For 15 years, Candela has used Shared Interest finance to sustain a precious relationship in the Peruvian Amazon.
Castañeros are brazil nut gatherers, who live along the Madre de Dios River in the Peruvian rainforest. This area is known for having the greatest diversity of plant and animal species on earth.
In 2003, the government granted a forty year concession to the Castañeros, allowing them to farm the brazil nut trees in clearly defined locations; securing not only livelihoods but the vested interest of the farmers in managing and protecting the rainforest.
Candela was established to help Castañeros find markets for their brazil nut products. Export of brazil nut produce such as candles, chocolate, and oils, is the key to reaping tangible rewards from this harmonious relationship between people and planet.
Candela owns the whole process of production. Members collect nuts during the harvest period and Candela buys the raw and peeled material. The nuts are stored in their warehouse prior to exporting to their buyers. They have a nut processing plant in Puerto Maldonado and one in Lima, where most of the processing and packaging is done.
Please watch our film below about the impact our finance is having on the co-operative.