Sociobiodiversity Products

A special look at non-timber forest products

Non-timber forest products are all non-woody plant products such as vegetable waxes, resins, oils and many others...

The supply chain of these items, in addition to promoting forest economy, combines biodiversity conservation and generation of work and income in communities, resulting in environmental and social transformation in the forest, stimulating a more concerned attention to the future of humanity and biodiversity.

The challenges for the development of these value chains are many: it is necessary to guarantee greater investment in infrastructure, technology, communities empowerment, development of skills and knowledge, good production practices, cooperatives, and relationship with the most qualified and fair market.

How SOS Amazônia can help

SOS Amazônia operates in projects in the Amazon, investing in the structuring of community processing centres, in the organization of productive processes and participative management.

Fostering these organized social groups, such as cooperatives and associations of agroextractive producers, are opportunities to strengthen extractive production chains and generate income for traditional communities living in this region of great biodiversity. These organizations have the potential for economic development and especially for social inclusion, gender and the establishment of young people in their communities.


Values of the Amazon

We work to consolidate value chains of Amazonian sociobiodiversity products. Learn more about our projects:

Seringueira (Rubber Tree)
Buriti (Mauritia flexuosa)
Buriti oil is used in the formulation of creams, soaps and shampoos, increases skin elasticity, promotes cell renewal, moisturizes and protects against solar radiation. It is also used as food, as a rich source of beta-carotene (118 mg/100 g of oil), in addition to preventing coronary heart disease.
Wild Cacao (Theobroma cacao)
As cacao beans, they are mainly used to make chocolate. Oil and butter are used in the production of perfumes, shampoos, soaps and creams.

The food industry produces sweets and jellies from the cacao pod and the cibirra (central fibrous tissue that joins the beans). From the pulp it's also possible to produce juice, wine and fermented liquor.
Murmuru (Astrocaryum murumuru)
Murumuru butter is very nutritious, emollient and moisturizing, allowing the recovery of the skin's natural moisture and elasticity. It's used in shampoos, conditioners, creams, lotions, soaps, lipsticks and deodorants.
Seringueira (Hevea brasiliensis)
Wild rubber has several uses. It's used in the manufacture of sneakers, tires, balls, crafts, household gloves, elastic, fashion, etc.
Tucumã (Astrocaryum aculeatum)
Tucumã pulp oil is used to moisturize the skin and revitalize damaged hair. It has a high spreadability and acts as a sunscreen.

Just like patauá oil, it's considered a gastronomic spice, rich in omega 3, 6 and 9, in addition to having a high level of beta-carotene (from 180 to 330 mg/100g) and natural antioxidants. It can also be used as a natural food colouring.

Tucumã butter is used in creams, soaps and shampoos, has a high hydrating power, forming a transparent protective film on the skin, similar to silicone, without clogging pores. It also acts as sunscreen.
Andibora (Carapa guianensis)
Andiroba oil is used in the formulation of soaps, shampoos, creams and oils for massage. It's emollient, moisturizing, antiseptic and anti-cellulite, and is also widely used as an herbal medicine, acting as an antipyretic, anti-inflammatory, vermifuge, purgative and healing agent.
Patauá (Oenocarpus bataua)
Patauá is used in creams, lotions, soaps and shampoos, having emollient, hydrating and revitalizing properties, mainly for hair. It's considered a gastronomic spice and its odour, taste, appearance and composition are similar to olive oil. It also has a high degree of unsaturated fatty acids.
Copaíba (Copaifera spp.)
Copaiba oil is used in the manufacture of shampoos, soaps and creams. It reduces scars, cellulite and stretch marks, regenerates collagen and is emollient. It balances oiliness and treats dandruff and seborrhoea from the scalp and protects dyed hair, making if shiny and soft.

It's also widely used as a fixative in perfumes and as an herbal medicine with high anti-inflammatory, antiulcer, antiviral, antifungal and antiedemic properties.
Wild Rubber Value Chain
SOS Amazônia's history entirely connected with the defence and valorisation of the extraction of wild rubber. Its fight to preserve the Amazon Rainforest began in the 1980s, in support of the rubber tappers movement against forest devastation and to guarantee the right of possession of their settlements.

It was thinking about the valorisation of non-timber forest products that the institution built its path.

Shaken by the ideals of one of its founders, the leader and rubber tapper Chico Mendes, SOS Amazônia outlined and implemented dozens of initiatives focused on biodiversity preservation and sustainable development.

One of the recent initiatives is the Values of the Amazon project, which has the constant challenge of transforming the lives of community members, bringing work opportunities and income, with a focus on maintaining the forest and with investments in the Wild Rubber Chain in the region of Feijó, Tarauacá, Rodrigues Alves and Porto Walter, in Acre.
Vegetable Oils Value Chain
The Amazon Rainforest has a huge variety of oilseed species, many of which has economic potential and are mainly destined for the cosmetics and food markets. Several initiatives have been implemented in the region, but most cooperatives face technological and management difficulties and resource scarcity to strengthen their activities.

Around 2008, SOS Amazônia started to engage with value chains for non-timber products in the Vale do Juruá region. One of the most important projects at the time was entitled "Sustainable Use of Non-Timber Forest Resources in Extractive Communities in Vale do Juruá, Acre", which generated a series of important technical results on the chain that was beginning to be implemented in the region, such as the elaboration of management plans and market studies for murmuru butter.

In 2015, when the Values of the Amazon project started, SOS Amazônia was able to continue strengthening the organizational and productive management of the vegetable oil chain, including other products such as buriti, andiroba, copaíba, tucumã, breu, cumaru, patauá and açaí, and seeking to align ventures according to different markets requirements.

Organic Certification

In October 2018, extractive families from Vale do Juruá, in Acre, and from the municipalities of Silves and Boca do Acre, in Amazonas, that operate in the extraction and production of oils from plants and fruits, received international organic certification that enabled them to start selling their products to the European and North American markets.

Granted by the Bolivian company Imocert, the certification ensures that all production was carried out with low environmental impact, without the use of pesticides and guaranteed fair payment for each family, especially for those who are part of the cooperatives supported by SOS Amazônia.

Among the products that were granted organic certification are buriti, copaíba, cumaru, breu and açaí oils, and murmuru, tucumã and ouricuri butters.
Wild Cacao Value Chain
In recent years, Brazil, which ranks sixth in the world ranking of cacao production, has improved its cultivation and production techniques (Mendes et al., 2016). This has led to recognition in the world market, especially with regard to the wild cacao from the Amazon, with a potential to achieve the best quality ratings, due to environmental characteristics that make it so special in taste and aroma.

Wild cacao is another product with potential to generate income for traditional and riverside communities in the Amazon. The Mapiá and Médio Purus Agroextractive Cooperative (Cooperar), based in Boca do Acre (Amazonas state), is a pioneer in the production of wild cacao in the Brazilian Amazon. Since 2006, cacao has been collected, processed and exported to European and American companies. Cooperar's experience is essential to assist the development of this value chain in the Juruá region.

With the Values of the Amazon Project, in addition to concentrating efforts to improve Cooperar's production method, SOS Amazônia was the first to implement the cacao value chain in the Vale do Juruá, a region located in the extreme west of Acre, in the municipalities of Porto Walter and Rodrigues Alves, and in two municipalities in Amazonas (Guajará and Ipixuna).

Production centres, best practice consultancies and the opening of international markets were implemented.

An important result was the first batch of one ton of dried beans produced by Coopercintra, with strong community involvement.

Supported cooperatives

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