Meaningful Investment: Cooperatives Want to Promote Socioenvironmental Business

Investment round seeks funding to strengthen family and extractive production

May, 2023 – This latest SITAWI – Finance for Good Investment Round, focused on the Amazon and contributed to biodiversity conservation in the largest tropical forest in the world. SITAWI promotes businesses with a positive socioenvironmental impact in the region, while providing good returns on investment. 

It features two businesses that promote the economy of standing forests and the development of local communities: Sementes do Marajó and CCampo Alimentos, two cooperatives from the state of Pará.

Together, they will probably attract up to R$610,000 in investments to promote business growth, with a return of 14 percent per month for investors. SITAWI held another 11 investment rounds, mobilizing R$27.5 million to support 60 organizations and included 700 investors. 

This 12th round relies on their strategic partnership with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the Partnership Platform for the Amazon (PPA), the Vale Fund, and CLUA. More information on each of the projects is available here (in Portuguese). 

“Through Crowdlending and other similar projects, the PPA aims to invest directly in socioenvironmental impact businesses operating in the Amazon and contribute to strengthening the guardians of the forest. SITAWI's program provides the additional benefit of bringing these businesses closer to people who are aware of their consumption pattern and are committed to valuing sociobiodiversity products," says Juliana Simionato, PPA project manager. “For the PPA, this is a way of ensuring we can tap into the Amazon's rich biodiversity and provide quality of life for those who live there,” she adds.

Beneficiaries - The Sementes do Marajó cooperative has 125 members. It brings together extractive workers that collect açaí in the municipality of Curralinho. 

The goal is to raise R$450,000 to purchase açaí directly from cooperative members in the 2023 harvest and to open yet another market this year, in addition to the two existing ones. The cooperative hopes to sell food at affordable prices to the remotest communities in the region. Its work helps to provide additional income to local extractive groups and increase the revenue of cooperative members by 10 percent. 

In order to diversify their business producers have started planting bananas. 

CCampo Alimentos was founded in 2009, in the western region of the state of Pará. It stands out for its strong family farmers involvement, in addition to the coordinated distribution of its regional and organic products, such as fruit pulp and cassava flour. 

More than 506 hectares are sustainably managed, generating income for 476 families of rural farmers. They installed their own solar power system, which will meet the electricity demand for their fruit pulp processing plant.

They are located in Pará's agricultural frontier region, home to some of the largest deforested areas in Brazil. CCampo teaches local producers how to look after their land and produce without cutting down the forest. CCampo is seeking to raise R$ 160,000 to buy produce directly from cooperative farmers and enhance their production capacity. 

Business Selection - Before launching an investment round, SITAWI holds a number of impact business calls, where they select formally registered businesses that generate proven positive socioenvironmental impact, in accordance with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

After selecting the businesses, the SITAWI team performs a criterion-based analysis, and conducts technical visits throughout the entire process to validate the information collected. “We carry out an in-depth analysis of the deals before raising funds through the PPA. At this stage, we consider four main pillars, which are impact, finance, business model, and ethics. We evaluate the organization's performance based on our priority lines, and ensure safer investments,” explains Ana Beatriz Villela, Impact Investment coordinator at SITAWI.

More information on the PPA website