New açaí factory receives long-awaited installation license in Amapá

After months of waiting and a lot of joint work, the cooperative amazonbai received the long-awaited Installation License for the construction of its new açaí factory. O Interelos Institute helped ensure that this document, essential for the start of any project, was issued after rigorous analysis by the environmental agency, demonstrating the viability of the project.

With this new factory, the Amazonbai cooperative aims to expand its production capacity to meet the growing market demand for sustainable açaí. With easy access via paved road and three-phase energy, the new plant promises a production of 1400 tons of açaí pulp per year. In addition, there will be expansion of operations for the production of freeze-dried açaí (powder) and ice cream, diversifying the Cooperative's product offerings on the market.

The leadership of Renata Barros, Interelos consultant and agricultural and environmental engineer, was fundamental in this process, from project management to the withdrawal of the environmental license. Renata highlights the differences of this new factory:

One of the most important aspects of this venture is community engagement and the promotion of the autonomy of the cooperative, which will assume full control of the production process in a few years.

Renata Barros

With operations expected to begin in the next harvest, it is estimated that the new factory will generate approximately 25 direct jobs, representing a significant boost to the local economy and providing a stable source of income for extractive producers in the region. Furthermore, the Cooperative has in its Statute the obligation to allocate a percentage of profits to family schools in the communities where it operates, promoting local education and encouraging sustainable açaí management practices. 

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Renata Barros, who has collaborated with Amazonbai since 2018, has witnessed the cooperative's evolution over time, highlighting that: “we are witnessing a transformation before our eyes. The Amazonbai that will take over this factory is substantially different from that of 2018; Not only the technical and management staff but also the members have progressed in their understanding of what it means to be a cooperative. Their perspective changed when they realized that the açaí they grow brings direct benefits to everyone at the end of the year, as opposed to simply selling it to middlemen who buy açaí for other factories. This not only protects members from market volatility, but also strengthens their independence from middlemen.”

For the entire state of Amapá, the new factory represents an opportunity for economic development in line with the Ministry of Finance's Ecological Transformation Plan. With the arrival of this new venture, a significant transformation is expected in the reality of extractive communities, strengthening the managed açaí production chain and consolidating the commitments made by Brazil in the last COP 26 (United Nations Climate Change Conference) in Glasgow, Scotland, which include reducing carbon emissions by 50% by 2030.

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