after the retreat of the Federation of Industries of the State of São Paulo (Fiesp), entities of the Brazilian agribusiness released this Monday, 30, a manifesto in which they defend the Democratic state guarantor of “entrepreneurial freedom” – the inverse of “any harmful politicization or partisanship” which aggravates the country’s problems.
The text is signed by associations of the national agro-export sector. Like the document produced at Fiesp, the manifesto of the agribusiness entities does not mention the president Jair Bolsonaro. However, it opts for a more incisive message, when describing the current Brazilian society as “permanently strained in interminable crises or at risk of setbacks and institutional ruptures”.
The document from the agribusiness entities was released after Fiesp decided to postpone the publication of a manifesto that would ask for pacification between the three Powers. The decision surprised signatories of the document and was considered unilateral. Skaf made the decision after talking over the phone with the mayor, Arthur Lira (Progressives-AL), Bolsonaro ally.
Entrepreneurs and representatives of entities were also surprised by the reaction of the federal government – in the toughest measure, Banco do Brasil and Caixa Econômica Federal decided to leave the Brazilian Federation of Banks (Febraban) if the manifesto is published. From the beginning, the concern was that the text would not assume an anti-government character.
In a statement, Fiesp stated that the postponement is in the interest of dozens of entities that have expressed support for the cause. Demonstrations in this regard are being produced on the eve of September 7, which will have events called by Bolsonaro and his supporters. “In view of the Fiesp decision, these entities thought it better to manifest themselves in a joint and independent manner”, said Marcello Brito, president of the Brazilian Agribusiness Association (Abag). “We understand that demonstrating is part of the republican spirit.”
O state found that the note from the agribusiness entities was produced over the last two weeks. Although he avoids “so-and-so” the message, as one of those responsible for the document said, the message is addressed to the government.
The entities say they are concerned about the current challenges to political-institutional harmony and the country’s economic and social stability. “On behalf of our sectors, we fulfill the duty of joining many other voices, calling for our leaders to show themselves at the height of Brazil and its history”, says the document. “We are one of the largest economies on the planet, one of the most important countries in the world, in any respect, and we cannot present ourselves to the community of Nations as a society permanently strained by endless crises or at risk of setbacks and institutional ruptures.”
Signatories of the manifesto are Abag, the Brazilian Association of Vegetable Oil Industries (Abiove), the Brazilian Association of Vegetable Nutrition Technology Industries (Abisolo), the Brazilian Association of Palm Oil Producers (Abrapalma), Croplife Brasil (representing chemical, biological, seedling, seed and biotechnology pesticide companies), the Brazilian Tree Industry (Ibá) and the National Union of Plant Defense Products Industry (Sindiveg).
Since the beginning of the current government, representative sectors of the agribusiness have expressed concern about the growing deforestation in the country, which causes the loss of important markets in Europe and the United States. The institutional crisis has aggravated the situation, according to the representative of an association. “Brazil is much bigger and better than the image we have projected to the world. This is costing us dear and will take time to revert”, warn the entities. “We are the force of progress, advancement, indispensable stability and not avoidable crises”
The text recalls that, under the Federal Constitution of 1988, society chose to live and build the country through the democratic rule of law. “Over three decades of democratic trajectory, not without setbacks or frustrations, but also full of achievements and advances that we can be proud of. More than three decades of freedom and pluralism, with alternation of power in legitimate and frequent elections”, the entities quote.
According to them, the economic and social development of the country, to be effective and sustainable, requires peace and tranquility, recognizing minorities, diversity and the respectful confrontation of ideas. “Above all, a society that no longer tolerates the misery and inequality, which shame us so much.”
Skaf and government actions surprise signatories
A final version of the manifesto “The Square is of the Three Powers”, by the Federation of Industries of the State of São Paulo (Fiesp), which demands more “harmony” between the three powers of the Republic, was sent at the end of last week to representatives of associated entities. Yesterday, the document reached around 300 adhesions, as determined by Estadão. But not without causing surprises, dissatisfaction and noise among its organizers.
The negative reaction of Caixa Econômica Federal and Banco do Brasil, which decided to leave the Brazilian Federation of Banks (Febraban) if the document is published – because they saw criticisms addressed to President Jair Bolsonaro in it – surprised some of those involved, as well as the Fiesp’s decision to postpone the disclosure.
The question is whether the manifesto can be released before or after September 7, the date on which street acts are planned in several Brazilian cities, called by Bolsonaro and supporters of the president.
The text shared by Fiesp with the member entities has about three paragraphs and was sent to the associations by the entity’s president, Paulo Skaf – who was notable for his support for Bolsonaro and was even considered in the pocketbook media as an option to run for the Palace of Girl Guides next year.
The document says that harmony “has to be the rule” between the three Powers and that it is “primary” that all those occupying relevant positions in the Republic follow what the Constitution imposes. In the document, civil society organizations claim that “they see the escalation of tensions and hostilities between public authorities with great concern.”
The entities also claim that the moment demands approximation and cooperation between the Legislative, Judiciary and Executive branches and that each one acts with “responsibility within the limits of its competence”.
Febraban maintains support for manifesto
Even after Caixa and Banco do Brasil threatened to leave the Brazilian Federation of Banks (Febraban), the entity decided that it will not withdraw the signature from the manifest. The signing of the document has already been submitted and approved by Febraban’s governance after internal debates that took place last week. Reports collected by state they claim that there will be no retreat at this point and that the decision to postpone the release of the manifest was taken by Fiesp.
The decision of the bank entity to subscribe the document took into account the institutional crisis and the hostile environment of political tension that has worsened and contaminated the expectations of the market and economic agents.
To try to get around the crisis with public banks, some parts of the text are being revised again. One of them is the one that explicitly spoke of the need to create jobs, which irritated BB and Caixa. A source from a public bank says that official data show that Brazil created 1.848 million jobs in the first seven months of the year. Therefore, in the new wording, it will be made clear that jobs are being created.
The Minister of Economy, Paulo Guedes, who learned of the manifesto on Saturday, blamed Febraban for what he classified as the document’s political content. “For democracy, no problem, but that’s not what they said. They said it was against the government and not for democracy,” he said. According to the minister, Febraban itself would have changed the content of the manifesto to take a stand against the government of Jair Bolsonaro.
After Guedes’ statements, Febraban denied that it had articulated changes in the text. “Since its origins, Febraban has not participated in the drafting of a text that contains attacks on the government or opposition to the current economic policy. The content of the manifesto called for serenity, harmony and collaboration between the Powers of the Republic and warned of the effects of the institutional climate on the expectations of economic agents and on the pace of activity.” /ALTAMIRO SILVA JUNIOR, CYNTHIA DECLOEDT, TALITA NASCIMENTO and JULIANA ESTIGARRIBIA collaborated
Read the full manifest of the agribusiness entities
The undersigned associative entities make public their concern with the current challenges to political-institutional harmony and, as a consequence, to economic and social stability in our country. We are responsible for the generation of millions of jobs, strong participation in the trade balance and as a basis expressive collection of public taxes. Thus, on behalf of our sectors, we fulfill the duty of joining many other responsible voices, calling on our leaders to rise to the level of Brazil and its history, now on the verge of celebrating the bicentennial of Independence.
The 1988 Constitution defined the Democratic Rule of Law within which we chose to live and build the Brazil we dream of. More than three decades of democratic trajectory, not without setbacks or frustrations, but also full of achievements and advances that we can be proud of. More than three decades of freedom and pluralism, with alternation of power in legitimate and frequent elections.
The economic and social development of Brazil, in order to be effective and sustainable, requires peace and tranquility, indispensable conditions to continue advancing in the civilizing journey of a fraternal and solidary nationality, which recognizes the majority without ignoring minorities, which welcomes and fosters diversity, that thrives on respectful confrontation between opposing ideas, without any kind of violence between people or groups. Above all, a society that no longer tolerates the misery and inequality that shame us so much.
The broad production chains and economic sectors that we represent need stability, legal security, harmony, in short, to be able to work. In a word, it is freedom we need – to undertake, generate and share wealth, to hire and market, in Brazil and abroad. It is the Democratic Rule of Law that assures us this essential entrepreneurial freedom in a capitalist economy, which is the inverse of radical adventures, strikes and illegal strikes, of any harmful politicization or partisanship that, far from solving our problems, will certainly aggravate them.
We are one of the largest economies on the planet, one of the most important countries in the world, in any respect, and we cannot present ourselves to the community of Nations as a society permanently stressed by endless crises or at risk of setbacks and institutional ruptures. Brazil is much bigger and better than the image we have projected to the world. This is costing us dear and will take time to reverse.
The modern Brazilian agribusiness has a success story recognized around the world, as a result of the innovation and sustainability that have made us a global agro-environmental power. We are the force of progress, of progress, of indispensable stability and not of avoidable crises. We will continue to contribute to building a future of prosperity and dynamism for Brazil, as we have been doing over the past few years. Brazil can count on our serious and demonstrably fruitful work.