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Harvesting Brazil's Beauty

By: Jeff Falk
Posted: December 3, 2008, from the December 2008 issue of GCI Magazine.

The weighing room at Belém’s Ver-o-Peso (“see the weight”) open air market.

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“After we stopped using chemicals, production fell, but the next year, the production was higher than before,” said Silva.

In addition, cupuassu (“big fruit”) seed marketing was incentivized, and Beraca donated a semi-industrial depulper, with a capacity for 700 kilos of pulp a day. “Pulp is sold to a factory in São Paulo, and the processed pulp is sold at snack bars,” said Silva. “The commercialized [had added revenue to the community], but biggest [revenue addition] is the organic brand.”

The women of the community involved themselves in this aspect, turning the pulp harvest into a viable product in the form of jelly, butter and a mild liquor product. “In the Amazon, the rule is that the men work and women stay home, cook and take care of the children,” said Beraca’s Sabará. “In this case, the women had this dream to sell something they made themselves, so we donated this structure.”

The relationship comes full circle when the seeds are pressed for oil by Beraca, and the “cake” (the de-oiled and crushed nuts) goes back to the community as organic fertilizer.

Read “Natura: Saving, Creating and Retailing” for exploration of Natura’s São Paulo facilities and its business model.