Alexandro Silva Chaves

Ashoka Fellow
Fellow Since 2003
Terra Viva


This profile was prepared when Alexandro Silva Chaves was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 2003.
The New Idea
Alexandro is promoting the sustainability of family-farm production by proving that farmers can earn money both for their families as well as for the financing institutions. Through an innovative monitoring framework, Alexandro has been gathering data about the aggregate value of family farming to change the attitudes of those in financial institutions and help farmers gain access to loans for agricultural improvements and simple processing equipment that will make the farms even more productive. Alexandro is also using the indicators he has found in this process to develop a system that will allow consumers to distinguish agricultural products produced in an environmental, socially, and economically sustainable way. Beyond the label "organic," which is growing in popularity in Brazil, Alexandro's certification system is able to provide a much more comprehensive statement. In his local test markets, products with this label are already selling better. Alexandro has already started replicating his idea in different counties and plans on expanding nationally.
The Problem
The Strategy
The Person

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