California-based Sambazon, a supplier of the Brazilian Amazon açaí juice, has now been certified as Fair Trade in Brazil. The certification by Ecocert, a global control and certification organization, guarantees that Sambazon ensures fair labor conditions and wages for workers, promotes environmentally sustainable farming methods and reinvests money into the community.
Sambazon's certification coincides with Fair Trade Month, which promotes and celebrates the socially responsible system of trade that prioritizes the needs of human beings and the environment over the drive for profits.
The certification, says Sambazon, "supports all three pillars of Sambazon's triple bottom line business model (people-planet-profits) by guaranteeing that the agro-forestry farms and the families who supply Sambazon with açaí fruit receive a fair market price."
The company states that its commitment to this mission can be seen in its Sustainable Amazon Partnership (SAP), which Sambazon founded with the Brazil Foundation and the Peabiru Institute to ensure the lasting sustainable management of the açaí regions and communities.
In addition to açaí training programs, the partnership also offers alternative income-generating activities for thousands of women, youth and small family farmers.
"By promoting triple bottom line success, these families are proving the case for sustainable development in the Amazon," said Ryan Black, Sambazon co-founder and CEO. "Through Sambazon açaí, we're bringing long-term development and improved quality of life to an impoverished region."
In 2003, Sambazon was the first company in its category to certify its açaí crop as organic, and many other companies have since followed suit. A similar trend with Fair Trade would represent a win for all the stakeholders in the açaí supply chain – from the farmers to the consumers.
Since the year 2000 when it was founded Sambazon has been bringing the antioxidant-rich açaí berry from the Amazon to the US. Sambazon's product line includes organic açaí juice and smoothies, frozen açaí smoothie packs and sorbets, plus açaí supplements.
The products are available at major retail stores and juice bars across the United States including Whole Foods, Wild Oats, Super Target, Safeway, HEB, Albertsons, Vitamin Shoppe, Jamba Juice and Juice It Up!