Investment in Cocoa Butter Alternative to Drive the Protection of Rainforests in Kalimantan

Estherina Daniel

2 minutes read - 14 May, 2024

Investment in Cocoa Butter Alternative to Drive the Protection of Rainforests in Kalimantan

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Estherina Daniel

2 minutes read

14 May, 2024

    Investment in Cocoa Butter Alternative to Drive the Protection of Rainforests in Kalimantan

    Press Release – 14 May 2024

    Bali, Indonesia - Forestwise, a pioneering company dedicated to halting deforestation in the rainforests of Kalimantan, announces a new partnership with Terratai, a boutique investment and venture building company focusing on driving finance towards companies that support biodiversity and nature protection.

    Forestwise, founded in 2018 by Dirk-Jan Oudshoorn and Theo Smits, aims to stop deforestation by establishing markets for valuable rainforest products, providing economic incentives for forest protection and thereby creating rainforest value. Terratai’s investment will bolster Forestwise’s efforts to harvest, produce and distribute illipe butter, a sustainable and traceable alternative to cocoa butter, derived from the fruit of the Shorea stenoptera tree. This rainforest giant is only found on the island Borneo, and plays a crucial role in the ecology of Kalimantan’s remaining lowland rainforests and in the cultural traditions of the indigenous Dayak communities in the region.

    By creating new markets for wild harvested rainforest products like illipe, Forestwise and Terratai will create long lasting income streams for farmer communities that provide the financial alternatives to avoid, halt and reverse destructive rainforest conversion for monoculture crops. This partnership alone will support the work of over a 1000 illipe nut collectors, custodians of rainforest almost three times the size of Singapore (c.200,000 hectares).

    Forestwise and Terratai believe that the income from illipe nuts and other sustainably sourced rainforest products (wild harvested ingredients, rainforest value) could double the income for farmers, but with far fewer financial, environmental, and social costs than monoculture plantations.

    Through this partnership, Terratai will provide strategic guidance, operational support and working capital, enabling Forestwise to achieve resilient growth and secure aligned future investors. Terratai will also support Forestwise to measure the co-benefits of this business model in their West Kalimantan sourcing area, quantifying their impact on a broad array of ecosystem services, and on climate mitigation and biodiversity protection.

    Dirk-Jan Oudshoorn, CEO of Forestwise, expressed excitement about the partnership, stating, "This collaboration with Terratai marks a significant milestone in our journey towards sustainable rainforest conservation. With their support, we are confident in our ability to scale our impact, diversify our product portfolio, and create lasting value for both communities and the environment."

    Matt Leggett CEO of Terratai, said “Forestwise have a unique ability to create meaningful progress to halt and restore critically important forests in Kalimantan and support local communities, all while bringing these unique commodities to a global market, so we’re honoured and excited to be joining Forestwise as an investor on their journey’.

    Together, Forestwise and Terratai are poised to drive meaningful change in the fight against deforestation and pave the way for a more sustainable future.

     

    For media inquiries, please contact:

    Alexander Van Oord
    Commercial Strategy Consultant – Forestwise
    [email protected]
    +31 6 41411973

    Estherina Daniel
    Senior Advisor – Terratai
    [email protected]
    +61 412 845 402

     

    About Forestwise:
    Forestwise is dedicated to halting deforestation and promoting rainforest conservation in Indonesia. Founded in 2018, Forestwise manages the entire value chain of rainforest products, from sourcing and processing to selling them to sustainability-conscious brands worldwide. With a focus on preserving biodiversity-rich areas, Forestwise is committed to creating a regenerative business model that benefits both communities and the environment.

    About Terratai:
    Terratai is Asia's first venture builder for nature, focused on small businesses delivering nature-based solutions. Established with the aim of addressing the shortfall in early-stage funding for nature-centric enterprises, Terratai is dedicated to amplifying and expanding impactful endeavours that tackle systemic hurdles within the realms of food sustainability and environmental preservation. The organization offers impact orientated businesses support by providing financial solutions, NBS technical expertise and business development.

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