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Corporate Responsibility



Partnerships for a better world

By our Editorial Team - 22/11/2017

An interview with Andrew Badrot, Founder and CEO of C2 PHARMA about the company’s Partnerships for a Better World programme, and how the company is harvesting botanical extracts in Brazil in a sustainable way.
 
C2 PHARMA, formerly Centroflora CMS, is the key sponsor of the ‘Partnerships for a Better World’, a program that supports thousands of disadvantaged Brazilian families involved in the wild harvesting of native plants used for the manufacturing of active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs).

Created in 2003, Partnerships for a Better World is designed to positively impact all aspects of the supply chain pertaining to the harvest of native plants from the Amazon and other Brazilian biomes. It is a demonstration that economics and environmental stewardship can go hand-in-hand when all parties are willing to contribute.
 

C2 PHARMA obtains many natural ingredients and APIs from the Brazilian flora – a fragile ecosystem that, like any other, requires careful management. In previous decades, companies exploited it, killing many of the native plants from which these APIs are obtained. We spoke to Andrew Badrot, Founder and CEO at C2 PHARMA about the project, and how the company has started to harvest phyto-APIs in Brazil in a sustainable way, bringing life back to a region that had been suffering from industrial exploitation.

What sort of plants are used as a source for your ingredients?
Andrew: The program currently offers a certified supply chain for Jaborandi (pilocarpine), Passiflora incarnata, Fava D’anta (quercetin), Guaraná and Mate-Herb.
In the case of pilocarpine (used in the treatment of glaucoma and dry mouth disease), the source is the Jaborandi plant, native to Brazil. This plant is difficult to cultivate and, to obtain high content of active Ingredients, it must be harvested in the wild. We created a specific sub-program called ‘The Jaborandi Valorization Program’, which pioneered the wild harvesting of JaboraC2 Phama Sustainability.jpgndi, and is now being extended to other species.
 
What was the problem with the way these plants were harvested in the past?
Andrew: In the past, illegal shrubs picking of Jaborandi was widespread. Pickers shortened the branches of the Jaborandi tree to the point where the species was threatened with extinction. Dealers exploited the pickers by paying little; the small payments covered only the pickers’ needs for food during the harvest season, but not beyond.
 
How have you addressed this problem?
Andrew: The Partnerships for a Better World program focused on removing the dealers and established a direct connection with the pickers. This led to a 5-10 fold increase in pickers’ compensation. The program also trained pickers to harvest sustainably, following Good Harvesting Practices.

Forest management techniques and research on Jaborandi led to the establishment of harvest guidelines:
  • Branch tops should only be harvested after the first fruit has ripened and only from a height above 50 cm
  • Pickers should use cutters, provided for free by the program, to ensure propagation from seeds, preservation of the shrub, regeneration and future harvests
  • Pickers also replant with seedlings.
The Program was recognised by the Brazilian government, and various international organizations, for its positive impact on the conservation of biodiversity and income generation in poor communities.
 
What sort of impact has this had on the price and quality of the products your company distributes?
Andrew: The program brings benefits to all stake holders. For pharmaceutical customers, the main benefit is access to raw materials with better quality and full traceability, while supporting indirectly socio-environmental developments and biodiversity preservation in Brazil. By following Good Harvesting Practices, the content of phytochemical markers in the leaves has improved significantly. Any cost impact is compensated by better quality raw materials.

How does it affect your supply chain?
Andrew: Through the financial support and the purchase agreements, C2 PHARMA has reached a certain level of guarantee of supply, which allows us to plan and meet our customers’ demands. This is a game changer when it comes to a phytochemical API, where a lot of factors may influence harvest outcome.
 
How can this type of stewardship be extended to other parts of the world?
Andrew: Many pharmaceutical companies realise the benefits of accessing raw materials in a sustainable and fully traceable supply chain, free from toxic residues, pesticides and genetic manipulation. As demands constantly increase, we are working to integrate new species and new rural partners to the program.
Over the next few years, we seek to expand the scope by:
  • Covering new plant species
  • Attracting new customers to support socio-environmental projects aimed at community development and biodiversity conservation
  • Expanding the number of pickers involved in the program inside, and possibly outside, Brazil.
Interview with:
Andrew Badrot, Founder and CEO of C2 PHARMA, 270, Rue de Neudorf, L-2222, Luxembourg, Grand Duchy of Luxembourg
T: +352 28 26 11 00; E: info@c2pharma.com