The vegan and organic market keeps growing despite the crisis


Elaine Campanharu / Alice

Elaine Campanharu / Alice

The growth in the vegetable and organic food market, recorded in national surveys, is reflected in Espírito Santo. Two sector entrepreneurs heard by Século Diário said that even in the face of a deep economic crisis exacerbated by the Covid-19 pandemic, demand from ever more conscious consumers has grown and points to a healthier and more sustainable scenario.

Pioneering the state in establishing its first plant-based food factory, Sequinhas Seven years ago, Maíra Welerson opened her second company, Crilancha, which produces vegan flour cookies, is 100% vegan and organic, and has a supplemental food awareness program for children. , through videos, games, games, dynamics and activities on social networks and in schools. “Sequinhas was bought by Doces Limeira and I am still a partner. It’s the future,” says the entrepreneur, when answering whether the horizon indicates growth of this type of business.

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Another leading heir to Espiritu Santo, a vegetarian restaurant, Pedro Moreno Ortiz is the owner of Sol da Terra Orgânicos and has also thrived by investing in this organic and vegan sector. “I’ve hired more people and equipment during the pandemic,” he says. And the number of products sold, which was 37 two years ago, now exceeds 260. All are free of any animal inputs and 100% certified with the organic seal, including vegetables, fruits, sweets and other healthy foods.

This trend is global and also affects other botanical segments. As I mentioned Journal of the University of São Paulo (USP), Last December, the vegan cosmetics sector was expected to reach $21.4 billion by 2027, according to ReportLinker data. In Brazil, a survey conducted by Intelligence in Strategic Research and Consulting (Ipec), the former Ibope Inteligência, at the request of the Brazilian Vegetarian Society (SVB), indicated that more than 30% of the population choose vegetarian options in restaurants and establishments.

Last April, the newspaper Folha DS Paulo He highlighted that “Flexitarians are driving the growth of the vegan market in the country” and that “out of a love of animals or environmental conscience, consumers desire food, makeup, and other ‘cruelty-free’ products.” Flexitarians refer to people who are not vegetarians Or completely vegetarian, who maintain their consumption of animal protein but seek to reduce it more and more.The same Ipec survey conducted by SVB also showed that 46% of Brazilians actually stop eating meat at least once a week of their own volition.

Rejection of ‘animal cruelty’ is one of the main drivers of vegan choices, followed by environmental awareness and healthcare. USP . magazine.

price stability

Pedro also highlights another advantage of organic products in relation to conventional products, which is price stability. He explains that there have been cases in which the prices of products containing toxins in supermarkets have risen to the point that they have become more expensive than organic products in exhibitions.

“Vegetables with pesticides are $3 or $4 at the supermarket. At the organic fair, it’s still R$2.50 for three years,” he compares, noting that the price in his shop is R$3,50 , organic. Organic carrots are another notable example, found priced between $8 and $12 at the supermarket, but at the fair, at $5.

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“Organic family farmers have another way to produce and live. Prices do not go up in tandem with the traditional market nor do they go up at the same level as supermarkets. With the general increase in prices, it is a great opportunity for people to start committing more to organic and to the fairs”, which emphasizes that family farmers In Espiritu Santo they are its main suppliers.

Bringing organic food closer to the population is what drives the company, Pedro says, since the time of Sol da Terra, founded by his father 40 years ago, Dr. Marco Ortiz, who died last December. At that time, Espírito Santo saw the first organized initiatives of so-called alternative farming, which denounced the harmful effects of pesticides and wanted to resume a healthier form of production for farmers themselves, consumers and nature as a whole. “Our goal is to make organic food more accessible,” Pedro emphasizes.

Maíra also has the organic fairs of family farmers as a major source of raw materials. Crilancha ingredients are flour, water, olive oil and vegetables. The label says it “may contain” a range of vegetables and herbs, such as lettuce, kale, basil, parsley, chives and cilantro. “I buy what’s left from the fair and it’s quality,” he explains. “It’s a way to reduce farmers’ waste and include these vegetables in children’s meals.” That’s why, he says, Crilancha “is much more than a cookie. There are three pillars: snacking, learning and collaboration.”

Pedro says buying leftovers from fairs is a suggestion that Marco Ortiz made for many years within the Organic Production Committee of Espiritu Santo (CPORg). “Municipalities can purchase these foods for use in school lunches,” he asserts. He notes that during the epidemic, the fairs lost movement, as many customers began to receive baskets at home. Even after the physical distancing ordinances were rescinded, many remained in the system. This is the time to implement a policy of buying leftovers by public authorities.

Less Meat, More Life

Regarding vegetarian food specifically, Pedro also saves his father’s precious teachings. He compares “the human intestine is 12 times longer than ours. In carnivores, it is three times the length,” noting the fact that crossing animal protein in the human intestine releases a much greater amount of roots and toxins (produced by cattle, cows, pigs and other slaughter animals during Its life in confinement and at the time of death) compared to carnivores, causing severe damage to the intestinal flora, which may explain one of the reasons for the large growth of colon cancer in the intestine.

Thus, as in the microcosm of man, the macrocosm also suffers from artificial reproduction and the death of mammals and birds. If the intestinal microbiota is eradicated, rainforests are also cut down due to the expansion of livestock, especially in the Amazon.

“The livestock sector is devastated. For soil, water, biodiversity and climate. Pesticides used on pastures are concentrated in meat and ingested by humans. A livestock producer once told me he doesn’t eat meat he produces himself, because of the amount of pesticides he uses,” Pedro says.

He stresses that the quality of the products made by the plant industry needs more careful scrutiny. “Vegetable sausages, for example, if you look at the label, are full of acid, preservatives, and a lot of preservatives” before. It is not healthy. But that’s part of the change that’s happening, one still wants a sausage, a cheese with a traditional face. That’s why meat companies make these choices, but it’s a valid paradox,” he points out, because these giants of agribusiness, who encourage the destruction of forests and the brutal death of millions of animals every year, end up getting to the table and the guts of people who no longer want to cooperate with this extermination. environmental.

“Sustainability exists only when all customers in the chain win, including the planet itself. You can’t talk about sustainability and eating meat every day, not separating garbage, and throwing plastic into the sea, into the river,” Myra agrees.

The key to being able to overcome contradictions and truly collaborate with the change so many want, Pedro says, is a love of the cause. “To keep it organic and vegan, you have to have a lot of love. Like my dad has done for 40 years and as I want it to continue.”

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