Materials company Dow has announced that Natura, the flagship cosmetics brand of Natura &Co group, will be the first commercial collaborator for its Project Ybá initiative.
The strategic sustainability project was set up in May 2021 with the aim of balancing the commercial growth of local communities with environmental protection in Beru Branco, Pará – deep in Brazil’s Amazon rainforest. It was established with the Peabiru Institute and The Nature Conservancy (TNC) with an investment of R$1m.
A local cooperative is being developed to sell bioactive products from Dow’s preserved areas of the Amazon and increase family incomes in the community, while conserving the rainforest.
As the first commercial collaborator of Project Ybá, Natura will support the development of the local cooperative, formed with guidance from the Peabiru Institute, to structure the processes and technical capabilities needed to provide bioactives to the market via sustainable and regenerative management.
Natura will also contribute to the technical evaluation of bioactives, for example andiroba and ucuuba seeds.
After evaluation and technical approval, the local cooperative will negotiate and sell the seeds directly to Natura.
The Project Ybá commercial cooperative is expected to be fully trained and organised by 2022 and it is estimated that up to 150 local families will benefit.
Dow’s Eric Peeters, Global Director of Sustainability for Performance Materials & Coatings, said: “The collaboration with Natura reinforces our commitment to the environment, social equity, sustainable and economic development, and to working with diverse partners and communities to help build a better, more prosperous world.”
João Moura, Vice President of Supply Chain at Natura &Co, added: “In order to expand the impact of our business model we believe it is essential to establish partnerships with other companies and organisations.
“With more than 20 years of presence in the Amazon, we have contributed to conserving two million hectares of standing forest, alongside partners and through relationships with 34 agro-extractivist communities in the region, covering more than 7,000 families."