The Territorial Policy of Rural Development in Brazil: Questions and Reflections about the Reconnection between production and Consumption of Food*

La política territorial del desarrollo rural en Brasil: Preguntas y reflexiones sobre la reconexión entre producción y consumo de alimentos

A política territorial do desenvolvimento rural no Brasil: Perguntas e reflexões sobre a reconexão entre produÁão e consumo de alimentos

Cuadernos de Desarrollo Rural, vol. 16, no. 84, 2019

Pontificia Universidad Javeriana

Anelise Graciele Rambo

Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul, Brasil

Tanise Dias Freitas a

Universidade de Santa Cruz do Sul, Brasil

Date received: 23 November 2018

Date accepted: 09 April 2019

Date published: 15 August 2019

Abstract: Short marketing circuits and territorial rural development policies emphasize the importance of the reconnection between food production and consumption, with repercussions on the food security and sovereignty of local populations. For this, we analyzed official documents of the Program for the Sustainable Development of Rural Territories, the Citizenship Territories Program, the Territorial Development Plans, as well as field research on projects carried out in three rural territories and citizenship in the South of Brazil. From this analysis, it is possible to think of the strengthening of short circuits as the mechanism to promote rural territorial development.

Keywords: short marketing circuits, territorial policy, rural development, consumer, food security.

Resumen: Los pequeños circuitos de marketing y las políticas de desarrollo rural hacen énfasis en la importancia de la reconexión entre producción de alimentos y su consumo, con repercusiones sobre la seguridad alimentaria y la soberanía de las poblaciones locales. Para ello, analizamos los documentos oficiales del Programa para el desarrollo sostenible de territorios rurales, el Programa de territorios para la ciudadanía, los Planes de desarrollo territorial, como también las investigaciones de campo sobre proyectos llevados a cabo en tres territorios rurales y de la ciudadanía en el sur de Brasil. A partir de este análisis, es posible pensar en el fortalecimiento de los circuitos pequeños como el mecanismo para fomentar el desarrollo territorial rural.

Palabras clave: circuitos pequeños de marketing, política territorial, desarrollo rural, consumidor, seguridad alimentaria.

Resumo: Os pequenos circuitos de marketing e as políticas de desenvolvimento rural fazem ênfase na import&acicr;ncia da reconexão entre produção de alimentos e consumo, com repercussões na segurança alimentar e a soberania das populações locais. Para isso, analisamos os documentos oficiais do Programa para o desenvolvimento sustentável de territórios rurais, o Programa de territórios para a cidadania, os Planos de desenvolvimento territorial, bem como as pesquisas de campo sobre projetos realizados em três territórios rurais e da cidadania no sul do Brasil. A partir dessa análise é possível pensar no fortalecimento dos circuitos pequenos como mecanismo para fomentar o desenvolvimento territorial rural.

Palavras-chave: circuitos pequenos de marketing, política territorial, desenvolvimento rural, consumidor, segurança alimentar


The data presented by Alan Bojanic for the United Nations Annual Report on Food and Nutrition Security for 2017 indicated that after nearly a decade of decline, the number of people affected by hunger in the world increased again with 815 million people in this situation and 11% of the world’s population suffering from chronic malnutrition by 2016 (Organização das Nações Unidas para Agricultura e Alimentação, 2017). In 2017, 124 million needed emergency food assistance compared to 108 million in 2016.

On the other hand, there are 641 million obese adults, which corresponds to 13% of the total adults on the planet. So one of the challenges to be faced relates to the food security of the growing world population, expected to reach 10 billion by 2050. Not just access to sufficient, but with quality and diversity to meet their nutritional needs. The Sustainable Development Goals (ODS) have brought hunger, food and nutritional security and agriculture under Objective 2: “Ending hunger, achieving food security and improving nutrition, and promoting sustainable agriculture”.

In this scenario, Brazil has emerged as the country with great potential for growth in food production. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) estimates that a country is expected to leverage its production by about 40 percent, while countries like China (15 percent), the European Union (12 percent), the United States (10 percent), Canada (9%), Australia (9%) and Russia (7%) are also expected to grow significantly by 2027.

The Agribusiness Projections Report Brazil 2016/17 to 2026/27, prepared by the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Supply (MAPA), estimates that grain production should grow 24% in the period, highlighting corn, soybeans and wheat. Meat production (beef, pork and poultry) is expected to grow by 28%. Faced with such projections, the question that emerges is: what kind of food will be produced for the Brazilian and world population? Would not this pattern of consumption be a key aspect of increasing obesity in the world? Would not we be fomenting the same model that has generated wars and conflicts and, combined with natural phenomena such as droughts, floods, has generated mass migrations and increased hunger in the world?

Undoubtedly, the long circuits that shape the food empires are able to meet the world food demand. However, traditional rural development strategies have disregarded the short marketing circuits, based on this face-to-face interaction, in the relations of trust between producer and consumer in the academic, social and political spheres.

In this sense, discussions about the short and decentralized marketing circuits (Marsden, Banks & Bristow, 2000; Gazolla & Schneider, 2013, 2017; Ploeg, 2008) are intensified, bringing together production and consumption, such as producer fairs, delivery of baskets, small producers’ stores, sale in the properties deriving from agrotourism, institutional markets, among others. Given this alternative, family farming plays a key role, accounting for about 80% of world food production, according to the UN.

In view of the above, it is believed that the territorial perspective of rural development and, more specifically, territorial policies have the potential to encompass the dimensions of food security discussed above, promoting development dynamics that, when approximating production and consumption, will be able to promote food sovereignty, greater social equity and fewer environmental impacts. The intention is to show that, although the Brazilian territorial policy is allowing the creation or strengthening of short commercialization circuits, this is not an explicit policy objective even if this potential is observed to be fomented, capable of giving policy the territorial character.

Thus, this article is structured in five sections to include this introduction. The second part deals with Brazilian territorial politics and its dynamics, highlighting how the rural perspective of development advances with the question of territories. In the third section, we highlight the approach of short marketing circuits as a theoretical proposal for understanding rural territorial development based on its public policy. Following, the methodology of the work is presented which is the result of a research project funded by the promotion agency CNPq (Brazil). In addition, we have the analysis of the rural projects understood as experiences of short circuits of commercialization as a mechanism to promote territorial development. Finally, they follow the considerations.

The Brazilian Territorial Policy and Territorial Dynamics

The territorial perspective of development is an important advance for the promotion of development, especially rural development, since public policies with this perspective have actions focused on rural areas. Sabourin, Massardier and Sotomayor (2016) emphasize that these policies consider the specificities of each territory as opposed to the vertical approach that divides public action into sectors. The characteristics and resources of each territory are valued, which would be the place of definition and solution of public problems. They also imply a localized treatment of issues and, therefore, the development of a plurality of actors involved in the production of a political and social bond.

The principle of the territorialization of public policies would be based on three points: 1) the public service or good is not evenly distributed by the central authority; 2) the attempt to approach users or beneficiaries in decision-making about problems; 3) the territory is not defined administratively, but according to a specifically territorial dynamics (Sabourin et al., 2016).

The territorial perspective of sustainable rural development, proposed by the Brazilian State, involves an integrative vision of spaces, social actors, markets and public intervention policies. It is proposed the development of solutions that contemplate combinations between the various dimensions of sustainable development: economic, socio-cultural, political-institutional and environmental (Ministério do Desenvolvimento Agrário, 2004).

In the conception of Brandão (2008), in order to affirm that there has been development, there must be involvement and legitimation of actions capable of breaking with the previous status quo, which also involves tensions, choice of alternatives and construction of historical trajectories, looking for temporal horizons of short, medium and long term. For the author, this process of transformation must be promoted simultaneously in the productive, social, technological (and others that are) dimensions and in the local, regional, national, global, and so on, to allow greater strengthening of decision autonomy and broaden the scope of action of social subjects.

In this perspective, the policy with a territorial designation arises in Brazil in the rural sphere, within the Ministry of Agrarian Development (MDA), with the creation of the Territorial Development Secretariat (SDT), implementing the Program for the Sustainable Development of Rural Territories (Pronat), created in 2003 and Territory of Citizenship Program (PTC), created in 2008.

In Pronat, territory is understood as a geographically defined physical space comprising cities and fields, characterized by multidimensional criteria (environment, economy, society, culture, politics and institutions) and a population with distinct social groups where one can distinguish one or more elements that indicate social, cultural and territorial identity and cohesion. The rural territory would be the space where the multidimensional criteria that characterize it present the predominance of rural elements (Ministério do Desenvolvimento Agrário, 2004).

The objective of Pronat was to promote and support initiatives of the representative institutions of rural areas that aim at a sustainable increase in the quality of life levels of the rural population. The selection of rural territories for actions was based on geographic microregions that showed population density of less than 80 inhab/km² and an average population per municipality of up to 50,000 inhabitants, as well as the presence of family farmers, settled families and families of campesino workers (Ministério do Desenvolvimento Agrário, 2004). Based on the criteria established by SDT, 239 rural territories were established (Secretaria do Desenvolvimento Territorial, 2010), according to figure 1 that follows.

239 territories supported by SDT/MDA
Figure 1
239 territories supported by SDT/MDA

Source: Sistema de Gestão Estratégica:

The organizational structure of the territories was supported by the Colleges of Territorial Development (Codeter), which should be composed of representatives of the municipal, state and federal spheres and society, with at least a 50% participation by civil society. Codeter was responsible for deliberating and proposing actions for the sustainable development of territories, as well as articulating public policies, planning actions and defining the programs and projects that should be part of the Territorial Plan for Sustainable Territorial Development (PTDRS).

Wesz Júnior and Leite (2010) summarize that in 2003, the lines of action were based on two modalities of Pronaf: (a) Infrastructure and Municipal Services and (b) Training of Family Farmers. These two lines ceased to be part of Pronaf and became part of Pronat through its functions: Support to Infrastructure and Services Projects in Rural Territories and Training of Development Agents. At the same time, two other actions included Pronat, not included in its budget matrix: a) Financial Assistance through Parliamentary Amendments and b) Dom Helder Câmara Project (PDHC) - Sustainable Development for Settlements of Agrarian Reform in the Northeastern Semi-Arid Region.

As for the volume of funds contracted, these increased from R$ 82.7 million in 2003 to R$ 264.7 million in 2007, which corresponds to an increase of 272%. From 2007 to 2008, there was a decrease in the contracted value of approximately R$ 40 million, linked to the decrease in resources resulting from the parliamentary amendments. While the other lines increased their budget in 2008, the territorial amendments were down 50% compared to the previous year (Wesz Júnior & Leite, 2010).

The Territorial Citizenship Program (PTC) is the result of the finding of significant socioeconomic inequalities between the rural territories themselves. The priority of the PTC was to serve territories that have low access to basic services, indices of stagnation in income generation, and lack of integrated and sustainable policies for economic autonomy. The main objective is to overcome poverty and generate work and income in rural areas through a sustainable territorial development strategy (Secretaria do Desenvolvimento Territorial, 2011).

Based on the concept of territory adopted by Pronat, the PTC adds new criteria for the selection of Citizenship Territories among the rural territories, with one presence per state in 2008 and two in 2009. The criteria mentioned are: (a) Human Development Index (HDI); (b) greater concentration of family farmers and settlers of Agrarian Reform; (c) greater concentration of quilombolas and natives; (d) greater number of beneficiaries of federal income transfer programs; (e) greater number of municipalities with low economic dynamism; (f) greater social organization; (g) Lower Basic Education Development Index (Ideb) (Wesz Júnior & Leite, 2010). Thus, the PTC covered 120 territories of citizenship, according to figure 2.

Territories of Citizenship supported by PTC
Figure 2
Territories of Citizenship supported by PTC

Source: Sistema de Gestão Estratégica:

The coordination of the Program was carried out by the MDA, its institutional articulation by the Civil House, the budget issue by the Ministry of Budget and Management Planning (MPOG) and monitoring by the Center for Agrarian Studies and Rural Development (NEAD) (Wesz Júnior & Leite, 2010).

Regarding the resources destined to the PTC, the authors point out that in 2008 the predicted value for the 60 Territories of Citizenship reached R $ 12.8 billion, a figure that reached almost R $ 25 billion in 2009 with the entry of 60 new territories. In 2010, the amount of funds increased to R $ 26.8 billion. There was therefore a growth of 109.8% from 2008 to 2010. The lines with the highest growth were (a) sustainable organization of production and health and (b) sanitation and access to water, which increased the estimated value by 187.5% and 147.7%, respectively. The theme that had a reduction in these three years was that of Land Stocks (27%).

However, there are several challenges that must be addressed to the territorial policy of rural development in Brazil. Sabourin (2017), for example, warns that, despite the innovative proposal that brings the territorial approach, a top-down characteristic still prevails, an operational stance to recognize mainly state agencies as public policy actors, a significant departure from institutionality and territorial social actors.

These characteristics, together with the cooling of the proposal from 2011 onwards at the federal level, with a consequent weakening of the institutions, disarticulation and frustration of the territorial actors, made difficult the progress of the territorial policy. The financing of collective infrastructure and equipment does not allow responding to many of the priority structural problems identified in the PTDRS.

Oliveira and Perafán (2012) also point out that in a participatory management model, focusing on the territorial approach, it is important that all members of the territorial institutions know how to plan strategically, as well as responsible and monitor actions and projects considering elements of social management, such as: autonomy, social inclusion, productive inclusion, guarantee of access to basic rights and training for a conscious and effective participation in the development processes of rural territories.

It is latent the need of consolidation of territorial instances and execution of actions, in a more autonomous way. One of the factors that can explain this situation is the way of sensitization and mobilization implemented to start the cycle of social management in the territories. The territorial actors called for the constitution of the Collegiate are motivated more by the resources to finance projects and less to the constitution of a territorial development project point (Oliveira, Perafán & Conterato, 2013).

Ortega, de Cerqueira and da Silva (2016), emphasize that, despite the intentionalities of the innovations introduced by territorial-cutting policies, their adoption in governance structures is still far from being a reality. This implementation requires the building of a comprehensive territorial cohesion that creates the conditions for the architecture of territorial pacts for the inclusive development of the social, rural and urban segments. Concerning this pact, it is intended to draw attention to the aspect of short marketing circuits, understood here as an important strategy for the promotion of food and nutritional sovereignty and security and rural territorial development.

Although Sabourin et al. (2016) point out that in Latin America initiatives are already being tried to bring together producers, consumer markets and agribusiness, perceiving productive alliances between farmers and agribusiness (Chile, Ecuador), peasant-cook alliances Peru), public purchasing programs for family farmers (Brazil, Ecuador, Paraguay, etc.), family agriculture fairs and agroecological fairs (Argentina, Brazil, Peru), it is pointed out that this perspective is not officially adopted by the Brazilian territorial policy . That is, despite the territorial policy proposing to overcome the strictly sectoral horizon, the development dynamics implemented need to advance in this aspect, promoting a closer field-city and producer-consumer.

Short Marketing Circuits and the Territorial Dynamics

Development processes in rural areas, hegemonically, follow the pattern of modernity. Taking back Beck (2009), we corroborate with the idea that the paradigm of modernity is in crisis. Society is feeling the effects and limits of the system based on progress, reason, scientificity, individualism and the unbridled search for economic growth - that is, in the form of development that supports the project of modernity. It is understood that the self-confrontation that the author treats is expressed in the theme discussed here, when he reflects on a growing number of consumers who opt, especially in developed countries, but not exclusively for healthier, local, fresh, replace fast food with slow food, as FAO itself (2018) points out.

Warns Porto Gonçalves (2004) that science has been developed to make more efficient the production of biomass in the temperate regions (that have lower intensity of solar energy in relation to the tropical regions). This is a contradiction that can only be explained by the importance of technical-scientific knowledge and the legal regulation of property (patents and individual intellectual property rights) for hegemonic countries and for large corporations, which holds the monopoly of specific knowledge, increasingly dependent on resources for research and development.

This is how the food empires are strengthened, understood by Ploeg (2008) as the highly centralized mode of organization, made up of large food processing and marketing companies operating on a world scale, are strengthened. Therefore, agro-food globalization threatens the cultural and agricultural heritage, rural and food, and has also contributed to deepening the ecological crisis in which we live, as Guzmán (2007) highlights. This change in the balance of agroecosystems intertwines with the mechanisms of social exclusion that accompany the increasing dependence of the market.

It is argued here that the attainment of food and nutritional sovereignty and security will not be ensured by the strengthening of the long chains, as expressed in the USDA and MAPA projections, by exporting primary products or even processed commodities. Healthy, diversified and fresh foods that respect the eating habits of different populations also require a look and the establishment of strategies to strengthen family production and short circuits.

It is also understood that, given a context of increasing obesity and an increase in the world demand for food, these circuits come back as a possibility to foment local economies, including peripheral ones, to provide access to varied and fresh food, able to provide sovereignty and food and nutrition security. It is worth emphasizing that in the construction and strengthening of these local circuits of production-consumption, the role of the consumer is essential.

According to Matte, Neske, Borba, Waquil and Schneider (2014), the term “short” was initially presented by Terry Marsden (geographer and sociologist) and deals with the characteristics that a given product presents to the consumer, while retaining their physical information. The idea of ​​short circuits does not only concern the distance traveled by food. The short food chains make possible a process of resocialization or respacialization of the food, making possible the judgment of value by the consumer. These new (direct) marketing models also allow the negotiation of the best prices and the resumption of sales control by producers with the qualification of consumers.

The relationship with the Brazilian territorial policy can be woven by understanding that the short circuits of commercialization are essential for the local economy, for the generation of work and income and the supply of healthy foods, as proposed by the PTC’s larger objective. In addition, the proximity circuits, according to Macías (2018), are forms of commerce that incorporate the territorial dimension, in which there is a direct, close or reliable relationship between production/producer, circulation and consumption/consumer. Production, consumption and society are directly related and any change in one of them will generate changes in the others.

The author also systematizes the qualities of the short circuits: they maintain the value of the territories of origin through relocation, generate jobs, capture value from the territorial enclave, improve the resilience of territories, value heritage, act in the role of dynamizing and functional attraction in the territories, increase the territorial appropriation due to the spatial concentration of functions or the exploration of qualities of agricultural products. The combination of territorial proximity and short circuits helps to strengthen social ties and foster fair trade exchanges, while contributing to the greater autonomy of the actors.

Returning to Schneider and Ferrari (2015), the short chains have different dimensions, namely: a) spatial, by reducing the distances that foods travel between production and consumption; b) social, by providing face-to-face contact between producers and consumers, resulting in trust and integration in the chain; and, c) economic, by leveraging local markets for production.

In practical terms, the authors clarify that short circuits can occur through products produced in small rural family farms or in face-to-face relationships, such as home sales and free trade fairs, whether agricultural products or even handicrafts (Schneider & Ferrari, 2015). François (2000), on the other hand, defines short circuits as a way to commercialize the products allowing reducing the number of intermediaries between the producer and the consumer.

Marsden et al. (2000) add that short circuits occur when a product arrives in the hands of consumers with information that allows them to know about the place, the producer and the production system, i.e. where the product was produced, for who and how. For the authors, there are three types of short chain supply chains (SFSC), which are:

Fonseca de Albuquerque, de Almeida and Fendener Colnago (2009) emphasize as strength of the short circuits the exchange of knowledge, knowledge and tastes between producers, between producers and consumers, among consumers. There is also the possibility of better exercising social control over the organic qualities and guarantees of organic products identified by consumers due to producer-consumer involvement and support organizations (public, private or civil society); this quality is expressed in fresh products and with lower prices than in the networks of the large retailer due to direct sales producer.

According to Darolt, Lamine, Brandenburg, Alencar and Abreu (2016), one of the specificities of the short circuits is the questioning of some basic principles of the conventional system, such as homogenization, product standardization and the large number of intermediates in the commercialization over great distances. In this sense, alternative networks propose new principles of exchange, relocation of food, retake values, traditions and new types of relations between producers and consumers.

These authors discuss the ability of short circuits to generate structural changes on a larger scale. They argue that these markets can contribute to a transformation of power relations within the food systems, including greater participation of consumers and producers in the definition of modes of production, exchange and consumption, which refers to autonomy.

It is precisely because these short-circuit definitions approximate the territorial perspective of rural development, since both allude to the possibility of autonomy or protagonism of the actors and their local institutions. They emphasize the necessary link between concrete experiences and a social and political movement opposed to the dominant conventional model (Darolt et al., 2016). It is also seen that the territorial policy has the potential to contribute to this connection, and the territorial colleges can be the spaces of the social and political movement with the existing experiences.

A bottom-up action, promoting short circuits, could be the basis for the constitution of territorial development projects, still little consolidated, as already pointed out by Oliveira et al. (2013). They corroborate Darolt et al. (2016), that the learning provided by the circuits, agricultural practices and their impacts, culinary practices and democratic practices per se involve people and institutions and are sources of consumer empowerment, contributing to make them conscious citizens of their food or consumer citizens.

It should be emphasized that, although the territorial policy involves an integrative vision of spaces, social actors, markets and public policies of intervention, the consumer is a disregarded actor in this dynamic. Such actions of reconnection with the local should go beyond the objectives of the territorial policy itself. Considering the consumer as a social actor and integrating it into territorial dynamics seems fundamental for the development of the territory and its socio-cultural, political, economic and environmental specificities. The observation of Macías (2018), when dealing with the modalities of collective appropriation of the territory where food products are produced and consumed by emerging consumer groups, comes to this observation. It affirms that the place, the distance and the new modalities of rural-urban interface emerge as particular territorial dimensions that add additional value to the traditional food consumption culture.

Through the mentioned, the projects implemented in two rural territories and one of the citizenship in the southern region of Brazil will be analyzed, pointed by the members of the Collegiate as “projects with greater territorial repercussions” in the rural development, evidencing that these are representative of short commercialization circuits.

Research Methodology

As a methodological path, this article is a result of the research carried out with funding from the Brazilian development agency, CAPES, through the edict MCTI/CNPq/MEC/CAPES N. 43/2013. So, a bibliographical research was initially carried out from official documents about the regional and territorial development policies that allowed to list the characteristics, objectives and actions that constitute these policies. Specifically for this work, the focus was on territorial politics.

From this information, field research was carried out in the three southern states of Brazil, Rio Grande do Sul, Santa Catarina and Paraná, where two rural territories (PR and SC) and one citizenship territory (RS) were identified, which were part of the main study. This research was descriptive, based on multiple case studies, with a qualitative approach. As a technique, 15 interviews were conducted with semi-structured script with members that make up the Meso-region Forum of the Great Frontier of Mercosur and Territorial Collegiate, and project beneficiaries.

This was a qualitative research, based on a case study. The choice of territories was based on the criterion of overlap between the two regionalizations. Out of all the possible territories, those with easier access to researchers were chosen. The members of the colleges were asked to indicate the most successful project or that best represented the territorial dynamics. In this way, the PRONAT project investigated the vitiviniculture project in the rural territory of Southwest Paranaense, the Unified System of Attention to Agricultural and Livestock Health (Prosuasa) in the municipality of Chapecó (SC) in the Rural Western Territory of Santa Catarina. Already by the PTC, in the territory of the Middle-High Uruguay citizenship, the project of strengthening family agriculture through the milk production chain was analyzed.

Considerations on territorial development projects representing short circuits in the southern region of Brazil

The projects that are analyzed in section 4 were chosen as the priorities by the interviewees. Also, the study of these projects through the approach of the short marketing circuits allows an empirical view of rural territorial development policy in regions that have historically been relegated to the traditional processes of agricultural production.

Viticulture Project – Paraná

In the Southeastern rural territory of Parana, the viticulture project of the Association of Viticultural Producers of Verê (Aprovive), located in the municipality of Verê / PR, which predates Pronat, was analyzed. Figure 3 below shows the location of the territory.

 Rural Territory
of Parana – Southeastern territory of Parana
Figure 3
Rural Territory of Parana – Southeastern territory of Parana

Source: Adapted from Sistema de Informações Territoriais:

In the year 2000, an SC company, exporter of concentrated juices, proposed to implement a project of vineyards in properties of the municipality. However, in 2002 the company declared bankruptcy and the farmers were left without support and without market for their production. Faced with this situation, the winemakers created the Aprovive, aiming to give a destination to the grape production.

Between 2004 and 2005, in a partnership with the municipal government of Verê, the Viry Juice Industry was implemented to commercialize grapes and make wines (Gaiovicz & Saquet, 2010). As the cultivated variety was not conducive to wine production, the municipal public authority partnered with the Center for the Support and Promotion of Agroecology (Capa) to provide technical assistance. In contrast, the Cape required that the conventional production of grapes be converted into organic.

According to interviews carried out with members of this PR territory, the 12 families involved process from five to six thousand kilos of grapes, reaching to produce 50,000 liters of organic grape juice, marketed to 25 municipalities in the region, mainly destined for school feeding. The remains of the grape are sent to the Association of Agroecological Producers of Verê (Apav), where they are transformed into jellies. The same happens with the pulp production for juice, in sachets. Apav products are marketed in the association, in school meals and in some markets outside the municipality, as in Curitiba (Gaiovicz & Saquet, 2010). Figure 4 presents photos of this project in Paraná.

Viry Juice Industry and organic gape vine
Figure 4
Viry Juice Industry and organic gape vine

Source: Personal data and Gaiovicz and Saquet (2010)

It can be seen from the trajectory of the association that with the partnership with the CAPA there is, according to Darolt et al. (2016), a questioning of the basic model of the conventional system of production, thus allowing the change to a differentiated product with higher nutritional quality. Taking Marsden et al. (2000), we can observe Aprovive as a short circuit model characterized by “spatial proximity”, since its products are marketed in the region and because it is “spatially extended”, when commercialization reaches the city of Curitiba / PR.

Agricultural Sanity Program – Santa Catarina

In the Rural Territory of the West of Santa Catarina, the Program of the Unified System of Attention to Agricultural and Livestock Sanity (Prosuasa) was indicated. Initiated in 2012, the objective was to enable the accreditation of agroindustries with the Brazilian System of Inspection of Animal Origin Products / Unified System of Attention to Agricultural and Livestock Sanity (SISBI / SUASA), within the scope of the Intermunicipal Consortium for Economic, Social and of the Environment (Cidema). This accreditation aims to expand the markets of agroindustries (products of animal origin) beyond the municipal territory. Figure 5 highlights the location of this rural territory.

Rural Territories of Santa Catarina - Western
Territory Catarinense
Figure 5
Rural Territories of Santa Catarina - Western Territory Catarinense

Source: Adapted from Sistema de Informações Territoriais:

In the territory, Cidema’s partnership with Saga Agency was established and a diagnosis was made that indicated the interest of 52 agroindustries in procuring Suasa. According to interviewee of the collegiate: “And then we took the resource to strengthen the municipal systems, the resource gave at the time to buy a car for each municipality to veterinarian act in the municipal inspection, then that was the purpose of the project” (Interview 12 - member of Amosc and Territorial Collegiate).

According to SGE, in 2012, an amount of R $ 438,735.71 was released to structure the Cidema, through the acquisition of machinery and equipment so that the technicians could act in the management of Prosuasa. Pronat’s resources helped strengthen the municipal inspection systems, with the acquisition of cars for veterinarians in their respective municipalities.

According to interviews, there are three agroindustries accredited by Prosuasa: one of eggs in the municipality of São Carlos, one of meat derivatives (hamburger) in Coronel Freitas and an egg industry in Cordillera Alta, as shown in the figure 6.

Agribusiness of eggs and meats benefited with Prosuasa
Figure 6
Agribusiness of eggs and meats benefited with Prosuasa

Source: Cidema/Trabalho de campo, 2016

This project tends to build a short circuit on the regional scale, which can be corroborated by the speech of one of the interviewees:

(...) the one from São Carlos, he had a local trade, produced and had 8,000 headquarters for to produce eggs. In the following year, he accredited and already had 30,000 headquarters, and has even more potential to grow, (...) the market for this type of establishment has, as long as it is organized and structured, then our contribution as consortium is, first, to strengthen a regional development project, to provide a condition for the personnel to access the market and to have added value to their production, is a way to fix that citizen in the field. (Interview 12 - Amosc member and Territorial Colegio, 2016)

With this report of a member of the territorial collegiate it is noted that with a local institutional reconfiguration it has been possible to expand the trade of agroindustries, especially those that have been able, through a consortium, to become accredited in SISBI / SUASA. According to Schneider and Ferrari (2015), the bureaucratic adequacy of agroindustries allows them to enter the formal market and, at the same time, leverage local markets for the production of food of animal origin, which has been promoted through rural territories in SC.

Milk Production Chain – RS

In the territory of the High Middle Uruguayan citizenship, the project Strengthening of Family Agriculture through the Milk Production Chain was chosen as the priority in territorial actions, starting in 2010. The location of the territory is presented in figure 7 below.

Territories of the Citizenship of Rio Grande do Sul
- Middle-High Uruguay
Figure 7
Territories of the Citizenship of Rio Grande do Sul - Middle-High Uruguay

Source: Adapted from Sistema de Informações Territoriais:

Among the different incentives to milk production, one of them refers to the construction of a Food and Beverage Analysis Laboratory (LAAB), located in the dependencies of the Integrated Regional University (URI), in Federico Westphalen (RS). The Laboratory is able to provide services for the milk and dairy chain, and can also perform analyzes on different types of samples, such as meat products and derivatives and animal nutrition products, among others, performing microbiological and physicochemical tests. Figure 8 below illustrates the laboratory described.

Laboratory Equipment for Food and Beverage Analysis (LAAB)
Figure 8
Laboratory Equipment for Food and Beverage Analysis (LAAB)

Source: personal collection

The proposal of the laboratory of milk analysis is to face the challenge of making the industrial process feasible for a good part of the milk produced in the region, improving the appropriation of income for farmers, cooperatives, associations of producers and their municipalities (Universidade Regional Integrada [URI], 2014). Currently, the nearest official laboratories are located in the municipalities of Lajeado, Passo Fundo or Curitiba. Due to the distance, problems occur with the quality of the samples that arrive at the laboratories, making the analyzes impossible. In other words, this project proposes to strengthen a short circuit, reducing production costs and qualifying the local product.

Thus, we infer that territorial policy has financed short circuits, whose actors often access other policies that also encourage these circuits, such as the National School Feeding Program (PNAE), the Food Acquisition Program (PAA) and even actions of the National Policy of Technical Assistance and Rural Extension (PNATER). The projects presented above demonstrate a valorization and dynamism of the territories as they revolve the local economy, foster fair trade exchanges and strengthen social ties, while contributing to the greater autonomy of the actors involved in the short circuits.

To the extent that territorial policy assumes the creation and promotion of short marketing channels as an objective that surpasses the others, by aggregating actions with the consumer public, it will be possible to qualify the territorial dimension of rural development policies.

It is worth emphasizing that in the construction and strengthening of these local circuits of production-consumption, the role of the consumer is essential. Consumers should be aware that their quality of life is closely associated with agricultural models and their multiple environmental services. Actions in this sense are essential to a territorial policy, since it creates the possibility of strengthening social, cultural and territorial identity and cohesion, integrating urban and rural (Ortega, de Cerqueira & da Silva, 2016).

Final Considerations

It was sought to draw attention in this work on the contribution of the short marketing circuits that reconnect producers and consumers, to promote sovereignty and food and nutritional security, especially in a scenario of increased hunger on the one hand, and overweight and obesity for another. Traditional rural development strategies have sought to include farmers, including their families, in markets characterized by long circuits, see Brazils Brazil 2016/17 to 2026/27 Projections Report, which proposes an increase in the export of Brazilian commodities. This hegemonic model may contribute to the reduction of hunger, but its contribution to the sovereignty and food and nutritional security of the peoples is questionable. It will be difficult to provide fresh, diversified and suitable food for the local / regional food crop from long lines. In the same way, the maintenance of the agroecosystemic biodiversity is put in check.

Small and biodiverse productive units have healthier economies and lower social problems. It has been observed that there are consumers seeking food backed by own values associated with family farming: fresh, organic, artisanal, territorial, with geographical indication, sustainable, etc. Expanding this is important both for the well-being of the producer and for the consumer and for the environment. It is important that public policies understand the role of the consumer in this process of rebuilding the relationship with food production.

On the other hand, consumers also need to be aware that their quality of life is closely associated with agricultural models and their multiple environmental services. That is, production, consumption and society are directly related and any change in one of them, will generate changes in the others as well as in the territorial dynamics of rural development.

Parallel to this discussion, there are two programs that use the territorial perspective of rural development that, besides being paralyzed by the Federal Government, did not incorporate the promotion of short circuits to their objectives, principles and methodology, nor did they include the consumer as an essential actor for the promotion of socio-cultural, environmental and economic dynamics in the territories. Although the projects presented in section 4 encourage short circuits and territorial policy support the overcoming of the strictly sectoral horizon, the development dynamics analyzed need to move forward in this aspect, and could promote a closer field-city and producer-consumer, expanding the institutions that support such dynamics.

Dynamic and consolidated agrifood short circuits reverberate in greater sovereignty and food and nutritional security, constituting a scalar mosaic of territories. It is understood that this is a means for the construction of a territorial cohesion that creates the conditions for the architecture of territorial pacts for the inclusive development of the social, rural and urban segments.


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How to cite this article: Rambo, A. G., & Dias Freitas, T. (2019). The territorial policy of rural development in Brazil: Questions and reflections about the reconnection between production and consumption of food. Cuadernos de Desarrollo Rural, 16(84).