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B Corps Go Global: Ouro Verde Amazonia Becomes the First Brazilian B Corp

B Corps Go Global: Ouro Verde Amazonia Becomes the First Brazilian B Corp

 

Written by Nathan Gilbert, B Lab

When I was little, probably like most children, I was always told “an apple a day keeps the doctor away”.  When I got a little older, my mother started to keep Brazil nuts in the cupboards, which replaced the daily apple as the healthy alternative to doctors.  I was told that two thumb-size Brazil nuts gave you a healthy dose of antioxidants and vitamins.  I never wondered much about these nuts (except their origin which wasn’t too hard to guess given its namesake).  It wasn’t until recently, when I had a conversation with Luis Fernando Laranja Da Fonseca of Ouro Verde Amazonia, that I became familiar with all the health characteristics of this nut. I was also impressed to learn how the harvest and production process can have significant impact on indigenous communities and farmers in Brazil, who rely on the fruits of the forest for income.

Ouro Verde Amazonia, a producer and seller of Brazil nuts, recently became the first Certified B Corp in Brazil and the second to certify in South America. “We wanted to be a B Corp because our mission is very connected with the B Corp mission and characteristics.  It is very natural, almost obvious, to be a B Corp,”  said Luis Fernando Laranja Da Fonseca, the Director of Ouro Verde.

Ouro Verde’s social and environmental impact is directly connected with the Amazon forests in Brazil and the communities that live there. Luis explains,

“The main point is the relationship our company has with our suppliers.  All suppliers are indigenous communities, farmers, and collectives that live in the Amazon.  Since the beginning we decided to pay a premium price based on the quality of the Brazil nuts.   We really like to pay a premium price, not because we are nice guys, but because what we’re getting is a better product.  We are not talking about philanthropy but a win-win situation.

Ouro Verde has taken the first step, an act of leadership, to expand the B Corp community to Brazil. Luis states, “Even though there is no practical benefit of being a B Corp now, we were interested to start with this new model here in Brazil.  I think there will be a number of B Corps around the world. It is only natural that it expands to Brazil and Latin America.  We are very proud. It’s a recognition of our work and social impact in Brazil that we have been developing in the last 10 years.”

Ouro Verde is leading by example. Their goal is to grow the business and expand their social impact to other regions in the Amazon. They are now joined by a small community of four other South American B Corps, a community that is likely to grow quickly with the newly established partnership with Sistema B. Sistema B is working to promote the B Corp Certification in Chile, Argentina, Colombia and Brazil, further making this a global community of companies striving to redefine success in business and realizing Luis’s belief that it is only “natural” that this movement expands throughout Latin America.

Learn more about Sistema B and the South American community of B Corps at www.sistemab.org.

 

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13 comments

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9:39AM PDT on Jul 18, 2012

Interesting.

8:57AM PDT on Jul 18, 2012

I celebrate--perhaps when widespread in other countries, more US states will become more responsible in this way, too

4:21AM PDT on Jul 18, 2012

thanks

5:07AM PDT on Jul 17, 2012

I check the Bcorpoation website frequently to see where to spend my money.Right now I feel "voting" with the dollar is my power!

1:14AM PDT on Jul 16, 2012

thank you

11:49AM PDT on Jul 12, 2012

If Brazil would end the US imposed War on Drugs and poor people, their agriculture could include very profitable entheogens and help the environment physically and mentally.

11:41AM PDT on Jul 12, 2012

If Brazil would end the War on Drugs, their agriculture could diversify to include entheogens, extremely profitable cash crops.

11:20AM PDT on Jul 12, 2012

Given that care2 does not respond to my e-mails regarding my inability to sign any of their petitions because their widget continually refuses my postal code, I decided to place it here. I used to be able to a few months ago with the same information that is on my profile now. I've tried removing the space in my profile but that doesn't work. How can I do any good if you people refuse to fix your website. Customer service with this organization has always been in the crapper as far as I'm concerned. Maybe I should write up a petition to see if others think the same. Come on, fix this damn thing so I can vote for various petitions.

10:27AM PDT on Jul 12, 2012

Our planet and all of humanity would greatly benefit if all corporations used the "B" or triple-bottom-line model based on achieving profits while also doing social and environmental good. The corporation based only on optimization of profits have caused harm to us all in the process of increasing wealth for corporate executives and stockholders.

3:44AM PDT on Jul 12, 2012

Thanks, have put to a sustainable food f'book page.

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