Written by Scott Koch, VP Operations
From LAX to Miami to Manaus (where’s that?) to Belem to our hotel in Macapa ….It took 22 hours to get to the mouth of the Amazon river…but WOW, it was worth it!!! During my 28 years of food manufacturing experience – which includes dairy, meat, and bakery - I figured that I had pretty much seen it all and worked with everything that it takes to make a food product: the various types of raw materials and ingredients, manufacturing plants, processes and systems, and employees. Boy, did I find something fresh and anew when I visited Sambazon’s Açaí processing plant at Santana, in the Amapa region of Brazil.
The facility and the equipment were state-of-the-art and clean as a whistle and the employees of the plant were focused and dedicated to their tasks…despite the high heat and humidity. Sambazon is dedicated to its employees – by providing clean uniforms and boots daily, three meals with the rest periods, transportation to and from work, and a doctor on site during work hours. The harvesters of the fruit were proud to be associated with Sambazon, and welcomed us into their homes. From the jungle to the plant to the port, it felt like a tight-knit family on a mission to make difference.
In a nutshell, Sambazon is making a difference with its state-of-the-art manufacturing plant, in the middle of the Amazon jungle, processing the highest quality açaí products in the world, while supporting the sustainability of the Amazon Rainforest and offering the natives of the land an opportunity to earn a good living. WOW!!! All this from one company?!?! And I get to work for this company and support these initiatives?? Is my dream over?? I don’t think so…it’s just the beginning of Sambazon pioneering a new paradigm for food manufacturers to follow into the future…