Almeida Advogados works closely with companies in this sector by advising them on all business- and litigation-related matters, including regulatory issues.
Presentation made by the attorneys Iris Bennett, Partner of the US Law Firm Smith Pachter McWhorter PLC, and her associate Paulo Gusmão, together with André de Almeida and Leonardo B. Leite, partners of Almeida Advogados.
According to a recent study by the Federation of Industries in the State of Sao Paulo, agribusiness activity has always played an important role in Brazil since the country began its development. From single crop production in the colonial period to the development of coffee plantations, Brazil’s agribusiness activities have been largely worldwide in scope.
Brazil ranks first in exporting sugar, coffee, soybeans, chicken and orange juice. Despite protective barriers abroad, the country has enjoyed continuous commercial expansion, and agribusiness accounted for the largest percentage of Brazilian commercial activities over the past few years.
As regards sugarcane, Brazil is its largest producer and the only country capable of implementing on a large scale an alternative sugar-based fuel (ethanol) to replace petroleum. Specifically, the country harvested 280 million tons of sugarcane in 2001/2002, totaling 384 million bags of sugar and 11.5 billion liters of alcohol. Brazil’s sugarcane industry consists of 308 active industries, 81 of which are independent distilleries/refineries, and 227 are sugarcane plants.
Investments in producing agrofuels have increased significantly, based on recent studies confirming that agribusiness participants are expanding their investments in the market. According to sugarcane industry estimates, over the next six years, ethanol production will double to approximately 34 billion liters.
According to ProCana, a specialized website that monitors the sector, the Brazilian sugarcane industry accounts for R$41 billion (3.6% of the country’s GDP); generates 4 million direct and indirect jobs; produces 30 million tons of sugar and 17.5 billion liters of alcohol; collects R$12 billion in terms of taxes and tariffs; and invests R$5 billion per year.
Almeida Advogados provides legal services to agribusiness related to partnerships, imports and exports, financial transactions, foreign investment transactions, tax planning and environmental matters.
One main challenge for the sugarcane industry is to supply alcohol (as fuel) and sugar to the domestic and international markets. Almeida Advogados assists industry operations by advising on all aspects of bioenergy law, including regulatory and risk management issues.