Beraca's Relationship with Source Communities

Beraca talks about its relationship with communities it sources from.

“[Beraca’s] anthropologist goes to a community and he checks that there is a real , traditional knowledge there, and then we start the negotiation with the community,” says João Matos, Beraca’s biodiversity manager. “It’s how to pay for the knowledge. Case by case, you have to work with the community and how they want to benefit. Sometimes, it’s technology transference, organic certification, setting up work spaces…”

“We found it would be most effective to work with these communities. We call ourselves linkers between the traditional knowledge and the international industry, and we have to work within partnerships,” says Daniel Sabará, Beraca’s chief executive, health and personal care division. “When you [demonstrate to communities] a new way to increase their income, sometimes you have to gain their trust first. They don’t always want to stop what they were doing, but learning to work sustainability is something good you can do and transfer to future generations. And it’s understanding how they see our relationship. To them, it’s we buy this product from them every season. If we buy one ton one year, next year they are going to be there with two tons. That’s sustainability for them. They trust you to be back. [João and I] argue about that . I say ‘we need one ton,’ and he comes with three tons. ‘But that’s what they came with and I couldn’t say no… because the next year, we need them again, and if we say no, we can’t just start the relationship over again.’”