Sambazon - the firm that made açai a household name in the US - has donated $50,000 to Whole Planet Foundation to help fund microcredit for poverty alleviation worldwide.
The San Clemente, CA-based firm - which makes organic juices, smoothies, energy drinks and frozen products made from Amazon superfoods such as açai and acerola - has joined the 2014 Supplier Alliance for Microcredit , a group of like-minded companies including Hain Celestial and Garden Of Life that have given $50,000 to support poverty alleviation programs.
The foundation was set up by Whole Foods Market in 2005 and funds microloans in poor communities via grants to microfinance partners. To date, it has authorized $41m and funded more than $29m in microfinance programs in 58 countries.
“Though our partnership with Whole Planet Foundation we’re helping empower those living in developing-world communities and are able to extend Sambazon’s mission to create positive change in the Brazilian Amazon and beyond,” said Sambazon founder and CEO Ryan Black.
When Black first created Sambazon, he bought in frozen açai puree from manufacturers in Brazil, but as sales grew, he built his own manufacturing facility in Brazil and started dealing directly with farmers growing the fruit.
Today, Sambazon helps support 10,000 family farmers and more than 1.6 acres of Amazon Rainforest, while also improving the lives of local residents through projects such as the construction of new schools and community centers.
Latest launches tap into protein, greens and energy megatrends
The latest additions to the Sambazon portfolio on display at Natural Products Expo West included new 10.5 ounce grab-and-go and one-liter multi-serve packs of its Protein Recharge and Purifying Greens beverages, along with one-liter packs of its Daily Cleanse products.
“Proteins and greens are two of the largest and fastest growing segments of the beverage category and within the Sambazon portfolio,” said Dylan Spencer, Brand Manager, Fresh Juices and Smoothies.
Protein Recharge contains Brazil and cashew nut butters plus cocoa and cardamom extract (8g protein per serving), while Purifying Greens contains a blend of kale, cucumber, parsley, and yacon syrup, a low-glycemic sweetener from Peru with 25% fewer calories than sugar. Daily Cleanse contains vitamin-C-packed acerola cherry juice, lemon juice, and cayenne pepper.
Other recent additions to the range include the Energy Mocha Java Superfood Smoothie (acai juice and puree, soy milk, yerba mate, coffee extract, guarana); and the fiber-and protein-packed Blended Breakfast Superfood smoothie (strawberries and bananas with açai berries, chia seeds, quinoa, amaranth and soy milk).
Ryan Black took part in FoodNavigator-USA's recent business leaders' round table debate. Click HERE for the highlights...
Click HERE to find out more about the Whole Planet Foundation.