Small rural producers in the Pioneiro North of Paraná, including areas such as Jaboti, Japira, Pinhalão, and Tomazina, have successfully implemented sustainable practices, productivity-enhancing techniques, and meticulous care in producing strawberries. The combination of these factors has led to the recognition of Norte Pioneiro strawberries for their exceptional flavor and quality, resulting in the award of the Geographical Indication (GI) seal by the National Institute of Industrial Property (INPI) in 2022.
Guided by Sebrae/PR in collaboration with the Institute of Rural Development of Paraná (IDR-PR) and the Norte Velho Association of Rural Producers of Jaboti, Japira, Pinhalão, and Tomazine (ANV), local farmers adopted practices to ensure traceability, commitment to sustainable agriculture, and adherence to high-quality standards. The GI certification requires farmers to document all production steps in a field notebook, segregate production into controlled batches, and prioritize sustainable practices, including reduced pesticide use with a preference for biological and mechanical disinfection methods.
The adoption of innovative practices, such as suspended planting inside greenhouses, has proven beneficial. Unlike traditional ground planting, the suspended method involves installing gutters approximately one meter off the ground, reducing the need for pesticides against soil pests. This technique facilitates closer monitoring of strawberry plants, provides better environmental control, and extends the maturation period of the fruit on the tree. The result is larger, tastier, and more resilient strawberries.
Marcelo Siqueira, the president of ANV, emphasizes the positive impact of these practices on family farmers, enabling them to achieve higher fruit volumes on small properties with increased market value. The value of the product has significantly risen, benefitting the farmers and highlighting the success of combining innovation, sustainability, and quality in strawberry production in the region.