The antioxidant-rich açai berry grows in remote parts of the Brazilian rainforest but because it also spoils within a day of being harvested, local communities were not able to sell it in substantial quantities.
Solution and Impact
A $3.7 million loan enabled Sambazon Inc. of San Clemente, California to construct an environmentally-sustainable, organic acai-berry processing facility. The company, whose name stands for Sustainable Management of the Brazilian Amazon, has grown steadily, providing income for more 10,000 small family farmers, many who have been certified in fair trade and organic farming.
Sambazon won the 2006 Award for Corporate Excellence (the ACE award) for its work with indigenous populations in the Brazilian Amazon.