URUCARA

 

Urucara is situated 260 km away from Manaus, the capital of the State of Amazonas. Urucara Rural Training Center (CETRU) was founded by the rural producers of the Urucara communities in 1972. Its purpose was to train the local producers and educate their children (agricultural schools , specialized lessons). The other objective was the development of the production with a special attention paid to the quality of the products. In 1994, the CETRU received financial support from the European Union and NGOs for its « environment training activities ». In 2001, the Agrofrut cooperative was created to commercially defend the activity of the producers of Urucara.
Agrofrut's activity is presented as an answer to the difficult economic situation of local producers. The setup of development schemes for agricultural productions through institutional means often push the producers towards borrowing money from the banks to buy seeds, fertilizer and pesticides – a practice which inevitably leads into increasing debts. According to the same restrictive reasoning, bank loans are only granted to the producers who agree to follow these conditions and put their living conditions and natural environment in danger.
This situation is denounced by the people in charge of Agrofrut who want to open the way to alternative opportunities. Therefore, they have installed quality standards that received the approval of Organic certification in March 2006 through a organic certification for guarana. These quality standards rely on the preservation of native guarana and highlight the value of the product and the traditional way it is dried and roasted in clay ovens.
On the top of that, the cooperative has built up a commercial partnership with NAT'ORGANICO on the basis of fair trade to guarantee beneficial social repercussions for the community. 



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