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Equator Initiative Case Study - FrutaSã Industry, Trade and Export Ltd.

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FrutaSã has its roots in a scoping study of the Brazilian Cerrado eco-region conducted in the 1990s to determine socioeconomic challenges facing smallholder farmers and indigenous communities. Alongside mounting environmental threats to the region, exacerbated by the economic marginalization of the rural communities and subsequent over-exploitation of local resources, these findings inspired the ‘Fruits of the Cerrado’ project, which eventually became FrutaSã Industry, Trade and Export Ltd.
This eco-enterprise creates income for small-holder farmers through the sustainable extraction, marketing and sale of non-timber forest products, particularly native fruit pulp. The organization is half owned by a private partner, and half by the Centre for Indigenous Work, on behalf of indigenous communities. The initiative has successfully combined locally-abundant fruit varieties, traditional knowledge of their cultivation, and modern processing and storage techniques. The Equator Initiative brings together the United Nations, governments, civil society, businesses and grassroots organizations to recognize and advance local sustainable development solutions for people, nature and resilient communities. As local and indigenous groups across the world chart a path towards sustainable development, the Equator Prize--issued biennially by the Equator Initiative--shines a spotlight on their efforts by honoring them on an international stage. This project was awarded the Equator Prize in recognition of its contribution to local sustainable development solutions.

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