Beraca was one of the winners of the 2009 SEED Awards for Entrepreneurship in Sustainable Development. The prize created by the United Nations recognizes innovative projects that are environmentally responsible and promote sustainable practices in the areas where they operate.
Beraca was selected for “The sustainable use of Amazonian seeds”, an initiative developed in the Marajo Island, in the north of Brazil, where Beraca saw an opportunity to transform the collection of andiroba seeds, a traditional practice in the region, into an alternative source of income for the island’s communities.
By providing training to residents and transference of technology, the company encouraged the creation of a cooperative called Coopemaflima. It enabled the extraction of oil from the seeds, which has an important use for the cosmetic industry, to be conducted within the community.
According to Beraca, the result was an increase in the environmental awareness and in the profit of local populations, reducing their vulnerability to possible reductions in economic activity.
Nowadays, Beraca buys 500 tons of seeds from the cooperative every year, benefiting around 1,000 islanders. Beraca also helped the community to obtain organic and environmental certifications for the raw materials collected, cooperating to an increment in the products’ added value.
“One of Beraca’s main commitments is to invest in projects that promote regional development. We are proud to represent Brazil in this major prize with a project that contributes directly to the preservation of the world’s largest tropical forest”, said André Sabará, Coordinator of Corporate Responsibility at Beraca.