The expedition headed to the Sustainable Reserve of Cujubin, in the northern Brazilian municipality of Jutai, last July, and included officials from the government's environmental offices, local government and a representative from the organization Conservation International.
Beraca says that, in conjunction with the government and conservation bodies, it is hoping to explore the rain forests for cosmetic ingredients in a way that is sustainable to the environment, while combining local resources in an effort to benefit the region.
"The involvement of the Beraca is promising," said Joao Matos, spokesperson for Beraca. "The production of the copaíba oil and of other forest products for the cosmetics industry has a great potential provide sustainable and economic means for this region."
Copaíba oil is an oily resin that is extracted from the Amazonian tree, Copaifera Officinalis. These dense trees grow from 15 to 30 meters high and the resin is extracted from the tree trunks. It is commonly used as a fragrance component in perfumes, as well as a preparation in soaps, creams and lotions, and as an emolient.
A seminar that focused on the participative planning within the region was held during the first stage of the project and included 100 members of the local population from Jutai. The discussions centered on forming social structures whereby the farming of the land for ingredients could be better managed.
The aim is to maximize on the utilization of the land, while supporting a sustainable economic and ecologically-balanced future, Beraca says. In turn this should allow for improvements to education and health services, which will be supplied by the government.
Beraca says that the next step of the development will for the community to organize themselves in a local association, with the aim of providing reliable supplies of copaíba oil and rubber to various industries, including that for cosmetics. The handling plan for the project is expected to be unveiled in December this year.
Beraca is already a leading supplier of rain-forest-sourced ingredients to the international cosmetics industry, but is hoping that this latest initiative will help to provide reliable, year-round supplies of copaíba oil.
Back in June, the company launched a range of new ingredients that included four new formulations, one for treating dandruff, an anti-acne formula, a skin revitalizing formula and a hair care treatment focusing on the European and North American markets.