However the juçara berry, which grows on a palm tree of the identical title, is providing much more than antioxidants — it is serving to to revive Brazil’s devastated Atlantic Forest.
Based in 2015, Juçaí works with a community of native farmers and buys juçara berries for its merchandise, together with smoothies and sorbets, says Bruno Corrêa, the corporate’s common supervisor.
“The thought from the beginning was to construct a variety of merchandise that was not solely good high quality and nutritious, but in addition that created a constructive, virtuous circle to protect the tree,” he says.
Farming might help save the forest
That is the place Juçaí is available in. Via farming cooperatives, the corporate works with practically 900 households in Espirito Santo State, and its attain is extending south into Parana State. Farmers plant new timber, or nurture current ones, whereas Juçaí oversees logistics and supplies the gear wanted to show the berries into pulp and separate out the seeds — that are then planted.
Unlawful slicing within the forest remains to be a difficulty, however harvesting berries presents a comparable revenue and is a “clear and simple” choice for farmers, says Corrêa. The tree’s financial worth incentivizes farmers to protect it, he says, and that advantages the entire ecosystem.
“The tree is necessary not solely when it comes to forest protection and the way it protects the soil but in addition for the fauna, particularly birds,” he says, including that farmers depart a 3rd of the berries on the tree throughout every harvest, to assist wildlife.
Mixed with reforested “corridors,” agroforestry zones can present “stepping-stones” that assist wildlife like butterflies and birds transfer between fragmented sections of the remaining forest, says Cullen.
Agroforestry additionally advantages communities, says Cullen. In Sao Paulo State, the place he works, farmers develop espresso timber beneath the shade of the forest cover. In line with Cullen, biodiversity and cover protection have elevated, whereas farmers’ incomes have grown by 26%.
Bitante says the kind of sustainable farming Juçaí promotes advantages the setting and the economic system. “It’s important to strengthen the hyperlink between the upkeep of biodiversity and society, valuing the standing forest and guaranteeing the safety of this lovely biome.”
Juçaí hopes that creating a robust marketplace for the juçara berry might help construct a greater future for the farmers and, in flip, the forest.
Licensed natural and vegan, Juçaí at the moment sells its merchandise in each supermarkets and specialised well being meals shops in Brazil, Chile and Canada, and hopes to increase into different markets. “Individuals are more and more conscious of what they eat, each from a vitamin perspective as effectively from a sustainable one,” says Corrêa.
Since its launch, Juçaí has been accountable for maintaining round 31,000 juçara palm timber standing, Corrêa says. For Juçaí, preserving the Atlantic Forest and its biodiversity is what drives the enterprise.
“Juçara is the long-lasting tree of the Atlantic Forest,” he says. “The product solely exists due to that sustainability mission.”