The Carnaúba initiative started in 2015 from a study of the carnauba production chain, promoted by InPACTO, with the support of the International Labor Organization (ILO). The research confirmed what numerous rescues of victims of slave labor in recent years have already signaled: the production and commercialization of this product involves a series of labor and human rights violations, strongly affecting communities in a situation of complete vulnerability. The need for action in the sector boosted the creation of a working group, which meets periodically to design efficient strategies in the region where the carnauba straw is harvested.
Brazil is the only producer of carnauba in the world, mostly concentrated in two states in the Northeast Region: Ceará and Piauí. This production, in addition to being essential for various industries, is the basis of livelihood for many families living in rural communities, especially during the dry season that runs from June to January. The production of carnauba wax powder involves a very complex chain, with various levels and arrangements, power relations and interests, which reflects the difficulty in organizing workers in the search for fairer remuneration for work.
With the CARNAÚBA initiative, we seek to combat the precariousness in the production and commercialization of carnauba wax, transforming the productive and business model and reducing the vulnerability of the local population. The objective is to promote a qualified intervention in the productive scenario of the sector, through the mobilization of local actors, government, industries and companies involved, to bring about an improvement in working conditions and promotion of decent regularized work.