FARFARM, textile agroforestry.
Growing a textile agroforestry, educating agricultural communities and developing regenerative fabrics.
Explain your project idea (2,000 characters)
FARFARM is a social company creating a Textile Agroforestry. Agroforestry is a management system that mimics nature, making species collaborate with each other. It restores degraded lands, sequesters carbon, generates water, oxygen, and organic food without the use of chemicals and with a lot less water. It was highlighted as one of the main solutions on the DrawnDown Project to reverse global warming (http://www.drawdown.org).
We have been educating agricultural families in the Brazilian Amazon on how to develop Agroforestry systems and to self-sustain their communities. Also, we are taking the next step, innovating in this approach diversifying with natural fibers such as Cotton, Banana, Jute, and others. These fibers become the raw material for the textile and fashion industry, which is one of the most polluting in the world.
The loop will be closed when we provide the raw material to the textile industry from Agroforestry and developing a carbon negative and regenerative fabrics. Because as much people purchase, more Agroforestry will be planted.
Who are the beneficiaries? (1,000 characters)
Agricultural families: they will be able to learn a new and innovative system to diversify their production, feed their families and sell the surplus protected by the market variability.
Textile Co-ops: Cooperatives that works with natural fibers will have another resource to work with, learn how to work with different fibers and fabrics.
Textile industry: This is a traditional industry in one of the largest cities of the Amazon Rainforest, Belém, where we are working. This industry has been pressured by imports from India and China and needs to innovate in other to survive.
Designer: These fabrics will be sold to designers that want to use sustainable materials with credibility and provenance, trusting they are not greenwashing, but actually doing good for the planet.
How is your idea unique? (1,000 characters)
Concept: as far as we know, there's no such a thing in the world as a Textile Agroforestry. It's a new concept and a new approach against the monoculture that impacts so much our environment with the excess use of water and chemicals.
Community: we have a community of people that work with Agroforestry in Brazil and that believe in the concept, especially Ernst Goetsch, the father of Agroforestry, our mentor and supporter of our project.
Organizations: Also, we won a start-up competition from the Amazon Entrepreneur Center (AmazôniaUP), which are providing a connection with NGOs, political support and consultant advise of local law firms and supply-chain specialists in the Amazon.
Idea Proposal Stage (choose one)
Pilot: I have started to implement the idea as a whole with a first set of real users.
Tell us more about your organization/company (1 sentence and website URL)
We are a service company, educating communities about Agroforestry, and connecting them with textile industry and designers that want to use responsible fibers and fabrics. http://www.farfarm.co
Organization Filing Status
No, but we are a formal initiative through an accelerator, hub, or other entity.
In 3-4 sentences, tell us the inspiration or story that encouraged you to start this project.
I'm passionate about nature. My dad lived in the Amazon helping indigenous communities and I have an emotional connection with it. While living and working in NYC, I was looking at all the data about deforestation in Brazil and felt that I had the responsibility to help. So I quit my job and created FARFARM.
Please explain how your selected topic areas are influenced, in the local context of your project (1,000 characters).
Planet: our ultimate KPI is the regeneration of the Amazon Rainforest with the simple idea that as many people consume our fibers and fabrics, more we can invest in expanding Agroforestry systems.
Prosperity: this system is highly productive but requires knowledge. Teaching families how to build their own agroforestry can self-sufficient their vegetables and fruit needs, protect them from the monoculture's market volatility and generate extra revenue by selling the surplus.
Who will work alongside your organization in the project idea? (1,000 characters)
ReNature: my partner is one of the founders of ReNature, an NGO from the Nederlands specialized in Agroforestry system. They are all scientists with degrees in Agroforestry, Food and Forestry management.
AmazôniaUP: the Amazon Entrepreneur Center is where we are incubated. They are a non-profit with a lot of credibility from the public and private sector, led by Beto Veríssimo, founder of Imazon, a well-known research institute with over 20 years of work in the region.
Chocolates DeMendes: a private company that works in the region growing cacao organically and in agroecological systems. This company was created by César De Mendes, a líder in the community and also one of our mentors.
Please share some of the top strengths identified in the community which your project will serve (500 characters)
Geography: the community is localized 40km from the capital of Pará, Belém, with easy access to the port and to our textile partner.
Farmers: farmers in the region have been working with Agroforestry and support the initiative.
Industry: the city of Santa Bárbara, next to our farm, has a few factories and is seen as a working hub in the region.
Incentives: Agroforestry is certified as a forest in the Amazon, which means that you have governmental incentives and tax reduction.
Santa Bárbara do Pará / PA - Brazil
How many months are required for the project idea? (500 characters)
Agroforestry implementation takes one week. Every week it needs to be pruned and managed. In the first 6 months, you can already harvest Jute, a strong and long fiber. Nettle is also a quick fiber to grow. Banana takes 2 years and Cotton 3 years. Which means that the project can have first results in 6 months but can grow endlessly, diversifying fibers and fabric blends.
Did you submit this idea to our 2017 BridgeBuilder Challenge? (Y/N)
If Yes, how has project idea changed, grown, or evolved since last year? (2,000 characters)
We haven't participated last year but we have agreed to collaborate under Rural Renaissance Project to be more complementary and to create additional global opportunities.