GUARDIANS OF THE RAINFOREST
WILD BRAZIL NUTS
ORGANIC BRAZIL NUTS FROM WILD COLLECTION
Brazil nut trees are not planted in (mono) cultivations, but grow sporadically, wild in the lowland rainforests of South America. As “emergents” they project above the tree canopy. To prevent these trees from dying, they need intact rainforest areas around them. If the forest around a Brazil nut tree is destroyed by logging or fire, the valuable tree slowly dies. Because lowland rainforest in South America is still being destroyed, the trees are becoming increasingly rare.
The guardians of the rainforest
Worth more alive!
With a height of up to 50 meters and an estimated maximum age of about 1,000 years, Brazil nut trees(Bertholletia excelsa) are among the largest and longest-living trees of the Amazon rainforest. Not only the Brazil nuts, but also the wood of the trees is considered particularly valuable. Because through our trade in Brazil nuts, standing trees gain value and Brazil nut trees need intact forest around them to live, they are guardians of the rainforest.
Rights of use
Brazil nut concessions
In Peru, the state grants rainforest concessions for the collection of Brazil nuts to families – the so-called castañeros. Each of these approximately 700 hectares of rainforest is home to 350 – 400 large Brazil nut trees. For a period of 40 years each, Castañero families are allowed to collect Brazil nuts on these lands. During this time they are also the guardians of the forest of their concession. Thus, our collectors replant Brazil nut trees and other native species to ensure their long-term survival.
Clever and efficient
At collection time from December to April, the up to 2kg heavy fallen globular fruits are searched for in the undergrowth of the rainforest. With the “payana”, a special collecting stick, they are picked up and thrown swingingly into a woven basket on the back.
While still in the forest, the ball fruits are cut open with a machete to get to the 8-24 Brazil nuts surrounded by a hard shell. In nature, there is only one animal whose teeth are sharp enough to crack the hard outer shells of Brazil nuts: The aguti.
Protected from sun and rain
In bags, the nuts are brought to the farm or camp in the inner shell, where they are dried in a special wooden house until they are collected by the cooperative and protected from rain. For good ventilation, the nuts must be regularly turned with a special rake.
Rainforest treasure ready for export
Brazil nuts come directly from the rainforest and thus from real wilderness. To ensure that this natural product nevertheless meets the highest food and hygiene standards, our Brazil nuts are elaborately and gently processed in the cooperative’s manufactory in Puerto Maldonado. This includes opening the hard inner shell, multiple hand selection and steam treatment. The Brazil nuts are finally gently dried and packed clean and airtight.