The harvest season starts in November and lasts until February/March.
Help from the neighbours in the jungle: at 6am the harvest helpers „from next door“ arrive. With a basket, pliers and machete off to work they go.
Guarana is not a mono-culture. The Guarani shrubs grow along with a wide range of other plants and are very spread out. The harvest helpers cover 5- 10km per day on uneven beaten paths on hilly land in the harvesting season– it is an extremely tiring job.
I also help the experienced Guarana farmers under strict supervision – and that in perceived 50 degrees centigrade in the sun. It is only when the black core cracks open the red shell that the fruit is ready for picking.
Late afternoon the harvested fruits are put into sacks and stored in a hut for approx. 4-6 days to ferment. During that time the shell separates itself from the core and the caffeine contents rises to approx. 4 %.
Afterwards the helpers stamp on the fermented cores as if dancing the Samba and in that way separate the shell fully from the core. Then the shells are sorted by hand and washed in a water tank and the shells which swim to the top are fished out with a hand held sieve and used as natural fertiliser.
The cores are now spread out on special wooden frames to dry in the sun. After a few hours, sometimes days they are moved to protected huts and put on tarpaulin to dry out further in order to get the moisture content down to approx. 7 % .
Finally they are put into sacks and driven to the warehouse of a cooperative in Valenca where they are cleaned in a wooden drum with the use of a ventilator (which the Brazilians proudly call "wind canal) of all the remaining dust and dirt.
Valenca is an extremely simple "jungle town" with charming flare and atmosphere. This is where our partner's office is, the cooperative, which about 100 family businesses have joined up in, in order to optimise prices, get specific training in new production methods or improve medical care.
Finally the moisture content is tested in a laboratory and a micro-biological analysis is undertaken. Then the sacks are closed with a hand sewing machine and sent off to Europe.
Our suppliers are exclusively small, committed family businesses, whose motivation is saving the Rainforest, which is their livelihood and not exploiting it.
Guarana, Acerola or Acai – these fruits are a part of their lives, they grew up with them and value them in a very special way.
We buy our raw products direct from the suppliers, pay fair prices and support the farmer.
Please contact us if you have any questions,
your AMAZONAS Team.