SYDNEY ‘BERRY’ BUSINESS IS A DOUBLE TELSTRA BUSINESS AWARDS FINALISTwww.amazonia.com.au has proved outstanding business practice, success and achievement as it was announced as a finalist in two categories at Friday night’s Telstra Business Awards NSW ceremony in Sydney.
Recognised in the MYOB Small Business Award and Yellow Pages Social Responsibility Award, Amazonia reached the final four from 3000 entries. They join an exclusive business alumnus of small to medium sized Australian businesses rewarded for ingenuity and innovation by The Telstra Business Awards, which has been recognising Australia’s most outstanding businesses since 1992.
Founder and CEO, Dwayne Martens, is aged just 26 and has cultured a truly unique business in Amazonia. As the only certified Fair Trade importer of the superfood, the Açaí berry from the Amazon rainforest in Brazil (Açaí berries have a staggering 42 times the antioxidants of fresh blueberries), Amazonia provides the largest and most nutrient rich Açaí product range to the Australian market and abroad.
A MYOB Small Business Award finalist, Amazonia came from humble beginnings, where Dwayne packed products in the back of a kitchen in Freemantle, WA. After just three years, Amazonia is now a global, multi-million dollar success story, providing supremely nutritious products to five countries. Amazonia has: • Grown its team of employees from two to thirteen nationally • Developed a product range from one to sixteen over four categories in health food stores, gourmet, grocery and smoothie bars/cafes • Increased sales by in excess of 400% over the last 24 months and in the 2010 financial year alone, by a staggering 350%.
A Yellow Pages Social Responsibility Award finalist, Amazonia, through Fair Trade, provides financial aid to local families who in turn help to keep Açaí trees standing, rather than removing them for cattle or soy. This provides a huge, alternative incentive as they view their surrounding rainforest as more valuable standing than cleared. Amazonia: • Currently supports over 4000 families through this system, ensuring that they’re actively ensuring the preservation of over 2000 acres of Açaí rainforest and of course the Açaí berry • Pays Fair Trade wages and runs sustainability workshops for pickers and their families to educate on the financial and environmental value of protecting the Amazon • Makes an annual investment into the region’s schools, hospitals and community projects (in Macapa, Brazil) • Buys, sells and re-invests profits from bracelets that women’s co-operatives make from Amazonia’s Açaí seeds (a by-product) • Provides its left-over seed as an alternative fuel to timber for brick furnaces, further protecting the forest
Dwayne Martens believes the company’s social responsibility credentials have helped its products earn credibility and staying power in the competitive health industry: “We are so passionate about what our company stands for, as we can guarantee the most nutrient rich, highest grade of Açaí possible through our Fair Trade practices in the Amazon. We couldn’t be happier that our sustainability, determination and hard work has been recognised by Telstra.
“Our goal first and foremost is to set the precedent for sustainable and conscious business. There’s nothing more motivating than knowing we’re saving Açaí rainforest, producing quality products and all the while supporting Brazilian families. We hope that these awards are another platform in our journey to grow our nutritious Açaí range even further and get more nutrition to more people.” Amazonia’s product range includes free dried Açaí powder, puree, frozen smoothie packs, capsules, health bars and dark chocolate. For more information and stockists visit www.amazonia.com.au.