The Rede Gerando Renda project (Network Generating Income), an initiative of PSWM project members and Instituto Gea, has received funding from Petrobras Ambiental to strengthen collective commercialization and networking in the region. Some of this funding has gone towards acquiring a new truck to transport materials within the groups to facilitate the selective collection for the cooperatives. The truck has improved the capacity of the cooperative members to transport more materials and network. Collective commercialization enables the cooperatives to sell their materials together and increase their income.
The purpose of this Network is to collectively sell 11 different recyclable materials directly to industries, which will result in better prices and uniform quality level for those materials. An agreement was signed that 5 percent of the sale will be retained to maintain the network and cover operational expenses (i.e. truck). A steering committee was elected to manage the collective commercialization network.
Small-scale collaborative arrangements are emerging in many different contexts in Brazil. These networks help small business gain better prices and it makes social enterprises more compatible at the market. Although the numbers are still small, the networks permit a joint commercialization of different products and it permits adding more value to some products. Furthermore the networks provide for a space to exchange knowledge and experiences, where new ideas and new demands can be addressed. The experience of the recyclers’ network is very similar to the general movement in solidarity economy. It permits the groups to gather and work collaboratively in order to overcome the difficulties found in the recycling market. It also enables the groups to build new strong social relations with other groups and enhances the formation of a larger
Collective commercialization has already allowed a significant gain for the co-ops that participate, for instance the groups used to receive R$ 0.16 for Tetrapack material and now they are receive R$ 0.30 when selling directly to the industry. Instead of selling small quantities, the network can now sell in large quantities. Furthermore, there are already buyers for others materials, which weren’t initially being sold through the network. Although the network is still in initial phase, it already commercialized 65 tons of 2 materials (cardboard and Tetrapack), from 9 co-ops and which generated R$ 27,000 (~$15,000 CDN). The expectation is to work with all 11 materials, so that the network can generate about R$ 100,000 (~$56,000 CDN).
“Although the network is still in its initial phase, it already commercialized 65 tons of 2 materials (cardboard and Tetrapack), from 9 co-ops and has generated R$ 27,000” (PSWM Management Committee).
After this initial work, the network is being re-evaluated and improvements are made to better adjust to demands and necessities.