Cooperatives prepare for the inauguration of açaí agro-industry in the Amazon

Amazonbai Acai Factory

The Amazonbai community cooperative, with the support of Instituto Interelos and partners, inaugurates, in Amapá, the 1st factory in the world of FSC certified açaí.

After eight years of studies and investments in order to sustainably structure the açaí production chain in the Amazon, with a notorious potential for added value in Brazil and in the world, Amazonbai – Cooperative of Agroextractivist Producers from Bailique and Beira Amazonas, will inaugurate, on December 10th, its first fruit pulp processing plant, a milestone in its history.

Working with cooperative members since 2018, Instituto Interelos also celebrates this victory, as through the partnership it was possible to help build the cooperative's strategic and logistical planning in a systematic way so that agribusiness operations could start in 2021. 

The careful and long-term work made the cooperative members develop autonomy in all stages of production, earning the socio-environmental FSC® – Forest Stewardship Council® certifications for Forest Management (FSC-C131371), Chain of Custody (FSC-C143197) and Ecosystem Services, which prove the enormous socioenvironmental care of those involved with responsible forest management, the preservation of the Amazon biome and the sustainable development of the region. 

Even with the challenges imposed by the pandemic, 2021 was very fruitful for Amazonbai. In February, the cooperative members created a new administrative and technical board to better serve the two territories in which they operate and also redesigned the cooperative's management model. Now, with the inauguration of the factory, expectations for this harvest are high. The production capacity is two tons of açaí pulp per day and about 40 tons per month. The flow of production, at first, will be destined for points of sale located in the Southeast region, but the cooperative members want the distribution to expand to other regions and, soon, also abroad. The last regulation that was needed was recently acquired, after inspection by the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Supply (MAPA).

Photo by Renata Barros

For everything to go as planned, it is necessary to continue monitoring operations closely. Renata Barros, a consultant for Interelos, reports that the involvement of different professionals contributes to making the chain's operations more assertive, ensuring that the harvest logistics and the industrial operation work as expected. She also adds that almost all of the factory's employees come from Amazonbai's cooperative base, people trained and qualified in the food technologist course offered in the territories. 

There are many heads thinking about efficient solutions. “There is still a lot of work to be done, but this day will be marked in the history of these families and these producers. Working together is always a victory for everyone and for everyone,” says Renata, who will continue in the region watching the first months of the factory’s operation, which promises to be a big step in the emancipation of these communities and contribute to the expansion of correct socio-environmental production of açaí, this Brazilian delicacy that conquered the world.

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