San Clemente, Calif.-based SAMBAZON, an acronym for Sustainable Management of the Brazilian Amazon, announced it has provided $1 million to date in support for açai grower communities in the Amazon Rainforest. Funds provided through self-sponsored and EcoCert Fair for Life’s “Fair Trade Fund” have supported several projects, contributing to rural and urban efforts, including education, healthcare, infrastructure, and other community building projects, as well as training and assistance on the best practices of açaí harvesting, the company says.

In line with SAMBAZON’s triple bottom line business philosophy, measuring social success includes giving back to açai growers and their communities. SAMBAZON’s contributions have built and renovated schools that service the local communities where the açaí is harvested and have built and helped remodel healthcare centers, improving access to basic education and health services.

“We are honored to have reached the $1 million milestone and will continue our commitment to making a difference for açai growers and improving their communities,” said Jeremy Black, SAMBAZON's co-founder, in a statement. “From supporting education, healthcare, and community projects, our investments are making a difference in the lives of thousands of açaí family farmers.”

The following are a few examples of SAMBAZON's local initiatives to date:

    Education: Built and helped renovate schools including the Açaituba Early Childhood School, which was determined as the neediest community through the Fair Trade Funds socioeconomic analysis and would benefit more than 100 students. Additional projects include the Alvaro Lacerda Multi-Sports Court Project in which SAMBAZON installed a computer room with internet access for students.

    Healthcare: SAMBAZON also prioritizes local healthcare including the construction of a medical station in the Igarapé Amazonas in Macapá which is estimated to benefit 200 local families, giving them access to basic health services.

    Infrastructure: Conducted projects including the construction of several buildings like the Massarapó Multisport Court project in the community of Barcarena, a priority location for the expansion of fair trade benefits as its home to one of SAMBAZONs processing facility and planned region for harvest expansion. The project included the development of a community center with gym equipment, toys and a sports court for 200 local families.

SAMBAZON will continue to support projects that the harvesting communities identify as necessary to enhance their lives, including the building of schools and health centers, supporting infrastructure projects, and other community projects, it says.