Piauí is part of a large national area marked by drought, having in its hinterlands regions of extreme aridity and permanent challenges. Since the late 1980s, the climate has changed due to fires and deforestation, and in some territories, even desertification has occurred. These occurrences affected rural settlements that were formerly productive and resilient to drought. Now, some communities are tied to the context of the water truck, constantly living without water.
Communities in Brazil face an increasingly challenging to resist in their lands, without resorting to deforestation. The ways to keep these communities cultural identity is the use of their ancestral languages, the revival of spiritual rituals or the making of millenary handicrafts. Brazil faces many careless indigenous peoples. Now, with the appreciation of these traditions for niche markets, new opportunities open up.
Patrick Sandre, an economist and Instituto Beraca volunteer, made a visit to COOMAC Cooperative Headquarters in Bragança, PA, at the request of Beraca Institute. The intention was to understand small vegetable oil plant and to present proposals for community tourism as an income generation and also developed products dissemination.
The visit to the Capim Branco Nucleus began with a trip through the state of Goiás, 8 (eight) hours away from Goiânia (GO), with access made both by asphalt and dirt roads that cut the region. The Capim Branco nucleus is formed by sites that house, in all, 7 (seven) families.
During July and August, Beraca Institute was present at the Coopemaflima Cooperative in Salvaterra, Pará. Collaborators Caio Zuccarelli and Marcus Pereira went in search of new partners to restructure and reorganise the association, formed by Beraca 17 years ago, with support from seed-collectors women associations from Jobim and other communities, such as Joanes, Bacabal, Salvaterra and Água Boa. Together, these associations and Beraca Institute formed the Coopemaflima Association.
Caio Zuccarelli, the CFO of Beraca Natural Ingredients, becomes the first Instituto Beraca volunteer. He works to the company since 2016, has spent a term in Colombia, and has extensive knowledge in business marketing and financial management. During a coffee break, Caio answered some questions about volunteering, collaboration, and future expectations about facing the challenge of being a volunteer:
Beraca Institute team visited some settlements on Capim Island, in the state of Pará. The islands shelter about 140 families, which are represented by the Agroextractive Settlement Association PAE Santo Antônio. The association is a formalised organisation whose primary source of income is the natural açai handled. Much of this production is familiar, where individuals take part in all stages of the chain, ranging from harvesting to storing and marketing the fruit.
Beraca Institute starts its operations in Parauapebas, state of Pará, to understand better rural cooperatives and settlements where passion fruit has the potential to be a source of income for many farmers. Over the years, local arrangements began to produce and market pulp and fruit seeds through cooperatives driven by social movements.
Beraca Institute continues strengthening new communities to the supply cupuaçu seed in Pará, in partnership with a French cosmetics company. Bela Aurora quilombola community identified as apt to initiate a process of reforestation of its territory for the production of cupuaçu seeds for the market.
A new partnership with a French company linked to environmental conservation actions has given rise to two new projects. The first one aims to investigate non-suppliers of products for cosmetic companies in Pará communities and to initiate, with suitable ones, an agroforest reforestation process for Cupuaçu production.