Attendees at the Brazil Investment Forum (BIF) 2023, held at the Itamaraty Palace in Brasilia, on November 7 and 8, were able to see the step-by-step production process of a fully traceable cotton T-shirt, from seed to closet, in the palm of their hands, using their cell phones.

The garments are the result of the SouABR initiative, created by the Brazilian Cotton Growers Association (Abrapa), and were distributed as part of Cotton Brazil, a program led by Abrapa and the Brazilian Trade and Investment Promotion Agency (ApexBrasil), with the support of the National Association of Cotton Shippers (Anea), to promote Brazilian cotton on the international market. 

The BIF is in its sixth edition and this year brought together around 500 participants over two days.  The event is organized by ApexBrasil and the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), with the massive participation of ministries and other government bodies. Its premise is to present Brazil’s opportunities and differentials in the most diverse areas of investment.

In 2023, president Luís Inácio Lula da Silva opened the program. Several ministers were present, including the Minister of Agriculture and Livestock, Carlos Fávaro, and the president of ApexBrasil, Jorge Viana. 

Full traceability and inovation

Abrapa had a booth at the forum where T-shirts were handed out and the public could check the full traceability of the garment online, and even see photos of the families involved in producing the fiber.

SouABR was created in 2021, combining the principles of important Abrapa programs, such as the Responsible Brazilian Cotton (ABR), the socio-environmental certification of Brazilian cotton, and the Sou de Algodão movement, which promotes responsible fashion in Brazil.

These were combined with traceability – backed by the Abrapa Identification System (SAI) – with the support of blockchain technology, something unheard of in the textile industry until now. Initially, in partnership with major retailers in the country, such as Reserva, Renner and C&A, SouABR produced 100% traceable collections. 

“Being present at a major forum like BIF has everything to do with what we do at Cotton Brazil: show our cotton to the world. The event was attended by foreign delegations and representatives of various global companies and investment funds, among others. In cotton growing, our country has a lot to show, both as the major player it has become, in terms of volume and quality, and for its modern, highly productive and, above all, sustainable model of growing the fiber,” said Abrapa’s president, Alexandre Schenkel. 

This year, the forum’s agenda included topics such as ESG, productivity, sustainability, energy transition and the green economy, as well as a detailed presentation of the “new PAC”, an investment program overseen by the federal government in partnership with the private sector, which is expected to invest a total of R$1.7 trillion in Brazilian states and municipalities to accelerate economic growth and social inclusion in the country.