At a Glance

Location: Lima, Perú

Impact Areas: Sustainable Income, Environment, Technology

People Supported:
Indigenous People, Small Producers & Artisans, Rural

Joined NESsT Portfolio:
2017

frutiawajun.com.pe

Overview

Indigenous Awajún communities in the Peruvian Amazon have traditionally relied on hunting, fishing and subsistence farming for their livelihoods. More recently, communities have expanded to cultivation of coffee, cocoa and bananas, which they sell for low prices to intermediaries, or rent land at low rates to commercial agriculture firms that deforest it.

FrutiAwajun is empowering Awajún communities to commercialize their own rainforest fruits and other products, increasing their income while also protecting the environment. The company currently purchases and distributes coffee grown by families in Alto Naranjillo, which has more than doubled the coffee production income for these households. 

FrutiAwajun's second product is ungurahui, an Amazonian fruit which is prized as both a superfood and for use in natural beauty products. FrutiAwajun has developed the processing capabilities and equipment necessary to help Awajún communities capitalize on this new market opportunity. The production of ungurahui products provides income for families who harvest the fruit, as well as employs members from the community to work in the processing plant.

frutiawajun-workers.jpg

Results & Impact 

10

families receiving income from sales of coffee and ungurahui

25

people employed in the Frutiawajun processing plant

80

people trained to sustainably harvest ungurahui


NESsT Investment

FrutiAwajun joined the NESsT portfolio in 2017. NESsT is working closely with FrutiAwajun to scale production of its ungurahui products to ultimately create greater income for 14 Awajún communities who live on 140,000 hectares (345,000 acres) of rainforest in the Peruvian Amazon.

After experiencing initial success with its coffee product line in 2015, FrutiAwajun looked to incorporate the ungurahui fruit into its product offerings. The pulp of the fruit has great market potential for use in drinks and desserts and has higher levels of nutrients and antioxidants than açaí, which is currently in high demand internationally. Ungurahui oil is also poised well to meet the growing demand for natural beauty products due to its high antioxidant properties.

FrutiAwajun developed several technologies to improve the production and value of harvested ungurahui, including a pulper that separates the shell from the seeds. The pulper simplifies a previously complex extraction process. The company also developed a drying mat, which uses solar energy to transform the fruit into oil for use in natural beauty products. The mat reduces transportation costs and preserves the fruit, generating higher margins for the harvesters.

NESsT is providing capital to improve the processing plant, purchase new equipment and secure necessary certifications. NESsT is also investing in FrutiAwajun to help it build demand for ungurahui through one-on-one consulting to better understand the market opportunity and develop an effective marketing and sales strategy.