by Tina Olivero

    AgroAmerica Awarded AMCHAM’s “Grand Prize” for Business Sustainability for Second Consecutive Year

    The “Mangrove Ecosystem Restoration” project, implemented by AgroAmerica in collaboration with the Rainforest Alliance, was awarded the Grand Prize for Business Sustainability from the Guatemalan-American Chamber of Commerce – AMCHAM. The project began in 2021 to help conserve and restore the mangrove area known as Manchón Guamuchal, located on the Guatemalan Pacific coast and declared a RAMSAR site as a wetland of international importance.

    Since its beginnings, AgroAmerica has based its business model on a simple philosophy: “Doing well by doing good.” Following this philosophy, the company works under a comprehensive regenerative agriculture model which focuses on improving food quality and transforming supply chains to place people and nature at the center of its operations.

    “Our goal is to recover 250 hectares of landscape-level mangroves, by 2025, with our initiative allies, as a nature-based solution that can help minimize the effects of climate change. We are proud that we recovered 68 hectares of mangroves in 2022, exceeding our initiative’s goal and achieving the restoration of more than what has been reforested nationwide in the last 10 years, thanks to the strategic alliances in the project,” indicated Fernando Bolaños, CEO of AgroAmerica.

    Mangrove forests are one of the most carbon-dense ecosystems in the world, with the potential to act as long-term carbon sinks, playing a vital role in the fight against climate change. The initiative projects the capture of thousands of tons of carbon each year, helping to reduce global warming and achieving corporate and international decarbonization goals. However, the impact of this project is not limited to environmental issues. It also promotes the development of nearby communities by improving their quality of life, their skills, and their economies.

    This initiative directly employs more than 300 people from nearby communities on a daily basis. These workers benefit economically by taking responsibility for collecting and reforesting mangrove propagules. Additionally, 135 families surrounding the restoration area are trained in environmental issues, have access to fresh water, earn a stable source of income for their advancement and have their livelihoods restored.

    “At AgroAmerica, we continue to work with an integrated approach to regenerating the earth and its resources. We are convinced these actions can make a difference,” noted Mr. Bolaños.

    AgroAmerica was also presented with an honorable mention for the project “High-level Education for Workers’ Children.” The company has carried out this project in southwest Guatemala for 12 years. Its purpose is to provide access to quality education to the children of employees, with an innovative pedagogical model focused on students and their environment. As of 2021, more than 120 students have graduated from the primary level.

    AMCHAM grants this recognition to companies that go above and beyond to impact countries positively and fully comply with legal and environmental regulations. For 17 years, AMCHAM has recognized the Corporate Sustainability work of its partners for the impact they generate on society, beyond its Corporate Social Responsibility programs.

    Tina Olivero

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