Research Shows Brazilians Value Sustainable Nut Production

The study was carried out to strengthen the work developed by ASSOAB

August, 2022 - Penn International Impact Consulting (PIIC), sponsored by The University of Pennsylvania, carried out a survey featuring the Brazilian nut market. Results revealed that sustainability, community development, and production in areas free from deforestation are the most valued factors by consumers who use seed-derived products.

The study was carried out to expand and strengthen the work developed by Associação dos Agropecuários de Beruri (ASSOAB) – located 200 km from Manaus. ASSOAB benefits 365 extractive families registered in the region, provides information on industry trends, conducts consumer analysis and increases future market opportunities.

The data show that 70% of those interviewed value sustainable production, 44% support local community development, and 41% are concerned with a production area free of deforestation. Factors such as price (34%), origin (29%) and organic seal (21%) appear in the sequence.

The purpose of the survey (made possible due to an agreement signed with NESsT Amazônia - Incubadora da Floresta) is to identify potential partners for the association and to lead export strategies. According to Marcelo Cwerner, portfolio manager at NESst, this was a great opportunity to bring one of the largest and most reputable business schools in the world to the region to professionalize the work of extractive workers. “The result demonstrates that the path we are following is the right one, which is to strengthen Amazonian communities, protect nature, and use natural and organic ingredients. We will now evaluate our priorities, following the objectives for the coming years”.

Marcelo highlights that the research carried out by PIIC promoted a true cultural exchange between American and extractive students. After a year of interactions at a distance, the group came from the United States to better understand the reality and challenges of ASSOAB. “The students were unanimous in telling me how much this trip changed their lives. Going there (Amazon) and seeing this reality was transformative. Experiencing the difficulty, the distance, the beauty, and the wealth was special. This exchange is one of the richest points of the entire partnership”.

"We hope our consulting work can serve to supplement and strengthen NESsT's amazing efforts as ASSOAB expands into new Brazilian nut markets. ASSOAB has a great leadership team and product, and our consulting organization is grateful to contribute our research to such a sustainable, long-term cause. — Nicholas Kuo & Shritha Mandava (Senior Consultants of PIIC)”

Demand - The growing demand for this Brazilian seed can be segmented into two main areas: consumer goods – which is the raw nut – and personal care, which uses the nut oil to develop products. These industries are growing exponentially and the European Union has become Brazil's largest importer.

The survey also shows more than 60% of respondents consider whether a product is organic or not at the time of purchase and they are willing to pay, on average, R$ 40 for Brazil nut oil.

Extractives - ASSOAB is responsible for the only Community-Based Plant in Brazil with certification from the Ministry of Agriculture for the export of nuts. The recently acquired certification required a series of adjustments to improve the seed to the standard requirement.

Currently, the association employs 62 employees and benefits 365 extractive families registered in the region. In addition to professionalizing the work, the entity helps with logistics and offers training and safety equipment for the communities.

NESsT Amazônia support - NESsT Amazônia - Incubadora da Floresta is a estrategic partnership between USAID, Plataforma Parceiros pela Amazônia (PPA), Erol, Cisco Foundation and CLUA.  They are an ASSOAB supporter and help the association improve its partners’ monitoring and tracking process, including diversifying product lines and venturing into new markets.