Small Business Awards 2021

Sustainable Forest Manager of the Year - South America Agrocortex, the organisation behind Agrocortex REDD, is a forestry management company defending one of the world’s most delicate and invaluable natural regions. Located on a contested boundary in the Amazon Rainforest, this organisation has made itself an invaluable force preventing the prevalence of illegal logging in the area, defending the ecosystems that make up the rainforest and aiding the livelihoods of the people who live in the region. A project with immense environmental, social, and ethical benefits, this determined and tenacious group is employing a huge number of local people to the preservation of the flora and fauna of one of the world’s most priceless – and contested – environmental areas. With a core goal of preventing illegal deforestation in the region of South America, Agrocortex is the forest management organisation working hard to be the best sustainable organisation handling the ethical supply of tropical forest resources such as lumber, bamboo, carbon credits, pharmaceutical essences, cosmetic ingredients, and bio- products. Fundamentally, with a core mission of handling this in a manner that is certified, ecologically sensible, and scrupulously managed, it wishes to lead from the front in its industry. By doing this, it is showing that environmental corporate responsibility is not only pivotal for the health of these regions, but also makes good business sense, adding value to products for employees, employers, shareholders, stakeholders, and vulnerable populations in the regions being affected. Therefore, this is the driving force behind the Agrocortex REDD Project. This Project in particular is focusing on preventing the exploitation of the 186,219 HA area, 100% within the Amazon Rainforest and a place of extremely delicate ecological balance. Agrocortex knows better than most the level of care and understanding that must be achieved when protecting such a place, and so this organisation has made a name for itself by setting itself directly on the boundary between Acre and the Amazonas states in the Southwestern region of the Brazilian Amazon. This area in particular has been especially fraught over the past few years as it is on an ‘expansion border’ facing pressure from the agricultural industry. Additionally, having developed a sustainable forest management plan certified by the Forest Stewardship Council, it is considered a tool for the preservation of the forest and a pivotal cornerstone in the fight to reduce the illegal deforestation of the region that it currently suffers from. Furthermore, this project benefits the local people. Its implementation in the region has created a number of new jobs, as well as encouraged the implementation of income and taxes for the region’s local populations, contributing the sustainable development of these populations in the long run. As the project region is operating in one of the areas of the richest biodiversity in the world, this project goes hand in hand with conservation efforts. There are over 345 species of bird in the area, making it a priority region for the investigation of wild fauna, with the Brazilian Environmental Ministry classifying it as a very high priority for protection. Alongside the social and conservational benefits, the environmental benefits to the Agrocortex also cannot be understated. With so much conservation able to be done in the region when illegal timberworks are not operating, the preservation of the wildlife allows the perseverance of some of the world’s most invaluable biospheres and ecological networks. Additionally, at present, Agrocortex REDD is one of the largest employers in the state of Acre, with more than 250 direct employees and more - at least - 1,000 indirect ones, in all its production lines, generating employment, income, taxes and an effective and responsible social impact on communities in a region with one of the lowest HDI (Human Development Index) in Brazil.; it wishes to thank each and everyone of them for their hard work, promising that it will continue determinedly preserving one of the world’s most vulnerable natural areas long into the future. Company: Agrocortex Contact: Marcos Preto Website: Oct21341