DFCD supports collection of native ingredients by local communities in Brazil

20 junho 2022

The Dutch Fund for Climate and Development (DFCD) has approved grant support for Concepta Ingredients


Concepta processes native products like açai, Brazil nuts and babassu as ingredients for the food industry. It is part of the Brazilian chemical company Sabará.

The project has been put forward by the World Wide Fund for Nature Netherlands (WWF-NL) which manages together with SNV Netherlands Development Organization the DFCD’s Origination Facility to develop new projects for the investment fund. With the approval of the grant, WWF has the intention to sign a €350.000 grant funding agreement with Concepta.

Avoiding deforestation

The natural ingredients that Concepta processes are so-called superfoods: a nutrient-rich food considered to be especially beneficial for health and well-being. The demand for ingredients like açai, cocoa, and cupuaçu butter is growing. Not just from food and beverage companies: the products are also in high demand by cosmetic manufacturers.

According to market research company IMARC Group, the global superfoods market reached a value of US$ 152.71 billion in 2021. The market is expected to reach US$ 214.95 billion by 2027.

To source these products, Concepta works together with traditional communities that collect them from nature. Around 2,100 families supply Concepta with products harvested from approximately 345,000 hectares of land. The company sources ingredients from three Brazilian landscapes: the Amazon, the Cerrado savanna and the Caatinga (semi-arid).

One of Concepta's priorities is to pay a fair price to local communities. By doing so, these communities are incentivised to cherish and look after the forest because it provides them income and life quality. Concepta also teams up with local communities to co-develop and adopt sustainable harvesting practices, which secures an extra layer of protection against deforestation.

Deforestation is a big problem in Brazil. According to data from Brazil’s national space research institute, forest clearing in the Amazon alone through the first two months of 2022 has amounted to 430 square kilometers, more than twice the average over the past ten years. Trees are cut down for their wood but mostly to clear spaces to plant crops to supply global food companies and/or livestock production.

Scale up with new factory

To scale up its production, Concepta is planning to build a new factory designed according to the latest sustainability requirements. The factory will partly run on solar energy and will implement circular waste and water management.

The DFCD grant will amongst others support Concepta to conduct a technical feasibility study and market research. To eventually built the factory, Sabará is seeking an investment of €9.7 million, which it partly hopes to receive through a loan from the DFCD’s Land Use Facility.

The new factory will increase Concepta's processing capacity, allowing it to expand the area of sustainably-managed land from which it sources its ingredients. The company estimates a growth in the number of people and communities sourcing ingredients for Concepta by at least 20% in the next six years.

Key impact

  • Increasing income for 2,100 smallholders
  • Supporting climate-resilient food security and avoided deforestation
  • Protecting indirectly 345,000 hectares of conserved forests
  • Creating climate resilient jobs for local communities, approximately 80 direct and 100 indirect jobs

Fabricio de Campos, Regional Lead WWF DFCD Latin America:

“Increasing family income is key to engaging traditional communities in conservation efforts. By supporting them to harvest products from the forest in a sustainable way, nature and people both benefit.”

“Investing in Concepta will bring more families into the supply chain. Concepta is also capable to reach the global markets, delivering sustainable super-foods and high-quality natural ingredients to the end consumers, while sharing benefits with the people from the forest.”

Ulisses Sabará, CEO Grupo Sabará:
“As we continue our journey towards the processing and sustainable use of natural ingredients from Brazilian forests, the DFCD-investment will strengthen us for next steps to support local communities.”

About Concepta Ingredients:

Concepta Ingredients processes products from three different Brazilian landscapes, harvested by local communities. The company develops innovative products, promoting social and economic local development and the protection of the environment along with fair trade. The products can be used in several markets: from food and beverage to animal nutrition. It is part of Grupo Sabará, a Brazilian company with more than 65 years of experience in water treatment and natural ingredients. The company has four factories and two offices across the country.

About DFCD

The DFCD enables private sector investment in projects aimed at climate adaptation and mitigation in developing countries. The Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs has made available € 160 million to increase the resilience of communities and ecosystems most vulnerable to climate change. The DFCD is managed by a pioneering consortium of Climate Fund Managers (CFM), Worldwide Fund for Nature Netherlands (WWF-NL) and SNV, led by the Dutch Entrepreneurial Development Bank, FMO.