Collection and processing of Acai into certified pulp and powder

Acai palms are indigenous to the Amazon River basin in north-western Brazil and eastern Bolivia. In Brazil, its fruit is processed into a nutritious pulp that is consumed locally and increasingly exported, to be sold in health food stores in Western Europe and the USA. Since its international recognition as a super-fruit (owing principally to its high antioxidant content), the demand for Acai pulp, both within Brazil and from international consumers, has exploded. The higher nutritious values of the Acai species Euterpe precatoria, predominant in the Bolivian Amazon (as against the Euterpe oleracea, found in the lower Amazon in Brazil) makes it even more attractive, but in spite of this, the exploitation of Acai from Bolivian forests is negligible. Due to its highly perishable nature, Acai must be processed at the source, and distributed through a well-established cold chain, to be exported. This is not currently done in Bolivia.
Pasan-VT Industrial Ltda from Brazil and Manutata S.A. from Bolivia will establish a joint venture to set up an Acai processing plant in Guarayos, 300 km north of Santa Cruz. Jointly, the partners will invest in the establishment of a new company dedicated to the processing, packing, cooled transport and international commercialisation of Acai pulp and Acai powder from the Euterpe precatoria.
The wild fruit will be collected from a 1,500 ha concession around Guarayos, and processed in a dedicated plant into frozen pasteurised pulp, or freeze-dried into powder, to be used as ingredient in a variety of industries. The plant will be ISO 22000 certified, to guarantee food safety. Additionally, the production chain, including the Acai supply will be certified according to the FairWild, Organic and Kosher standards.
The joint venture will create 98 direct jobs in the processing plants, and another 142 indirect jobs in the harvesting of wild Acai.

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)

Local partner has a long tradition of actual CSR policies, and this will be embedded in this project too. Indigenous communities will be involved in the collection activities, and collectors will generate enough income during the harvest period, to live for the full year. The collection and processing of Acai will be certified to Organic, FairWild and Kosher standards.


  • Employment and working conditions

The wages will be at least 50% above the legal monthly minimum wage. All staff will have a full-time contract, despite the fact that the Acai harvesting and processing will be a seasonal activity. The staff working at the forest concession will work 2 weeks onsite and 2 weeks offsite and will be housed in attractive and insect-safe jungle-houses.

  • Innovation/Transfer of knowledge

Acai is currently not exploited in Bolivia, and also the processing technology (lyophilisation of fruits) is new for the country.

  • Chain effects

About 140 members of local indigenous communities will be offered additional income, during 4 months by harvesting Acai.

  • Environment

The Acai exploitation will generate new economic activity within the natural forests, which will be an additional incentive to conserve them.

  • Position of women

About 60% of the staff in the processing plant will be female.

  • Impact on food safety

The company will produce according to the highest norms of food safety. However, as the major part of the product will be exported it will not have a relevant impact on the food security situation in Bolivia, except for the positive impact on the indigenous employees of the company through their income and good nutritional food.

Project summary

Project number:
Total budget:
€ 748,700
Bolivia (Plurinational State of)
Project status:
Budget spent:
100.00 %
100.00 % spent
Tied status:
Project partners:
Alimentos Liofilizados Natur S.R.L., Netherlands Enterprise Agency, Pasan-vt Industrial Ltda.