Guaraná tracing tool benefits family farmers and communities in the Amazon

Project is part of the Guaraná de Maués Alliance (AGM), a partnership between USAID/Brazil, CIAT, AMBEV and IDESAM to enhance the guaraná production chain and expand its sustainability 

Protecting and adding value to the guaraná production chain in the Amazon, family farmers in the municipality of Maués (AM) have combined traditional techniques with new technology. The process improved sustainable practices, while preserving biodiversity in the region. 

Through the work of the Guaraná de Maués Alliance (AGM), producers are now selling the first harvest that has introduced traceability mechanisms, an important tool to increase interaction with consumers in urban centers and other countries. 

The AGM results from a partnership between USAID/Brazil, CIAT and AMBEV, with IDESAM. It aims to promote sustainability in the guaraná production segment, and its role in land use planning, involving associations and local communities, in addition to government officials. 

Guaraná tracing started as a pilot involving 46 family farmers linked to the Rio Urupati Community and Agricultural Association (ASCAMPA). The initiative allowed them to adopt a standardized system. For the 2019 harvest, the tool included all suppliers, cooperatives, and buyers. There are 990 guaraná producers in Maués, and seven associations are part of the project.

In order to set up the traceability process, a unique code list was created for Maués farmers. Each of them has a number, which enables anyone to check the origin of each batch, obtain information about the year of harvest, the site, and the name of the producer. AMBEV, the main buyer, uses specific receipt and commercial transaction templates to control the entry and identification of raw material.

“The key outcome of this whole process is the empowerment of producers. That is what we aim for. We have been working on a number of initiatives to ensure that people can earn more, and have more visibility and sustainable”, summarizes Miriam Figueiredo da Frota, Agronomic Manager at AMBEV.

A tracing app will also soon be available. “First, there will be an implementation stage, supported by an educational process until it reaches the hands of all producers. The idea is to improve their farm management, and all stages of the value chain”, explains Ramom Morato, Sustainable Rural Production Coordinator at IDESAM. 

In the 2019 harvest (marketed this year), the AGM, which is also part of the Partnership Platform for the Amazon (PPA), supported the direct sale to AMBEV of about 63 tons of guaraná harvested in Maués. In the previous year, during the development of the pilot project, 15 tons were sold. The company has sustainability goals set for as far as 2025, which include, for example, the purchase of 100% of guaraná directly from family farmers.

Guarantees – Maués has already obtained a Geographical Indication Seal for its guaraná, attesting to its origin. According to Morato, once traceability has been implemented, it would be easier for researchers to collect data from the value chain, and farmers would also benefit, as they could seek new markets and certifications, such as an organic label. 

Having been the first to obtain organic certification in the whole municipality, back in 2018, Luca D'Ambros stressed the quality of local guaraná and the need to maintain sustainability. "The difference in value here is not simply a matter of price.” 

In Maués, a bundle of guaraná vines sells for about R$ 24 per kilo. A report by CONAB (National Food Supply Office) points out that, thanks to the quality of its guaraná, Amazonas earned R$ 13.97 million in 2018, that is, 50.5% of the real gross value for the sector in the whole country that year. The state of Amazonas only accounted for 28% of national production; Bahia, which concentrated 60% of the production, made less money – R$ 11.48 million, or 41.5% of the real gross value.

More information about other AGM initiatives here: