Aug 8, 2023

"JBS Fund for the Amazon" Expands Support for the Biome with Help from Aviagen

JBS Amazon Fund collage

With Aviagen Latin America support and other companies, Fund has R$ 62.2 million committed to 19 projects

CAMPINAS, Brasil – Aviagen® Latin America reaffirms its commitment to environmental sustainability by announcing support for the JBS Fund for the Amazon. Established in 2020, the JBS Fund is a Brazilian non-profit organization that promotes and finances initiatives focused on the sustainable development of the Amazon Biome – a region that is vital to the sustainability of the planet due to its significant role in producing oxygen and absorbing carbon dioxide, a major greenhouse gas.

Aviagen Latin America, a dedicated supporter of the Fund, has pledged to fund projects from 2021 to 2023, resulting in a total donation of R$ 1.5 million (~$400,000 USD). These projects focus on vital areas such as conservation, forest restoration, biodiversity, community development, and the advancement of science and technology.

In collaboration with Aviagen Latin America and other corporate allies, the JBS Fund has committed a total of R$ 62.2 million (~$13 million USD) to support 19 projects until 2026. These initiatives will assist 90 businesses managed by the communities and individuals, benefiting more than 4,000 families, Additionally, they will help conserve more than 1.9 million hectares of land and/or support land recovery efforts, while also providing support to 19 conservation units and indigenous lands.

“We are very satisfied with the way the Fund has been managing the projects, in a very transparent and professional way. We are proud to team up with JBS to promote the sustainable development of the Amazon region, improving the lives of the inhabitants by creating and fostering economic opportunities for the region,” reflected Aviagen Latin America President Ivan Lauandos.

Highlighting the vital importance of this valuable alliance, Joanita Maestri Karoleski, President of the JBS Fund for the Amazon, stated, “Our collaboration with Aviagen has been instrumental in developing projects supported by the Fund. With the help of private resources, we can support areas that need regeneration and value creation within the bioeconomy chains. Private investment works alongside public policies, creating better conditions for socioeconomic development in the Biome. It is through working together that we can achieve significant scale and make a real impact.”

JBS Fund for the Amazon projects

Here are just a few examples of the diverse range of projects supported by the JBS Fund for the Amazon. Each project is designed to address specific environmental, social, and economic challenges in the region, with the overarching goal of promoting sustainable development and conservation in the Amazon Biome.

RestaurAmazônia: In collaboration with the Fundação Solidaridad and with co-financing by the Elanco Foundation, the project supports around 1,500 farming families by restoring degraded areas in the Amazon region. To achieve this, the project focuses on implementing agroforestry systems with cocoa cultivation and promoting good agricultural practices in cattle farming. RestaurAmazônia seeks to create a positive environmental impact, enhance the livelihoods of farming families, and foster sustainable practices.

Inclusive Community Economies Program: This program focuses on strengthening the açaí production chain in certain Amazon communities. It encompasses product certification, the establishment of a pulp production factory, diversification of the product portfolio to include higher value-added items, construction of schools, and training programs for young people and women to engage in açaí-related activities. The ultimate goal is to increase the income of 240 local families while establishing a sustainable bioeconomy model that can be replicated in other industries. This collaborative effort involves multiple entities, such as the Amazonbai, Instituto Interelos, IEB, Universidade Estadual do Amapá and Instituto Terroá.

Fair and Sustainable Fishing: In collaboration with the Association of Rural Producers of Carauari (ASPROC), this project endeavors to enhance the fish chain by providing infrastructure support such as warehouses and vessels for processing, storing, and transporting fish obtained from various communities. The project is set to benefit 450 families residing in 55 riverside communities in the Middle Juruá region of Amazonas, leading to increased production and income.

AMAZ (Accelerator & Impact Investments): Led by the Idesam (Amazon Development Institute), the program aims to accelerate the growth of approximately 30 startup businesses. Participants in the program will receive support, training and mentorship in business development. The project’s main goal is to foster a thriving entrepreneurial ecosystem within the biodiversity chain, which is vital for the preservation and sustainability of the Amazon forest.

Unlocking Credit for the Forest Bioeconomy: Through a strategic collaboration with the Instituto Conexões Sustentáveis (Conexsus), this project aims to improve access to rural credit for 2,500 families engaged in forest-based bioeconomy chains such as Brazil nuts, açaí, fish, wood, oils, and resins. The objective is to enable these families involved in sustainable production and extraction activities to obtain financial resources and support to enhance their businesses and livelihoods. The project seeks to promote economic empowerment and strengthen the sustainable development of these forest-dependent communities.

Geoflora: This collaboration with Embrapa (Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation) is aimed at advancing research and technology development to enhance the value of products derived from the Amazon Rainforest. It focuses on exploring new raw materials and bio-economy ingredients to increase the economic potential and sustainability of the region. Additionally, the project encompasses programs dedicated to monitoring emissions reduction in the field, tracking deforestation, promoting social innovation, and fostering the development of renewable technologies. The goal is to leverage scientific expertise and innovation to support the conservation and responsible use of Amazon’s resources while promoting social and environmental well-being.

Indigenous Hands/Sustainable Forests: This initiative provides support for the indigenous bio-economy, specifically focusing on the nut and handicraft chains. It also establishes a network for forest seeds and seedlings, with a particular emphasis on engaging young people and indigenous women. The project aims to bolster the development of 100 indigenous economic initiatives in collaboration with associations and cooperatives. To implement the program, Forest Trends, Greendata and Ecoporé will work together to promote sustainable livelihoods, economic empowerment, and cultural preservation within indigenous communities.

Inovamazônia: The project aims to coordinate research efforts focused on plant-based products, with the goal of discovering new ingredients that can be used by the food industry. It will also identify colorants, aromas, flavorings, fibers, thickeners, and gums that can enhance the nutritional and sensory aspects of various products. So far, seven research initiatives have been selected, each focusing on a specific chain: açaí, babauçu, cacao, Brazil nut, cupuaçu, uarana, and tucumã. The project seeks to provide the food industry with novel and sustainable options for ingredient development and it is supported through GFI Brazil.

Bioplastics: This project will advance the current research on bioplastics derived from Amazonian fibers, with a specific focus on creating a biodegradable product and promoting the Circular Economy. The proposal involves developing a sustainable biocomposite material using fibers derived from Brazil nuts, which can be used to partially or entirely replace polypropylene (PP). By harnessing the unique properties of these fibers, the project aims to create an environmentally friendly alternative to traditional plastics, contributing to a more sustainable and circular approach to materials and waste management. With support from WTT, Amazonas State University (UEA), Parana Federal University (UFPR), Viçosa Federal University (UFV), Idesam and Tutiplast.

Amazon Proteins: This project aims to research and develop protein-extraction methods from the nut and cupuaçu pie, eventually using them as sustainable and nutritious protein sources in the food industry. Its focus is to optimize the extraction and processing techniques to create high-quality protein extracts suitable for diverse food products. This research contributes to the exploration of indigenous Amazonian ingredients and promotes sustainable and innovative approaches to food production and nutrition. With support from Senai Cetiqt, Embrapii, Reca, Instituto Belterra and Mahta.

Forest Panel: This initiative focuses on organizing and integrating data to generate intelligence that can guide policies and inform investments in the açaí, babaçu, and cocoa chains, providing valuable insights into these specific forest-based industries. The gathered intelligence can be used by policymakers, investors, and stakeholders to make informed decisions and develop strategies that support the sustainable development and growth of the açaí, babaçu, and cocoa sectors. This data-driven approach contributes to the effective management of forest resources while fostering socio-economic progress. Visit Coalizão Brasil Clima Florestas e Agricultura and Uma Concertação pela Amazônia to learn more.

ATERs for the Amazon: This study focuses on improving Technical Assistance and Rural Extension (ATER) programs in the açaí, Brazil nuts, fish, cocoa, and andiroba chains. The goal is to enhance the effectiveness of ATER in supporting these biodiversity-based production chains. The study will optimize the delivery of ATER services, ensuring they meet the specific requirements of the açaí, Brazil nuts, fish, cocoa, and andiroba sectors. Read more on Instituto Escolhas.

Resex Education: In collaboration with Institute of Amazonian Studies (IEA) and the National Council of Extractive Populations (CNS), the project aims to provide specialized education and training opportunities to cater to the unique needs and circumstances of young people living in the Extractive Reserves and the Chico Mendes Extractive Reserve (Resex). The goal is to equip them with the skills and knowledge to pursue successful careers in the extractive sector, fostering sustainable development and improving livelihoods in the region.

New Technologies for Riverine Vessels: In collaboration with Emerge Brasil, the project focuses on research to power small boats as a means to improve accessibility, logistics, and quality of life for people living in the Amazon. By transitioning from traditional fuel-based engines to clean and sustainable electric propulsion, the project aims to reduce environmental impact and foster a more sustainable mode of transportation. Additionally, the initiative seeks to stimulate the development of new markets related to electric boat technologies in the Amazon, encouraging innovation and creating economic opportunities.