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Project in progress | Female Empowerment

Mulheres conservando o Cerrado

The project

The project aims to encourage and train agroextractivist women for the sustainable management of biodiversity in the Cerrado biome (baru - Dipteryx alata, pequi - Caryocar brasiliense, favela - Dimorphandra mollis, babaçu - Attalea speciosa and Jatobá - Hymenaea courbari), fomenting their financial autonomy and contributing to the social and political organization of these women in extractive causes - while also promoting the conservation of biodiversity. 


The project will be carried out in the Cerrado biome, covering agroextractive communities located in 15 municipalities in the states of Goiás and Minas Gerais.


Both the northeast of Goiás and the north of Minas Gerais are areas with levels of Human Development Indexes below their respective states, with rankings among the last in terms of GDP, employment and qualification opportunities and access to infrastructure. Among the 10 poorest municipalities in Goiás and Minas Gerais, six (06) and nine (09) municipalities, respectively, are located in these regions. 

These regions epitomize a rural setting more than an urban one, given that the agricultural expansion in the states has predominantly followed these directions, marking the final phase in the intensive utilization and occupation of the territory. Within this context, there's a pressing need for increased investments to rectify regional and social inequalities. The project emerges as a pivotal instrument in alleviating the asymmetries that have accrued over the years. 


The project will focus on the sustainable management of five native species with economic and cultural importance to the Cerrado, for example: 

Baru (Dipteryx alata): A fruit tree known for its fruits rich in proteins and oil, often used in human nutrition and production of cosmetics. 

Pequi (Caryocar brasiliense): A tree whose fruits are used in regional cuisine and in production of edible oil. 

Favela (Dimorphandra mollis): A tree that produces seeds with high medicinal value, often used in the production of herbal medicines and natural cosmetics. 

Babaçu (Attalea speciosa): A palm tree of great socioeconomic importance for agroextractive communities, whose fruits are used to produce oil, fiber and food. 

Jatobá (Hymenaea courbaril): A hardwood tree, whose seeds are used in human and animal nutrition.

Community history

Agroextractivist communities in the Cerrado have a rich history of interaction and reliance on the biome's natural resources. Across generations, these communities have amassed profound knowledge of native species and developed sustainable management practices. Nonetheless, agroextractive women encounter challenges in assuming leadership roles within their communities, facing issues such as the devaluation of their traditional knowledge and financial dependence on their husbands. 

Several species indigenous to the Cerrado hold significant economic value, serving as a vital income source for local rural communities. However, there exists minimal autonomy and female involvement in the marketing process of these products. Following the harvest of raw materials, women often cede their place to men, who take charge of product marketing, setting prices and negotiating terms. Consequently, their productive contributions are undervalued within the communities, perpetuating financial reliance on their husbands. 

Women have a multidimensional perspective on the use of species – from health, food and well-being – and have a deep relationship with the elements managed within ecosystems. Therefore, it is believed that by strengthening the processes of qualification and female protagonism we will have a more sustainable management practices, encouraging the conservation of biodiversity and the maintenance of ancestral knowledge throughout generations. 

The project aims to reclaim and honor this traditional knowledge, fortify female leadership, and empower women towards financial independence. 

Impactos históricos:

2000 — Constitution of CEDAC 

2001 — Creation of the collective brand “Empório do Cerrado”, which resulted in the inclusion of baru flour in school meals. 

2003 — Implementation of the Centro Nacional de Agroecologia, in partnership with Embrapa, Agência Ambiental/GO e o MMA.

2011 — Start of a project with the MDA to implement organic certification. 

2014 — CEDAC is accredited as a Organismo Participativo de Avaliação da Conformidade Orgânica by MAPA. 

2023 — Launch of the Mulheres do Cerrado Project, in partnership with Avon.

Full name:

Mulheres conservando o Cerrado.


12 months.



Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs): 

Project activities

Promote community participation through mobilization, organization and project evaluation meetings

Mobilization and organization meetings in communities:  

Meetings held in the municipalities and communities where the project will be implemented, with the aim of presenting the activities and partners and engaging families to participate, highlighting the benefits and opportunities that will be offered. Furthermore, community centers are formed, led by women selected in a participatory manner, to strengthen the organization and participation of agroextractivists. 

Train women agroextractivists in management, use, conservation and pre-benefiting practices of native Cerrado species

Workshops on sustainable management and participatory organic certification: 

To enhance knowledge and qualify female labor, we will offer 8-hour workshops focusing on pre-processing, sustainable management, species utilization, conservation practices, and participation in the organic certification process.  

Exchange and training at an Agroecological Community Experience Center: 

To foster a deeper understanding and facilitate the exchange of experiences, a day-long event will be organized, bringing together 90 agroextractivist women at the Agroecological Community Experience Center. Within this setting, agroextractivist women will have the chance to explore innovative agroecological practices, engage with experts, and share their own experiences. This event aims to enhance their skills and fortify sustainable management practices within the context of the Cerrado.  

Advise agroextractive women in organizing the production chain for socio-biodiversity products, and investing in their inclusion in a cooperative

Socio-productive organization and participatory monitoring of baru management:

This initiative involves a partnership with Coopcerrado, tasked with coordinating the collection, storage, transportation, processing, and marketing of products derived from species utilized by the communities, in collaboration with agroextractivist women. The selected women acting as monitors will oversee all stages of the process and evaluate activities, documenting the quantity collected and produced by each family.


The participatory monitoring of baru will be executed through the implementation of a system that involves surveying and labeling seedlings of this species with numbered seals. This approach aims to identify plants utilized in organic production processes. The monitored areas during management will be recorded by the responsible agroextractivists (monitors) in a designated field notebook. They will assess the species' productivity and seasonal patterns concerning sustainable management. 


Enrichment of certified properties: 

Technical visits will be carried out to women's properties to monitor the process of enriching productive areas with the planting of forest species seedlings. During the visits, soil conditions will be assessed, as well as guidance provided to farmers.   


women trained in management, use, conservation and pre-improvement practices of native Cerrado species.


properties certified for organic production, guaranteeing the quality and added value of products.


baru seedlings planted on properties, with the aim of guaranteeing a future stock of raw materials, reducing pressure on Cerrado ecosystems.

Project impacts



Avon is part of the Natura&Co group, one of the largest beauty groups in the world, and its purpose is to empower women and promote their financial independence. With the aim of being the best beauty company in the world and for the world, Avon has a sustainability policy that focuses on commitment to life, addressing social problems such as equality and inclusion, and environmental problems such as climate crises and loss of biodiversity. 


Established in 2000, with the purpose of advising rural communities in the Cerrado to overcome poverty and social injustice, by valuing the know-how of these communities in the Territory - Biome - Cerrado. The Solidarity Commercialization Network mobilized by CEDAC, whose principles come from the National Center for Agroecology, enables the development of sustainable practices in the cerrados, adding value to products aimed at food, medicines, cosmetics, among others.

Bioeconomy platform that enables projects to value Brazilian biodiversity. It has a multidisciplinary team with more than 12 years of experience in project management and corporate communication. Its work has already enabled the operation of 23 projects to enhance biodiversity and created a network of more than 500 organizations and companies active in the socio-environmental cause. 

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