Partnership Platform for the Amazon Acceleration Program discloses selected businesses for the 2020 group

Selected from 201 applicants, 15 initiatives will participate in the Program in 2020 and are already competing for investments of up to BRL 800 thousand during a business round in December this year.

Academia Amazônia Ensina, Cacauway, Coex Carajás, CODAEMJ, Instituto Ouro Verde, ManejeBem, Na Floresta, NavegAM, Nossa Fruits, Oka, ONF Brasil, Prátika Engenharia, Serras Guerreiras de Tapuruquara, Taberna da Amazônia and Tucum, are the selected impact businesses to participate in the Partnership Platform for the Amazon Acceleration Program in 2020.

Of the 15 selected, six are located in the state of Amazonas, four in Pará, two in Mato Grosso, two in Rio de Janeiro and one in Santa Catarina. For the first time, the Call for Businesses opened the possibility of registration for companies based in other regions of the country, as long as they are willing to open an address in the North region within six months after the beginning of the Program.

The initiatives connect with 14 of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for the 2030 Agenda. The selected businesses bring solutions in agriculture and sustainable livestock, forest management and production, environmental products and services, education for environmental conservation, mitigation and adaptation to climate change, among others.

“In addition to the increase in the number of registered businesses, the diversity and quality of the business drew attention in this second edition of the PPA Call for Businesses. The 201 applicants came from 15 Brazilian states, which shows how impact entrepreneurs have their eyes on the Amazon at this moment. Most of the registrants are still concentrated in the states of Pará and Amazonas, but we had proposals coming from all five macro-regions of the country”, says Mariano Cenamo, Director of New Businesses at the Institute for the Conservation and Sustainable Development of the Amazon (Idesam) and PPA Executive Coordinator.

For Cenamo, the quantity, diversity and quality of the registered businesses are factors that demonstrate that the PPA Acceleration Program, still in its second edition, already stands out as a reference in the region. “It was difficult to decide on the 15 finalists, but we are sure that innovative solutions will emerge for the most urgent socioenvironmental problems in the Amazon. Many quality and potential businesses were registered, demonstrating the great interest in participating in the Program. I believe that our major uniqueness is to be a program from the Amazon for the Amazon, i.e., customized according to the local needs and co-created with an extensive network of partners and with the first accelerated group in 2019.”

The connection created between the participating entrepreneurs is one of the highlights of the initiative. In addition to perceiving themselves as part of a network, they exchange experiences and test business possibilities among themselves, enhancing the Amazonian culture and assets of its socio-biodiversity. The expectation is that this group will join the new group that starts the Program in 2020, and that this network will grow and strengthen each year.

“We believe in strengthening the economy of the Amazon region by supporting businesses with impactful solutions and guided by sustainability. The PPA Acceleration Program is an excellent opportunity to strengthen innovative initiatives, which generate income and value biodiversity. These are businesses with inclusive and fair practices, which preserve the environment and increase the economic development of the entire region,” says Márcia Côrtes, sustainability manager at the Instituto Humanize.

In addition to being part of the Acceleration Program in 2020, the selected businesses will participate in a business round with investors in December of this year, seeking financial contributions for specific demands of their initiatives, with the possibility of obtaining up to BRL 800 thousand per business.

“The Acceleration Program is an important model for the Amazon, because it is preparing entrepreneurs and social businesses to have sustainable growth and, at the same time, produce results involving communities and preserving the forest. If we want models that replace an illegal or unsustainable economy, we need to support businesses, startups, ideas that go in that direction. And this program is doing that,” says Ted Gehr, director of USAID Brazil, PPA’s strategic partner. 

The PPA Call for Businesses 2019 was carried out by the Partnership Platform for the Amazon, coordinated by Idesam, strategic partnership and financial support from USAID, CIAT, Instituto Humanize and Fundo Vale. It had the partnership of Pipe Social, Center for Entrepreneurship in the Amazon, Centro de Vida Institute (ICV), CERTI Foundation, Rede Amazônica Foundation, FIIMP, Sitawi, ICE, NESsT and Conexsus and support from the following companies and organizations: Natura, Instituto Peabiru, Amazon Conservation Team (Ecam) Bemol, DD&L, Whirpool Cervejaria Ambev, Beraca, Agropalma, Abrapalma, Althelia and Grupo Rede Amazônica. 

Learn about the businesses selected 

Academia Amazônia Ensina (Manaus, AM)

Created in September 2018 with the idea of founder João Tezza to prepare undergraduate and graduate students for new skills of the future, Academia Amazônia has the Amazon rainforest as its background and main focus. It offers courses, with an average of 15 students per class, to disseminate and discuss sustainability, technology, environmental conservation and economic development, with expeditions to the forest, in which students participate in sensory experiences and commit to developing projects for sustainable development in the region. The main audience is at universities, training centers and entrepreneurs at different levels. 

> Cacauway (Medicilândia, PA)

Cacauway is an initiative of the Transamazônica Agroindustrial Cooperative (COOPATRANS), formed by a group of cocoa producers from Medicilândia, breaking the paradigm of being suppliers of raw material (among the industries in the region, it is the only one led by a cooperative). Its mission is to produce, industrialize and commercialize cocoa and chocolate with high quality standards, adding value and sustainability to the production chain, providing greater income generation to cooperative members. It already offers more than 40 products in its stores, including chocolate bars, truffles, cocoa powder, nibs, cocoa beans, jams etc. According to the entrepreneurs, the uniqueness of their products is the reduced use of butters or additives in the composition of chocolate, in addition to the implementation/monitoring of the production, harvest and post-harvest of cocoa that generates beans with superior quality.

CODAEMJ (Carauari, AM)

The Middle Juruá Agroextractive and Energy Development Cooperative (CODAEMJ) was founded in 2003 and aims at the commercialization and agroextractive production of the Middle Juruá [River], ensuring income generation for community members through sustainable practices and contributing to the strengthening of region. The cooperative produces, sells and delivers oils from andiroba, murumuru and ucuuba seeds to the cosmetics industry. It already reaches 64 rural communities in Carauari, involving more than two thousand people and 370 families, with women composing 70% of the cooperative members. Indirectly, in partnership with other institutions, it works with 645 families and more than four thousand people. CODAEMJ also has a partnership with the women/mothers’ association of the middle Juruá to support the activities of 7 institutions in the middle Juruá that work in the community, developing derivative products for cosmetic and cleaning use.

COEX Carajás (Parauapebas, PA)

The Cooperative of Extractive Workers of Flona de Carajás (COEX Carajás) was created in 2011 under the name Cooperativa Jaborandi, becoming COEX Carajás in 2011. It operates in the Carajás National Forest. It has 39 cooperative members and its mission is to generate income through the sustainable extraction of jaborandi leaves, raw material for the formulation of pharmaceutical products, and the commercialization of seeds of other species, an activity that has already helped in the recovery of more than a thousand hectares of forest.

>  ManejeBem (Florianópolis, SC)

Founded in 2016, ManejeBem is a company that offers intelligence and solutions for the development of agriculture through a platform (app) for data collection and assessments, aiming to optimize technical resources and improve productivity in a sustainable manner. Provides support in the process of certifications, management techniques, scale of production and use of sustainable techniques. Currently, ManejeBem runs a pilot in the state of Maranhão, with 75 family farmers, and intends to expand and consolidate its operations in the Amazon. It also has a website with more than five thousand registered people, having performed more than 20 thousand hours of remote technical assistance. Provides services for European and American agricultural data sharing and analysis platforms.

>  Na Floresta Alimentos Amazônicos (Manaus, AM)

A company created in 2003, its main product is Chocolate Na’kau, produced since 2017 with Amazonian cocoa purchased from agroextractive riverine communities. It was born from the concern to conserve the Amazon rainforest through the supply of ethical and healthy food, including the Amazonian peoples. Today it works with eight families of cocoa producers and another 24 indirectly impacted. The producers are located on the Madeira and Amazonas rivers – one is a conservation unit and, the other, an agrarian reform settlement – in the municipalities of Manicoré, Nova Olinda, Novo Aripuanã and Borba.

>  NavegAM (Manaus, AM)

Technology startup founded in 2018, promotes ticket sales and online river cargo transportation and road and river logistic tracking service in the Amazon. Its online platform also allows the management of services and financial operations of local transporters/customers, data and logistical information as varied as the number of people, prices, sales by agency, etc. Currently, NavegAM consists of an internal module for vessels, managing ticket sales information, and an application to sell these tickets, both on the vessel itself and at the agencies that offer these tickets. The company’s proposal is to reduce costs and democratize the transport of passengers and cargo in the Amazon, thus enabling strategic value chains for forest conservation.

>  Nossa Fruits (Curralinho, PA)

Founded five years ago and located in Paris, France, it focuses on the challenges faced by the açai production chain in the Amazon. It sells Brazilian açai in Europe, being the leader in that market. Currently, it finds it difficult to develop and structure its supply chain to guarantee 100% of the raw material of organic origin and produced by communities in a sustainable manner and with fair trade relations. In this way, the company intends to build a processing plant to intensify good relations with producing communities, and thus more closely control the origin of its products. The factory project involves partnerships with a local cooperative – Sementes do Marajó – providing an increase in the price paid to producers, financing of social projects through community funds, work safety, among other things.

OKA (Ananindeua, PA)

OKA Juice is a food company founded in 2018, whose mission is to be a national and international reference in the production of food associated with the preservation of the Amazon Forest. It was born as an industrial scale option for offering juices with native fruits from the Amazon to the national and international market and aims to verticalize the primary production of regional fruits. Produces juices and nectars of fruits native to the region such as açai, bacuri, cupuassu, etc. using demerara sugar. The entire production cycle is designed in a sustainable way so that it generates the minimum amount of waste and negative environmental impacts. In addition to this production, the company also aims to serve the chain from end to end, from the production of inputs, training of suppliers, restoration of the forest area, use of local bottle and labeling suppliers to the reverse logistics of packaging.

>  Pratika Engenharia (Manaus, AM)

Founded in 2018, Pratika Engenharia is a for-profit organization whose mission is to reduce the environmental impacts of solar panels for the production of electric energy in isolated indigenous and quilombola communities in the northern channel of the State of Pará. The diesel generator is one of the main alternatives used in places without access to distributed energy, and Prátika offers the sale and affordable installation of traditional solar panels for electricity production in isolated communities in the Amazon as a way to replace diesel powered generators, reducing costs, providing clean and renewable energy and mitigating the negative environmental impact of using diesel oil.

Tucum (Rio de Janeiro, RJ)

Founded in 2012, the organization’s mission is to value and promote the art of indigenous and traditional populations in Brazil, generating income for their communities. Tucum does this through commercial partnerships with associations, cooperatives, producer groups or artists, guided by ethics, legality, sustainability, respect for local realities and economically balanced relations. It is recognized by the Origens Brasil label and currently has 2,500 artisans in 31 indigenous lands and/or protected areas, representing 54 ethnic groups. The development of the handicraft production chain promotes sustainable income generation, appreciation of culture, empowerment of women and circulation through the territory, being a counterpoint to the involvement with activities in mining and wood.

>  Instituto Ouro Verde (Alta Floresta, MT)

The Institute is a non-governmental organization founded in 1999 with a focus on social participation as the foundation for sustainable development. It has been operating in Mato Grosso since 2004 and was created with the aim of helping small family farmers, creating a network of association-style operations, reinforcing sustainable production practices and boosting income generation. Today it operates in eight municipalities and facilitates farmers’ access to resources for the restoration of degraded areas and the agroecological transition of food production systems, bringing together consumers and family producers, on three fronts: solidarity credit system, restoration of Permanent Preservation Areas (APPs) and new marketing channels. It works with 1,200 smallholder families, having supported the planting of 2,700 hectares of agroforestry systems, 190 microcredit projects and the sale of approximately BRL 2 million in products annually.

ONF Brasil Fazenda São Nicolau (Cotriguaçu, MT)

After the Kyoto Treaty, in 1998, through the support of the Peugeot company for the French state-owned ONF (National Forest Service), a reforestation project was started on a 2 thousand hectare deforested area in the Amazon Forest in Mato Grosso, this being a pilot, which has been applied for 20 years at the São Nicolau farm, in the northwest of the state. Small-scale producers, public managers, students and teachers from public schools and universities, among others, benefit from current activities. The initiative offers carbon credits from the reforestation area, in addition to products from the integration of agriculture, livestock and forest such as cattle, coffee, cocoa, annatto, Brazil nuts, teakwood and native trees for sustainable management, ecotourism and forest and fruit tree seedlings. The challenge today is to transform the project into a business, with economic sustainability and potential for replication in the surrounding communities, which can serve as a reference for other rural properties in the Amazon.

Taberna da Amazônia (Rio de Janeiro, RJ)

Founded in 2015, Taberna da Amazônia works to create shorter links in the production chain and more direct links between small producers in the North and consumers in the Southeast, either directly or through participation in food markets. It aims to create a reliable network that empowers and supports the sustainable development of local initiatives. It offers 65 products, including Brazil nuts, cookies, sweets, fruit pulps, chocolates, coffees, cheeses etc., from the Amazon region. It works with 20 small producers in the states of Amazonas and Pará. Currently, it is also focused on better developing its business plan and reactivating an online platform with a subscription plan, in addition to carrying out the development of business impact indicators.

Serras Guerreiras de Tapuruquara (Santa Isabel do Rio Negro, AM)

Experience tourism venture founded in 2017, which operates in 13 indigenous communities in the region of the municipality of Santa Isabel do Rio Negro, northern Amazonas. The Association of Indigenous and Riverine Communities (ACIR) is the protagonist of the project management and leads the operation with the help of the Garupa institution, a partner that operates the excursions. It aims to promote an economic activity in the region that develops indigenous community-based tourism and encourages the maintenance of community spaces, their culture, the production of their food and crafts and the awareness of those who visit communities, generating income. It offers two itineraries that contemplate Amazonian practices and experiences guided by the peoples of the Middle Rio Negro I and Middle Rio Negro II Indigenous Lands. The next steps include preparing to have its own transport infrastructure, implementing an ecological sanitation system and training in management for young indigenous people.

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