In its ten years of existence, Odebrecht Agroindustrial has overcome different challenges and has become a reference in the new agricultural boundaries of Brazil. Since our foundation, we have invested in regions where sugar cane culture was not present and we have a very positive environmental impact by recovering degraded areas and preserving biodiversity. We have effectively modified the profile of the communities around us and reached a level of excellence both operational and in HSE in the industry and in the field.
Over the past year, we have taken another important step in ensuring the sustainable growth of our business. We have concluded the Company’s capital restructuring process, in a clear indication of the shareholder’s and market confidence in Odebrecht Agroindustrial and the primary role of ethanol as a renewable source for the Brazilian energy matrix. The financial operation gives us the necessary breath to continue the investments, expanding the growth opportunities for our 11,000 members, their families and communities.
In the 2016/2017 harvest, we processed 28.3 million tons of sugarcane, an expressive and positive result, but still below our installed capacity, of 36.8 million tons. To achieve this objective, our greatest challenge is to continue the expansion of the cane fields, with a constant focus on cost reduction and productivity gains.
It is important to highlight our production records in the period, which demonstrate the evolution of agroindustrial operations. We delivered the largest quantities of anhydrous ethanol (653 million liters) and electric power (2.2 thousand GWh) in our history and the amount of manufactured sugar (559 thousand tons) grew 23% compared to the previous crop year.
During the harvest, the Company adhered to the Global Compact, an initiative by the United Nations (UN) to engage business organizations around ten principles that promote respect for human rights, decent working conditions, environmental preservation and the fight against corruption. With this initiative, we will be able to give even more breadth to the socio-environmental benefits of our Business, especially to the generation of income and to the improvement of the quality of life in the communities in which we are present. Another highlight of the harvest was the carrying out of the Believe in Diversity Project, recognized at the UN for promoting the professional inclusion of people with physical disabilities.
The sugar-energy sector is increasingly consolidating itself as strategic for Brazil to grow in a sustainable manner, supported by a clean and renewable energy matrix, in line with the commitments made at the Paris Climate Conference (COP21).
In the harvest started in April 2017, we will continue to focus on increasing our competitiveness, as well as guaranteeing the safety, well-being and personal and professional development of our Members.
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Luiz de Mendonça