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© Pam Whinery, Brian Guido

Meet your Nutrilite farmer

Nutrition & Wellbeing

Joaquim Duran, manager of the NUTRILITE Ubajara farm in Brazil, explains the importance of seeds, sustainable farming and what they have to do with your NUTRILITETM food supplements.

As the sun rises across the vast fields of Ubajara farm, the light casts hues of pink and orange through the clouds. Joaquim Duran strolls through the orchard, breathing in the morning air and taking stock of the beauty around him. At this time of the morning, he’s a lone dot among the 3,000 acres that make up the Ubajara farm in Brazil. Positioned 15 degrees south of the equator, in a country known for its lush tropical climate and nutrient-rich soil, the farm is the perfect setting for growing acerola cherries – some 138,000 of them, in fact – as well as watercress, picāo preto and Eclipta alba.

Antioxidant-rich crops growing on the NUTRILITE Ubajara farm © Amway

While you or I might not think about seeds often, Joaquim does so every day. It’s a topic close to his heart: “It’s my passion to conserve the environment, while innovating new farming methods,” he says. But this pursuit takes commitment, patience and flexibility – when the weather plays up, plant diseases appear or especially during inevitable periods of drought. Facing challenges requires Joaquim to have an innovative and analytical mind, so he can quickly and effectively resolve problems as they arise.

However, when things are going smoothly, Joaquim knows how to practice gratitude and appreciate the moment. “My favourite part of my job is walking through the orchards and watching the harvest process. I can reap extraordinary benefits by connecting or reconnecting with nature. The outdoor activities expand my senses and reignite a sense of awe in nature – this helps me to feel fully alive,” he says. Listening to Joaquim makes it easy to understand why seed-based thoughts occupy a part of his day – and offers a whole new reason to appreciate your vitamins and food supplements.

Planting the seed

Joaquim and his team plant countless seeds per year. And not just any seed will do – they must be well-researched and meet high standards. Why? Joaquim explains that although most seeds are tiny, they greatly impact the quality of ingredients that go into NUTRILITE vitamins and food supplements. To ensure that they are of high quality, testing is a part of the planting process. “We test for things like purity, organic nature and germination rate. We also select seeds sourced from crops already high in phytonutrients and varieties that will thrive in local conditions,” he explains.

Aside from providing ingredients derived from natural sources for NUTRILITE food supplements such as Vitamin C Plus, DOUBLE X and NUTRILITE Concentrated Fruit and Vegetables, the seeds planted at the Ubajara Brazil farm are also used for other Amway plant-based products, which all profit from antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. Some of these include picāo preto and Eclipta alba, used in SatiniqueTM hair products, and acerola cherry in ARTISTRY INTENSIVE SKINCARETM Advanced Vitamin C+HA treatment.

A seedling growing from the mineral-rich soil on the NUTRILITE Ubajara farm © Amway

A typical working day

While there is no such thing as a typical working day for Joaquim, an element that remains consistent is teamwork. Every day, Joaquim takes time to talk to his team about safety, harvest quality, or the organisation of deliveries and costs. To this he adds above-and-beyond work that goes into maintaining harvest quality. “We test all irrigation water for pathogens, and our water systems are documented and mapped,” he says. This isn’t because pathogens are common but, rather, as a precaution that supports a desire to ensure that the best-quality crops are produced. Crops that can ultimately deliver the right active ingredients, antioxidants, vitamins, nutrients and minerals to supplement your diet and aid in your overall nutrition.

It’s not only seeds that are important

Although they are vital, Joaquim confirms that seeds are not the only way to grow crops. Acerola cherries, for example, are primarily grown from planting stock rather than seeds. “We use hand-cut twigs from healthy plants to help sprout new ones,” he explains. Once the stem is planted, Joaquim says he and his team need to maintain a strong root to get the best condition and yield. This way, he says, “We can deliver cherries with high vitamin C content, and healthy trees with 12 years of productive life.”

The hard work of Joaquim and his team begins the seed-to-supplement journey – a path that ultimately enables you to address potential vitamin deficiency, add essential nutrients to your diet and reap a multitude of health benefits. Watch this space for the next instalment in our series, which will take us from the orchards of Brazil to the fields of Mexico.

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