Clariant has revealed how it sources Brazilian cupuaçu butter for use as a moisturiser and emollient in skin and hair care products.
There are currently around 50 smallholders involved in growing cupuaçu fruit for Clariant located in Tomé Açu in the northern state of Pará.
When harvested, the pulp – used in drinks, sweets and ice cream - is sold as a puree or a dried powder all over Brazil.
The seeds in the fruit are used to make cupuaçu butter, which is especially rich in oleic and stearic acids, and helps strengthen the natural skin barrier, improve elasticity, provide long-lasting moisturization, and reduce trans-epidermal water loss.
Up until the mid-2000s, most farmers in Tomé Açu discarded the seeds but that changed when Clariant subsidiary Beraca started buying seeds to extract the butter as an active ingredient in cosmetics.
"By buying up the seeds, we now provide an additional source of income to these communities," said Adriana André, a sustainability analyst for Clariant in Brazil.
Clariant uses a metric called biocorrelation to assess the positive impact every kilogramme of cupuaçu butter has on family income.
"By processing the fruit pulp on machines owned by the cooperative, our local farming communities can retain even more of the economic value," she added.
In addition, Clariant's local teams constantly share knowledge on sustainable farming and provide training to farmers on good management practices and finance.