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“Brazilian production and export of apples not affected by floods in Rio Grande do Sul”

In Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil, heavy rains since April that led to flooding over the past two weeks, have affected 450 of its 497 cities and impacted 9 out of 10 industries, according to the Federation of Industries of the State of Rio Grande do Sul (Fiergs). As the death toll is sadly climbing at 151, the flooding has in comparison surpassed the area affected by Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans in 2005, with economic damages predicted to be greater than those caused by the recent pandemic.

Photos: Luiz Siqueira / Brazil Min. Transport.

Commenting from Porto Alegre, the capital city of the state affected by the flooding, Caroline Viecili, Sales and business Specialist from TFruits, a Brazilian fresh produce export company, says they are not directly affected by the rains: "This situation demands a slow, challenging recovery and intelligent replanning of cities and infrastructures to adapt to modern life and climate changes. The repeated severe weather events highlight the urgency of addressing these issues and the potential for new opportunities amidst crises."

She says in agribusiness, except for apples, fruit production in Rio Grande do Sul mainly serves the local market and does not significantly impact Brazilian production and export. However, the state plays a crucial role in grain and livestock production, notably rice, where it accounts for about 70% of national production. The government is considering rice imports to manage domestic inflation.

"We at TFruits continue our apple export operations in partnership with Sanjo, a Brazilian-Japanese cooperative situated in Santa Catarina, a state next to ours, which is also not affected by the rains. Despite logistical challenges, especially using the port of Rio Grande for shipments, TFruits successfully managed its exports. The company, after focusing on Hass avocado exports in the first semester, plans to enhance the import and distribution of apples across Brazil, a project in partnership with Sanjo, and resume ginger exports with Interfruit, another long-standing partner," explains

International call for help to assist flood victims
The deadly floods in the South of Brazil, in the Rio Grande do Sul state, with the latest report by the state Civil Defense department, who keeps daily track of the grim rising death toll 151 people are confirmed, while 104 people are still missing. Affected municipalities total 461 with hundreds of cities and towns across the state that are completely flooded and damaged. People in shelter total 77,199, while homeless people now (displaced) stand at 540,192 with 2,281,830 people affected across the state. Brazilian authorities have said early estimates shows billions in damage, while rescue services are still ongoing. Some damaged cities would need rebuilding, while others have indicated relocating some towns, weary of future flooding and natural disasters.

The rain has also not stopped, with daily downpours raising the flood level of Lake Guaiba, that flooded the state capital of Porto Alegre. Experts say it could take weeks or even a month for the water level to lower, depending on the rainfall.

The International Red Cross has called for international donor funding of CHF 8,000,000 ($8,84 million) to scale up humanitarian assistance to affected communities. The state Government of Rio Grande do Sul has a website to raise funds to assist flood victims.

"TFruits aims to leverage its unaffected status to aid in the reconstruction efforts for those directly impacted and close to the company. Emphasizing the Gaucho spirit of resilience, hard work, and deep connection to their land and origins, TFruits commits to staying in Porto Alegre, the city we love, despite logistical challenges. The company embodies the solidarity and collective effort among Gaucho and the private sector, crucial for overcoming the crisis, and appreciates the nationwide support received during these times," concludes Viecili.

For more information:
Felipe Silva
Tel: + 55 51 3083 1108
Email: [email protected]