Agricultural Retailers Association Chairman Johnny Council, Chair-Elect Gary Farrell, and President and CEO Daren Coppock participated in the annual meeting of ARA’s counterpart in Brazil last week. The Third Congress of the Associação Nacional dos Distribuidores de Insumos Agrícolas e Veterinários (ANDAV) was held in São Paulo from July 29-31.

Bob Higby, president of Integrated Agribusiness Professionals (IAP), was on the ANDAV program, and was accompanied by IAP directors and ARA members Les Lyman (Lyman-Tremont Group) and Dean Miller (Big Valley Ag Products), and also by Pat Menagh from the IAP staff. ANDAV sent a delegation to the 2012 ARA Conference in San Diego, and is making plans to attend the 2013 Conference in Doral as well.

The group arrived in Brazil on July 25 and spent two days ahead of the meeting touring agricultural sites in the State of São Paulo, including citrus production and packing, lettuce production, fresh tomato packing, and two agricultural retailers. The last stop before the meeting was a Brazilian grocery store in downtown São Paulo. 

There was also a business meeting between ARA and ANDAV directors, exchanging information on current industry priorities and association programs. ARA shared information on the industry’s Fertilizer Code of Practice project, and ANDAV described a retailer certification program that is two years into implementation in Brazil. While there are certainly differences between our two markets, there is also much we can learn from and share with each other.