Research Demonstrates Brazil Nut Chain Generates R$ 2 billion Per Year

Brazil nut tree
Despite this gain extractivists’ compensation needs to improve


April, 2023 - New research shows the Brazil nut chain generates over R$ 2 billion per year. Despite this gain, social and environmental issues as well as extractivists’ compensation needs to improve. 

The Brazil Nut Observatory (OCA) conducted the study and included interviews with producers, associations, civil society, private sector and key actors in academia and the multinational market.  All parties worked to decipher the complexity of the Brazil nut value chain.

The study released in April found Brazil produces more than 33,000 tons of Brazil nuts per year, with the majority produced by agroextractivism. They are collected by Indigenous Peoples and traditional communities of the Amazon.

"The Brazil Nut: Economic and Marketing Aspects of the Value Chain" is available online for download.  It concluded the productive chain has more than 60,000 producers and receives less than 5% (around R$ 99 million) of the total generated by the chain.

The Brazil nut trees are instrumental for the conservation of the world's largest tropical forest and for the ways of life of the traditional peoples and communities that produce it. These attributes enable the Brazil nut and its producers to become symbols of a new development paradigm in which Brazil plays a leading role.

There are numerous socioenvironmental attributes that are far from having significant weight in the purchasing decision of the industrial and commercial sectors, and price is the main factor in the final decision-making process.

According to André Machado, representative of the OCA executive secretariat, the research demonstrates the complexity of the Brazil nut chain. There are several variations in its operations with various intermediaries and dispersed distribution channels. In addition, the profile, location, and maturity of community organizations are very heterogeneous, as is the demand from buyers.

"These variables make characterizing the chain a difficult task. The numbers in the study are approximations of this complexity but aim to contribute to the debate on the valuation of its different links and actors, especially the extractivist producer, who is primarily responsible for generating important environmental, social, and cultural values but is not adequately recognized or remunerated by the chain," explains Machado.

The Brazil Nut Observatory aims to develop the Brazil nut value chain and improve the living conditions of producing communities, consolidating a fair and sustainable market that benefits everyone involved and promotes forest conservation.

Partners of the OCA include Embrapa and the US Forest Service (USFS), among several other organizations. The initiative is part of the Bioeconomy and Value Chains Project, developed under the Brazil-Germany Cooperation for Sustainable Development through a partnership between Brazil’s Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Food Supply (MAPA) and the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ).

It is supported by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), and the Climate and Land Use Alliance (CLUA).

Book cover with green background and white writing "The Amazon nut"

Read the research here (in Portuguese).