Follow us twitter facebook
Edition: Global
Click here to subscribe toour free weekly newsletter click here
Environment

Murumuru seeds: A cosmetic ingredient that helps preserve the Amazonian rain forest

Murumuru seeds, which are gathered at various spots in Brazil’s Amazonian rainforest, are used in hair care products and lipsticks by beauty companies such as L’Oréal and the Brazilian beauty giant Natura. This activity helps local communities to increase their income while giving more value to the rainforest’s products, thus contrinuting to its protection. Report.

Alexandre Silva collects murumuru seeds in the Amazonian rainforest. © AFP Photo / Nelson Almeida

Alexandre Silva collects murumuru seeds in the Amazonian rainforest. © AFP Photo / Nelson Almeida

In the heart of the Amazon jungle, Alexandre Amaral da Silva stoops and picks handfuls of light brown seeds about an inch long from the tropical undergrowth. The murumuru seeds grow on palm trees up to 15 meters (50 feet) high. The seeds will put precious cash in the pockets of people like Alexandre, while providing a prized ingredient for cosmetics companies that used their byproducts in haircare and makeup products.

The seed-gathering outpost of Providencia was founded 20 years ago in one of the remotest parts of Brazil. A few wooden huts in the middle of the jungle, it lies a three-hour boat ride up the Jurua river from the town of Carauari (25,000 inhabitants), some 700 kilometers (435 miles) from Manaus, the capital of Amazona (North). Crowds of children flock to the sandy shore to meet arriving boats.

Alexandre waits until the seeds ripen and fall to the ground to harvest them. Then his wife Maria Terezinha gets to work, crushing them one by one with a hammer, removing the shells and keeping the hearts in a sack.

The gatherers sell the seeds to a local cooperative. At a factory in the jungle, the cooperative processes them into the palm oil prized by beauty companies because it melts into damaged hair to repair it and make it silky.

Precious hair oil

For fifteen years, the families who live on the banks of the Jurua river have improved their income with the sale of the murumuru seeds. A family like theirs can make the equivalent of up to US $460 a year to boost the income they gain from gathering other products. Official statistics show average per capita income is about BRL 2,200 US (about US $660 at the current exchange rate) a year in Carauari.

Brazilian beauty giant Natura, one of the main users of murumuru seeds, currently works with some 400 families in the Medio Jurua reserve, where little more than half the people know how to read and write, according to research by Natura. The company provides training and investment for processing murumuru and other seed oil products such as andiroba and ucuuba.

Without big businesses, “there are many production chains in the Amazon that would disappear”, says Carlos Koury, director of the Amazon Conservation and Sustainable Development Institute, a non-government organization. The murumuru gatherers are part of “a traditional production chain that would struggle to survive without a powerful ally such as Natura.

The region was once a major rubber producer but that industry declined and locals turned mostly to gathering cassava and fishing.

The support that cosmetics companies provides to Amazonian communities helps them to get additional income sources from the rainforest products and contributes greatly to encourage forest preservation. A hot issue at present times.

V.G. with AFP/Relaxnews

© 2015 - Premium Beauty News - www.premiumbeautynews.com
latest news
Focus

MakeUp in NewYork will spot latest Asian beauty trends

Florence Bernardin, general Manager of Information & Inspiration, Asian cosmetics markets specialist will highlight latest Asian make-up and beauty trends at the very next edition of Makeup in NewYork to be held on September 12 and 13, 2018. Through trends and products, Florence will show how innovation is dynamic from this part (...)

read more
job opportunities
Experts’ views
Full-Service: mini promotional packs are getting bigger

Candice Jacoud
Full-Service: mini promotional packs are getting bigger

There is a revolution going on in sampling and promotional & travel-size pack solutions. The current challenge is to meet brands’ clearly identified expectations as regards differentiation, ROI measurement of campaigns, and digitalization. Mini-sizes are such growth drivers that Aptar Beauty + Home is taking action with a (...)

read more
Webinars
E-shop - latest publications
Handbook. Cosmetics laws & regulations in the USA
100.00 € excl. tax
Regulations on the registration of cosmetic products in China (part2)
95.00 € excl. tax
Safety of perfumes and cosmetics. Belarus, Kazakhstan and Russia
200.00 € excl. tax
Go to top ↑

Features

We use cookies to give you a better browsing experience. By continuing your visit to this site, you accept the use of cookies. Read more and set cookies
close