The Dutch Fund for Climate and Development (DFCD) partnered with Concepta Ingredients, a Brazilian company which processes forest fruits and vegetal ingredients collected by local communities. Concepta processes native products such as Açai, Brazil nut and Babassu as ingredients for the food industry. It is part of the Brazilian chemical company Sabará Group.
The project was put forward by the World Wide Fund for Nature Netherlands (WWF NL) which manages the DFCD’s Origination Facility to develop new projects for the investment fund together with SNV Netherlands Development Organization. WWF signed a €350,000 grant funding agreement with Concepta.
The natural ingredients that Concepta processes are so-called superfoods: a nutrient-rich food considered to be especially beneficial for health and well-being. The demand for ingredients like Açai, Cocoa and Cupuaçu butter is growing, from both the food and beverage sector and the cosmetic sector.
According to market research company IMARC Group, the global superfoods market reached a value of US$ 152.71 billion in 2021, and the market is expected to reach US$ 214.95 billion by 2027. To source these products, Concepta works together with the communities who have traditionally collected them from nature over the years. Around 2,100 families supply Concepta with products harvested from approximately 345,000 hectares of land. It sources ingredients from three Brazilian landscapes: the Amazon, the Cerrado savanna and the Caatinga semi-arid. The Atlantic Forest, one of the DFCD’s focus areas, will be added soon as a fourth landscape.
One of Concepta’s priorities is to pay a fair price to local communities and encourage stewardship as pressure on ecosystems increases. By doing so, the communities are incentivised to cherish and look after the forest which sustain their quality of life. Concepta also teams up with local communities to co-develop and adopt sustainable harvesting practices, securing an extra layer of protection against deforestation.
Deforestation is a big problem in Brazil. According to data from Brazil’s national space research institute, forest clearing in the Amazon alone through the first two months of 2022 has amounted to 430 square kilometers, more than twice the average over the past ten years. Trees are cut down for their wood but mostly to clear spaces to plant crops to supply global food companies and/or livestock production.
Scaling up sustainably
To scale up its production, Concepta is planning to build a new factory designed according to the latest sustainability requirements. The factory will partly function on solar energy and will implement circular waste and water management practices. The DFCD grant will amongst others support Concepta to conduct a technical feasibility study and market research. To eventually build the factory, Sabará is seeking an investment of €9.7 million, which it partly hopes to receive through a loan from the DFCD’s Land Use Facility.
The new factory will increase Concepta’s processing capacity, allowing it to expand the area of sustainably-managed land from which it sources its ingredients. The company estimates a growth in the number of people and communities sourcing ingredients for Concepta by at least 20% over the next six years.
- Increasing income for 2,100 smallholders
- Supporting climate-resilient food security while avoiding deforestation
- Protecting indirectly 345,000 hectares of conserved forests
- Creating climate resilient jobs for local communities, approximately 80 direct and 100 indirect jobs
Fabricio de Campos, Regional Lead WWF DFCD Latin America: “Increasing family income is key to engaging traditional communities in conservation efforts. By supporting them to harvest products from the forest in a sustainable way, nature and people both benefit.”
Ulisses Sabará, CEO Grupo Sabará: “Investing in Concepta will bring more families into the supply chain. Concepta is also capable to reach the global markets, delivering sustainable super-foods and high-quality natural ingredients to the end consumers, while sharing benefits with the people from the forest.”
“As we continue our journey towards the processing and sustainable use of natural ingredients from Brazilian forests, the DFCD-investment will strengthen us for next steps to support local communities.”
About Concepta Ingredients:
Concepta Ingredients processes products from three different Brazilian landscapes, harvested by local communities. The company develops innovative products, promoting social and economic local development and the protection of the environment along with fair trade. The products can be used in several markets: from food and beverage to animal nutrition. It is part of Grupo Sabará, a Brazilian company with more than 65 years of experience in water treatment and natural ingredients. The company has four factories and two offices across the country.
For more information, Fabricio de Campos, Regional Lead WWF DFCD Latin America at email@example.com
In case you have any grievances in relation to this project of the DFCD’s Origination Facility, please contact us through our service desk at firstname.lastname@example.org.