In Brazil’s northeastern state of Bahia, Denise Cardoso is leading a cooperative of family farmers. Ms Cardoso is a 31-year-old business manager and president of the Canudos, Uauá and Curaçá Family Farming Cooperative (Coopercuc). The organization Cooperative brings together 270 producers, 70% of them are women. It was Denise who led the Cooperative to strengthen existing partnerships and take up business when the COVID-19 pandemic hit and sales fell by almost 80%.
Products such as sweets, jellies, jams and pulp from typical fruits of the Caatinga, such as umbú and passion fruit, as well as handmade beer and goods from Productive Backyards (small plantings near the homes), such as vegetables, fruits, cassava, eggs and chicken, guarantee the livelihood of all the families of the cooperative. It was necessary to restructure the sales system at Coopercuc because they sell perishable products.
The pandemic not only made access to essential materials such as packaging, lids and labels difficult, it also paralyzed the cooperative's factories, which were closed during the first months. This gave Denise the opportunity to fulfill a dream of the cooperative: the launch of e-commerce.
To recover the losses generated by the pandemic, Coopercuc established two partnerships. The first was with Amazon Hub, a logistics solutions platform in São Paulo, and the second was with ESCOAF, a startup that sells family farming products virtually and delivers in Salvador and the metropolitan region of the capital of the state of Bahia. This way, the members’ products are advertised digitally, reestablishing the relationship with consumers without putting anyone at risk.