SLC Agrícola SA

10/22/2021 | News release | Distributed by Public on 10/22/2021 10:42

Brazilian cotton: going beyond the borders of the world

Brazilian cotton: going beyond the borders of the world

Filipe Mamede*

The 2020/21 cotton harvest officially ended in September. Now, the fiber goes to processing. According to data from Companhia Nacional de Abastecimento (Conab), the 2020/21 harvest should reach 2.35 million tons. Brazil is among the five largest producers in the world, along with China, India, the United States and Pakistan. The country is also among the biggest exporters and went from fourth to second place in exports in the last 10 years.

Each year, Brazilian fiber breaks new records and expands its presence around the world. Asian countries are the biggest buyers of our cotton. The growth of Brazilian production and exports continue exponentially and, in parallel, is the trajectory of SLC Agrícola - one of the world's largest producers of grains and fibers. The company has 22 farms in seven states, 20 of which have been planted with plume and has been one of the leaders in the rise of the Brazilian market around the world. In 2020, it sold 209 thousand tons of cotton.

SLC Agrícola's relationship with the cotton production process began in 1998 with the first planting at Fazenda Planalto, in Costa Rica (MS), in an area of approximately 300 hectares, with the production of around 500 tons. The objective was to serve the domestic market. The company invested in fiber production and became recognized for the high quality of its production, as it has a strict protocol from agricultural planning to harvesting, including processing, transport, certification, classification and delivery to the customer, respecting environmental preservation and sustainability.
The first exports took place through trading companies. After a few years on the market and seeing the export of its production grow, SLC Agrícola decided to start a direct marketing project for its cotton to some countries. For this, planning and immersion in the international market were carried out. China and Indonesia, recognized for being major importers of the commodity and with an industry that seeks the best, were the target countries for the direct sale of SLC Agrícola plume. The agreements were signed with the main highlights pointed out by the buyers: the quality of the fiber supplied by the company and the high quality of the services provided by the company, applying standardized batches in a customized manner, according to the demands of each customer.

Since then, sales by SLC Agrícola have only grown, both in Brazil and globally. In the 2015/16 harvest, Brazil exported around 603 thousand tons, of which approximately 101 thousand tons were cotton from SLC Agrícola. In the 2019/20 season, the country sold 2.4 million tons abroad and the company sold 218 thousand tons, with a growth of 7.4%, compared to the 2018/19 harvest, when it sold 203 thousand tons of its cotton to the foreign market. The expectation is of evolution every year.

The numbers show the exponential growth of Brazilian cotton and this leadership is due to the widely recognized quality of the product. Among the quality certificates of Brazilian cotton and SLC Agrícola are the SAI label (identification system of Abrapa - Associação Brasileira dos Produtores de Algodão [Brazilian Association of Cotton Producers]), the Responsible Brazilian Cotton Program (ABR) and the international Better Cotton Initiative (BCI) certification.

Currently, around 99% of SLC Agrícola's production is for export, part of which is for industries in Asia that are looking for a noble fiber, in addition to the specific characteristics that each one requests and the company is able to meet. The company sells its production up to two years before harvesting the fiber and the customer buys it with the certainty that they will receive the best quality product, a reference already conquered by SLC worldwide.

Brazil continues its trajectory among the largest cotton producers in the world and in a few years it should reach the position of largest producer and exporter and SLC Agrícola will be part of this leadership, which has an important goal: to deliver the best quality cotton to its customers. And, for that, it is concerned with every detail of each fiber production process.

*Filipe Mamede is an agricultural engineer and Sales Manager at SLC Agrícola