out aprons are offered to associates, who can use them for their weekly purchases. The fair’s structure was designed and set up with reused material, such as pallets and reels, thus following the guidance for sustainable utilization of resources.
Vila da Terra
Vila da Terra is an area of about 1,000 hectares designated to 53 families who were removed for the creation of the São João da Barra Industrial District. The location was designed in accordance with World Bank’s standards, the international benchmark in resettlements. The program is developed by the Port, in partnership with the Mayor’s Office and the Industrial Development Agency of Rio de Janeiro State (CODIN).
Residents of the village receive technical support and learn adequate techniques for growing and handling native and fruit trees that were planted in the area. They receive guidance on enhancing their crops with simple and affordable techniques developed especially for the type of soil and water found in the region.