“Before agro industrialization, the farmers’ children would leave the property, now they not only stay in the farm but also expand the business.”
Alfredo Lang is president of C. Vale, an agro-industrial cooperative based in Palotina, in western Parana State. Lang has a degree in agronomy from the Federal University of Santa Maria.
AgriBrasilis – What is the focus of C. Vale’s activities and what brings the most revenue to the cooperative?
Alfredo Lang – The production of grains and meat is responsible for more than 60% of the revenues. We also operate with agricultural inputs, cassava, milk, agricultural aviation, supermarkets, machinery and agricultural implements, and animal feed.
AgriBrasilis – How important is the industrialization of agricultural products in this context?
Alfredo Lang – Extraordinary importance because it reduces the dependence of the producer and the cooperative on the weather, adds value to the grains by transforming the corn and soybean into feed, and later into chicken, pork, fish, and milk. These activities generate income for the farmer and the cooperative, and are responsible for 8,200 direct jobs.
AgriBrasilis – C. Vale has more than 24 thousand members. What is the profile of these producers?
Alfredo Lang – The vast majority of C. Vale’s farmers have areas of up to 50 ha. This profile shows the importance of diversification, because it is not easy to survive with grains in small areas.
Before industrialization, the farmers’ children used to leave the property, now they not only stay in the farm, but also expand the business.
AgriBrasilis – Is there a difference between the cooperativism practiced in the Southern states and that practiced in the Midwest?
Alfredo Lang – The way of working is not very different, but our focus in the Midwest is on large-scale grain production. The profile of the farmer in the Midwest is naturally different, with a more expressive number of farmers with medium and large areas.
AgriBrasilis – In what way did the reduction of corn receipt due to last year’s drought and frosts affected C. Vale?
Alfredo Lang – Reduced exports and impacted, mainly, the cost of meat. The drought made a big contribution to the increase in corn prices and, logically, this reduced the profitability of businesses involving chickens, fish, milk, and pork.
AgriBrasilis – Which are the expectations for short and medium term, considering the crop interruption and the high cost of inputs in 2022?
Alfredo Lang – We expect a substantial increase in the supply of corn with the good performance of this year’s harvest and a decrease in the costs of meat and milk. I believe that the price of inputs will depend, in great part, on what will happen with the world economy from now on. If the tendency is a very small growth or recession, the input prices should adjust downwards.