The tropical, moist forest of Maranhão, Brazil, is home to the women who gather and hand prepare the babassu nuts that we use for our Community Trade babassu oil.
They are known locally as the ‘babassu breakers’. The women gather the nuts from the forest floor and break the nuts open, hence their name. The nuts are collected and the precious oil extracted with a press. Every bit of the nut has a use, even the husks are used to fuel the workers' homes!
EDUCATING THE NEXT GENERATION
Thanks to their regular income, the co-operative's members can now send their children to secondary school. There, the children study agricultural studies as part of the curriculum. So they'll be well-prepared if they want to join the local industry when they leave school.
A TREE OF MANY TALENTS
It's easy to see why the babassu palm is called the 'tree of life' by locals. Its fruit is used to make flour, animal feed, medicines and drinks. Its leaves are used for thatched roofing. And its seeds give the all-important oil.