Ouro Verde is part of the New Ventures initiative at the World Resources Institute

Brazilian entrepreneur Luis Laranja’s company, Ouro Verde, is part of the New Ventures initiative at the World Resources Institute. New Ventures works with small and medium enterprises that have positive environmental impacts, and helps grow environmental entrepreneurship in emerging markets.

Laranja believes that the Mato Grosso’s Brazil nut trees, combined with the power of small business, can help stop deforestation. A longtime environmental activist, Laranja left his job as a professor eight years ago and moved to the Amazon rainforest to start Ouro Verde, a sustainable Brazil nut company. Ouro Verde buys, processes and sells high-quality Brazil nuts and products, including Brazil nut meal, extra virgin oil, and butter.

Laranja’s company is transforming the living rainforest into a source of income for Mato Grosso’s rural residents. “I really believe that what we have to use to preserve the forests is the market,” he says. “If the forest does not provide money for the people, it will be impossible to save it.” Ouro Verde creates special relationships with local indigenous and small-holder farmer communities that collect and supply Brazil nuts. By eliminating the high profit margin “middle man” between the company and local suppliers, Ouro Verde can pay its suppliers fair wages and thus make the living forest more valuable than lumber exploitation or landclearing.

Further information


Partnership types

Doing business with the poor

Regions / countries / territories

Americas: Brazil

Global issues

Agriculture, aquaculture and forestry; Job creation and enterprise development;...show all (3)

Goods categories

Food & beverage

Business sectors