We’re passionate about being on the ground and feeling connected with the forest. Our yearly trips to the Amazon are primarily about fostering and nurturing relationships with members of the local communities and of the açai supply chain. From the isolated communities harvesting the berries, to the producers washing and preparing the fruit, we make it our mission to get to know the people and the process.
We invest a great deal into the process of sourcing açai and are continually working on how we approach this at a premium and sustainable level. We have experienced first-hand the benefits of being present and accessible to producers and by sharing information and collaborating on projects, we can help to add value to the whole process and end product.
We recognise the complexities of harvesting quality açai with true mindfulness to the social and environmental impact. But each day we feel like we’re getting closer to fully understanding these intricacies and are constantly trying to improve the way we work so that everyone is of benefit.
By truly understanding the process and learning about the forest, we believe we can achieve the ultimate, responsibly-sourced product. The berries that began their journey in one of the most beautiful places on earth will make their way to açai lovers throughout the UK. It’s by no means a simple process, but we love what we do and anything truly special is well worth the wait.
We work with specialists who are responsible for sourcing the best quality açai direct from the farmers. The quality of our product is a testament to many years of experience and a desire to achieve the best results, with the best intentions for the consumer, the producers, the pickers and for the forest.
The height of açai harvest season stretches over a three-month period each year. Beginning in July, the small round fruits clustered on braid-like inflorescences at the top of each açai stem begin to turn a dark shade of purple. By September açai harvest season is in full swing.
At dawn, açai pickers will go out to the açai groves (açaizais), to assess whether a particular bunch, high up in the sub-canopy, has reached the optimum point of ripeness. This is a critical moment in determining the quality of the resulting pulp.
To deliver high quality and good flavour at pulping, the açai at harvest has to be, “bem preto” (really black). Even more highly valued are the fruits that have progressed beyond the glossy purplish black to have an ashy bloom on their skin. This “açai tuíra” is the choicest harvest.
The producers use ministry regulated technology to carefully clean the berries to prevent any contamination. The berries are washed, sanitised, soaked and put through a machine that separates the seed from the flesh. From there, the açai puree is packaged, flash-frozen to maintain chemical structure, and shipped in frozen storage.