In 2013, the Brazilian Northeast was suffering the most serious drought of the last 60 years. Beraca found, in Curimatá, in the South of the state of Piauí, the chance of supporting the development of citizenship, and in a nearby area, the opportunity of working with the buriti as an ingredient. The city is in a Caatinga area, with 10 thousand habitants, a lot of poverty and no agricultural production.
To implement these ideas, Beraca was supported by a North American cosmetics multinational company that invested US$ 60 thousand in two years, building four artesian wells around the local school. With the Lamb Watchers Foundation and the Núcleo Cristão Cidadania e Vida, that was the beginning of the Pace Project (Piauí – Água, Cidadania e Ensino – “Water, Citizenship and Education”). Besides providing potable water to the local community, the project promoted the renovation of the school and started a project for income creation.
The chosen model was the permaculture system of organic agriculture, to produce food in mandala gardens, raise fish and poultry. The mandala gardening technique uses concentric circles around a small water tank that irrigates the culture of vegetables such as pumpkins, corn, cress and other vegetables that are relevant for the local businesses.
The implementation of the Pace project is a sign of Sabará Group’s style, engaging partners and several actors of its production chain aground a business that benefits everyone involved, having sustainability as a transversal value.
The Group has been investing in the improvement of its production chain in order to make it circular using the cradle-to-cradle concept. This concept is often used in recycling processes, when the residues, instead of being the end of the chain, are the beginning of a new cycle, and have been the inspiration of the solutions in sustainability that are being developed by the Group. Our raw materials are produced by the communities and distributed to the industry in several countries. We encourage our customers to conduct projects of returns to the forest and to the community. Thus, the Group promotes the return to the base of the productive chain, progressively empowering those communities and creating a cycle of benefits.
HOW IT WORK
The return to the base of the productive chain makes it circular
Agricultural and extractive workers in the Amazon region, in Northeast and Southeast of the country. The families are benefited with the jobs and income created by the sustainable practices, while the forest areas are conserved through the influence of the company’s operations.
From the ingredients extracted by the communities, oils and other elements are refined for Beraca and Concepta. This step is conducted in the Group’s units and in the communities, increasing the added value of the product that they supply.
At the Group’s units, there are researches related to biodiversity and projects that develop new products using natural raw materials.
With a solid logistic structure, the products reach customers in Brazil and in other countries.
These materials are used by manufacturers of cosmetics, food and pet care products. Thanks to the traceability of the entire supply chain, these customers may add value to their products in exclusive lines based on Brazilian biodiversity raw ingredients.
The Group supports and promotes agreements with its customers and development agencies to the joint promotion of projects in the supplier communities, ensuring the return to the base of the productive chain.
In 2015, Beraca launched the global communication campaign called We Bridge, that illustrates the activities comprised by the company’s businesses, demonstrating how the network connections are able to benefit everyone in a positive way, resulting in a welfare market with high-quality, high added value final products. The goal is to show that the Group is able to, through the Sociobiodiversity Enhancement Program®, act like a bridge among more than a hundred agro-extractive communities spread throughout Brazil and the major cosmetic manufacturers of the world, connecting the Brazilian biodiversity to thousands of customers in a network of transparency, traceability and innovation.
In the triennium, the Group invested an average of 2.6% of its revenue every year in innovation and technology to study the behavior of its audience, to develop efficacy tests and new assets.
Through a partnership with two high-end universities, one in Brazil and the other in the United States, the Group has been conducting field studies in communities with different biomes. The objective is to measure the impacts caused by the Group with its investments and the support of a sustainable activity instead of activities with negative impacts. Different productive chains were investigated, of oil seeds such as andiroba, buriti, murumuru, pracaxi, tucumã and ucuúba, obtained by extractive processes. Those are Non Timber Forest Products (NTFPs), used as raw materials in the cosmetics industry.
The academic survey also investigated the impact of the extractive activity on income generation, local development and local environmental impacts caused by market incentives, as well as the synergies that occur among the different income generation activities (agriculture and extractive activities). The hypothesis of this study is that it is possible to go beyond the trade-off between the welfare benefits and environmental preservation, contributing to the rational use of common-pool resources (CPR). Four field studies were performed in 2014 (January, March, July and December) in three different cities in the state of Pará, and one in the state of Piauí. Quantitative and qualitative data was collected through semi-structured questionnaires answered by the local communities.
The study concluded that for every R$ 1.6 invested in the collection of seeds in a community in the north of Breves (PA), there is the reduction of R$ 4.5 in sawmill activities. The study also showed that the market incentive for the use of Brazilian biodiversity materials and for seed collection is very efficient in the reduction of the service provision of illegal sawmills. By this logic, the Program makes the fruits more valuable than wood extraction. The conservation of ecosystems is a positive externality, since there is less erosion, desertification, fauna migration, temperature elevation and other benefits that have an impact in the quality and availability of the water, after keeping its environment protected. [G4-EN13]
The Group also invests in the development of products from the supercritical fluid. This is a process of extraction of the active ingredients, in which the carbon dioxide is dissolved and used as a solvent. This new technology is becoming an alternative for the traditional techniques of natural products extraction. It provides high-quality results and does not cause environmental harm. Its application in biodiversity will create new products and materials. The company will continue to make progress with the impact studies in the following years.