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Cargill Agricola port for soy export, Brazil

Cargill's port ilegally operated until its closure in 2007, as the result of the peasants' and indigenous communties' fight for the forest preservation. Still after Cargill communicated its Environmental Impact Assessment, the port reopened in 2012.


Over the last few years Brazil has become the world second largest soy exporter, after the U.S.A. “In the 2014-2015 harvest it produced 95 million tons, 60.7 million of which were exported”. At the same time it ranks as the fifth highest CO2 emitter, resulting from deforestation and fires set in order to obtain land for cultivation.

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Basic Data
Name of conflict:Cargill Agricola port for soy export, Brazil
State or province:State of Para
Location of conflict:Santarem
Accuracy of locationHIGH (Local level)
Source of Conflict
Type of conflict. 1st level:Infrastructure and Built Environment
Type of conflict. 2nd level:Intensive food production (monoculture and livestock)
Ports and airport projects
Specific commodities:Soybeans
Industrial waste
Project Details and Actors
Project details

In November 2003, Cargill built a container terminal for the access of large cargo ships loading and transporting the soybeans harvested each year.

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Level of Investment for the conflictive project20,000,000.00
Type of populationUrban
Start of the conflict:2006
Company names or state enterprises:Cargill from United States of America
Companhia Docas do Para (CDP) from Brazil
Bunge from United States of America - Built the first installations, soon joined by Cargill
EMBRAPS - Is about to construct a new port in the green area neigbhourhood Maica Lake
Relevant government actors:Federal Brazilian Environmental Agency (IBAMA), State of Pará Environmental Secretariat (SEMA), Secretary of State for Science and Technology, Ministry of Transport and Ministry of Companies, Federal Ministry of Public Prosecution (MPF)
Environmental justice organizations (and other supporters) and their websites, if available:Greenpeace, Indigenous Community of Santarem - Brazil, association of Local Residents of the Perola Neighourhood of Maicá, MST (Movimento dos Trabalhadores Rurais Sem Terra) - Brazil, PSA (Projeto Sade and Alegria) - Brazil, Verdi Federation Party - Italy
Conflict & Mobilization
IntensityMEDIUM (street protests, visible mobilization)
Reaction stageIn REACTION to the implementation (during construction or operation)
Groups mobilizing:Indigenous groups or traditional communities
International ejos
Forms of mobilization:Blockades
Community-based participative research (popular epidemiology studies, etc..)
Creation of alternative reports/knowledge
Development of a network/collective action
Involvement of national and international NGOs
Objections to the EIA
Street protest/marches
Environmental ImpactsVisible: Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, Deforestation and loss of vegetation cover, Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Global warming
Potential: Soil erosion
Health ImpactsVisible: Exposure to unknown or uncertain complex risks (radiation, etc…)
Potential: Mental problems including stress, depression and suicide
Other Health impactsThe massive use of pesticides risks the lives of local residents, especially children
Socio-economical ImpactsVisible: Displacement, Loss of livelihood, Loss of traditional knowledge/practices/cultures, Loss of landscape/sense of place, Violations of human rights
Potential: Land dispossession
Project StatusIn operation
Conflict outcome / response:Compensation
Environmental improvements, rehabilitation/restoration of area
Institutional changes
Negotiated alternative solution
Strengthening of participation
Project temporarily suspended
As a result of these protests, environmentalists and social movements obtained a two-year moratorium on the deforestation planned to ensure the cultivation of soybeans.
Proposal and development of alternatives:Demand the permanent closure of the port.
Do you consider this an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:No
Briefly explain:The IBAMA closed Cargill's port in 2007. But it reopened in 2012.
Sources & Materials
References to published books, academic articles, movies or published documentaries

'O Brasil est nu! O avano da monocultura da soja, o grao que cresceu demais', FASE, 2006
[click to view]

B. Baletti, Saving the Amazon? Sustainable soy and the new extractivism, Environment and Planning A 2014, volume 46, pages 5–25
[click to view]

Cargill - Eating up the Amazon, Greenpeace Report, May 2006
[click to view]

The impact of the Cargill soybean terminal in the Amazon town of Santarém, Dutch Soy Coalition, Case Study 2, 2008
[click to view]

Cargill's port Environmental Impact Assessment, 2010 (in Portuguese)
[click to view]

Movimiento Sem Terra
[click to view]

Greenpeace Brasil
[click to view]

Official website Cargill
[click to view]

PSA: Saude e Alegria, regional NGO
[click to view]

Criticisms of Cargill
[click to view]

Cargill’s Santarém port terminal gets operating permit, Cargill website, 06/08/2012
[click to view]

Cargill's controversial soya shipping facility in the Amazon is shut down, Greenpeace, 24/03/2007
[click to view]

Brazil’s Amazon River Ports Give Rise to Dreams and Nightmares, IPS, 11/12/2015
[click to view]

Responsible Soy in South America, The Nature Conservancy and Cargill
[click to view]

Movimento Tapajos Vivo
[click to view]

Пристанище Каргил Агрикола за износ на соя, Бразилия (Cargill Agricola port for soy export, Brazil), Friends of the Earth Russia, 14/02/2015
[click to view]

Brazil shuts down Cargill's Amazon port, 03/26/2007
[click to view]

Other comments:In 2010, Era Maggi Scheffer from Mato Grosso has plans to invest R$ 50 million ($25 million) to build a grain terminal in the port of Santarm.
Meta information
Contributor:Lucie Greyl
Last update18/08/2019
Conflict ID:448
Legal notice / Aviso legal
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