Cerradinho originated in the city of Catanduva, in the Northwestern region of São Paulo state, when in 1969, business owner José Fernandes bought a sugar and ethanol factory. That was when Usina Cerradinho Açucar e Álcohol SA was born.
The name referenced the village settled in the second half of the 19th century on the banks of São Domingos stream, where São Domingos do Cerradinho Farm was. The location was later called Vila Adolfo, and later still, Catanduva, a name formed by the Tupi words of ka‘a(forest), atã (hard) and tyba (assemblage). And assemblage of hard forest is a good description of the area‘s vegetation: cerrado.
Two years after the acquisition, José Fernandes installed his first distillery, responding to official stimulus to produce alternative fuel, the Proálcool program, which arose during the first international crude oil crisis. Starting in 1987, business administration began to be shared by siblings Luciano Sanches Fernandes, in the financial and agricultural department, Silmara Sanches Fernandes, in the social, and Andréa Sanches Fernandes, in the industrial.
Verticalization of the company in the sucro-energetic sector was accentuated starting at this time, with an expansion of their industrial complex and investment in new technology and in energy cogeneration, insofar as its socio-environmental commitment grew as well.
In more recent years, even before the new challenges that arose with the evolution of the internal market and alterations in the external market in the post-international financial crisis period, Cerradinho has maintained its advancements towards the production of alternative, renewable and cleaner energy than fossil fuels.
Start of Cerradinho activities, in Catanduva (São Paulo).
Expansion of the unit with an increase in productive capacity (Proálcool).
Start of the project Criança Doce Energia.
Start of crystal sugar packaging.
Start of yeast production for animal use.
On its 30th anniversary, Cerradinho releases its first social and environmental balance sheet.
Launch of refined sugar and inauguration of the refinery.
Inauguration of the second production plant, the Cerradinho Potirendaba Unit (São Paulo).
Expansion of the energy cogeneration unit, in Catanduva (São Paulo).
UN (United Nations) approval of the Catanduva plant for earning carbon credits, through Clean Development Mechanisms, cited in the Kyoto Protocol.
Change in the investment plans, in reaction to the impact of the international financial crisis on national and global business.
Companies restructured and adoption of corporate governance policies. Social and environmental commitments are reaffirmed.
Inauguration of the third unit, the Porto das Águas Plant, the first outside of São Paulo state, located in Chapadão do Ceú (Goiás). It has a processing capacity of 4 million tons of sugarcane per year. Currently CerradinhoBio.
Planning and initiation of an intensive change agenda, including renegotiation of debts, capital structure adaptations, complete restructuring of assets and ownership, as well as the introduction of a new corporate governance and management model, as an effective response to the international crisis that severely impacted the sector and company.
Start of energy cogeneration at the Potirendaba unit (São Paulo).
Inauguration of the Rail Transshipment Terminal, in Chapadão do Sul (Mato Grosso do Sul), for the shipment of ethanol to Paulína, the country‘s largest fuel distribution hub. The carrying capacity is up to 1 billion liters of fuel/year or 3,200 m3/day.
Completion of the first phase of the change agenda initiated in 2009, marked by the strategic sale of production units in São Paulo.
Pioneering experience in ethanol production using sweet sorghum, milling 1,850 hectares, the largest individual production area in the country, located in Chapadão do Ceú (Goiás).
Start of energy exportation, by means of a Thermoelectric Generation Center (Porto das Aguás Unit).
Establishment of CerradinhoPar, CerradinhoTerra and CerradinhoBio, reformulation of the corporate identity and creation of a new logo.
Inauguration the first Eco-efficient Internal Supply Station in the country, at CerradinhoBio.
Start of mass scale food production (soybeans and maize), in the areas for sugarcane crop rotation.