Na'Kau Chocolate

Posted by Gregory Prang on

Na'Kau Chocolate is produced by the company Na Floresta Alimentos Amazônicos (In the Forest Amazonian Foods), located, in the city of Manaus, in the state of Amazonas, Brazil. It was established with the support of the AYTY Incubator (from the word nest in Tupi-Gaurani language), at the Federal Institute of Education, Science and Technology of Amazonas (IFAM), founded by Artur Bicelli Coimbra.

The company launched in 2014. The goal of Na Floresta is to promote the value of ingredients of Amazonian origin, such as puxuri, cumaru and açaí, using them in the production of foods and beverages. The company chose to work first with Amazonian cacao, sold in the form of chocolate and with the brand Na'kau. The name is a union of the first syllable of the company name "Na Floresta" and the last syllable of the raw material of chocolate, cacao, which in Tupi Guarani language is Kakau. Na’kau was introduced in early 2017and today it has 10 employees, developing its activities based on 4 pillars:

  1. Add the maximum value to Amazonian natural resources;
  2. Respect and value traditional extractivists and farmers;
  3. Encourage the conservation of the Amazon rainforest;
  4. Offer healthy Amazonian foods.

Artur believes that

"one of the only, fast and independent ways to bring development and quality of life to traditional Amazonian farmers and extractivists is by undertaking a social enterprise, paying fair values and passing on high quality products to demanding and conscientious consumers because we are tired of seeing disregard for the forest, disrespect for the Amazon, and the amount of conventional and poisoned products we consume today."

Native Amazonian cacao is very popular in the world, mainly because it is found in its biome of origin and is the oldest and wildest variety found in the world. It is the only cocoa in the world collected from within a canoe. Cacao trees are affected annually by the floods and droughts of the Amazonian rivers, a positive influence being a heavy nutrient load coming from the muddy waters. Na Floresta is interested in the revitalizing the cacao crop that is native to the Amazon. Historical records indicate that since 1650, it has been cultivated in the Amazon, a culture inherited from the natives for whom it was a staple in their traditional diet.

Na'kau is real chocolate, being among the purest in the world. This is because in formulations 81% and 72% cocoa only contain cocoa and organic sugar and 63% and 54% have cocoa, organic sugar, and cocoa butter. You can find Na'Kau Chocolates among many other fine Amazonian products at the "Boxes" of the Pinheiros Market in São Paulo operated by the Instituto ATÁ run by the famous chef Alex Atala.

The cocoa for Na’Kau is collected in the environment of origin of the species (Theobroma cacao) and collected through sustainable agroforestry practices, different from conventional monoculture planting methods. Through this process, Na’Kau has already been able to mobilize 18 producers, tripling the average value paid per kilo of cacao compared to other buyers in the region. Na Floresta believes that by paying higher prices for cocoa the producer will reduce interest in putting pressure on other natural resources in order to sell them in informal local and international markets, e.g., illegal hunting and fishing and logging for urban and international markets.

Through your purchase of Na’Kau, you are helping to directly maintain the traditional extractivist cacao culture, community development and the conservation of the Amazonian forest. Specifically, in the State of Amazonas, the municipalities of Urucurituba (district of Itapéaçú and the community of Terra Preta do Limão) and Borba (the Maraca 2 Community and the Puruzinho Lake Community). 

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