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Protecting the Amazon rainforest by promoting its tastes

During my last trip to Madre de Dios in the heart of the Amazon rainforest, I could witness the amazing landscape of the region: Dense forests, tall canopies, wild rivers, giant otters, colorful macaws and native communities, living all in harmony. But also: deforestation. That wonderful paradise is being devoured by unsustainable activities like artisanal mining, illegal logging and migratory agriculture. From a nearby viewpoint you can see the alarming magnitude of the degradation: massive patches of brownish mud are the result of deforestation by gold mining in the area. Other negative impacts are river poisoning, loss of biodiversity and child slavery.

Back in the region’s capital city, Puerto Maldonado, I tried to put my mind together. Why do we do all this? Is it possible to stop and restore the damage? Do we have alternatives? To cool down, I went downtown and tried an ice cream. The taste: Copoazu. It is delicious! It reminds me of chocolate and banana. But better! I asked around and they told me that the Copoazu tree is native, grows naturally and produces good fruit all year long. And it is very successful as ice cream in the region. “Hey amigo, there are more tastes like this in the forest!” What if this fruit could be transformed, shipped and sold in other markets – it could generate additional value to the forest, turning people to respect it more. As I finished the ice cream, I wondered: Could Copoazu save the rainforest?

We have founded Selva as a social enterprise with one aim: The conservation of the rainforest by the promotion of forestry products. The added value kept in the region and the sustainable and fair conditions of the production are our trademarks. Our first product is a sugared fruit paste that can be used as ingredient for ice creams, yogurts, juices, desserts and much more. Until now, we offer the following tastes: Aguaje, Cocona, Camu-Camu, Lucuma, Aguaymanto and of course: Copoazu.

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