FrutaSã has its roots in a scoping study of the Brazilian Cerrado eco-region conducted in the 1990s to determine socioeconomic challenges facing smallholder farmers and indigenous communities. Alongside mounting environmental threats to the region, exacerbated by the economic marginalization of the rural communities and subsequent over-exploitation of local resources, these findings inspired the 'Fruits of the Cerrado' project, which eventually became FrutaSã Industry, Trade and Export Ltd.
This eco-enterprise creates income for small-holder farmers through the sustainable extraction, marketing and sale of non-timber forest products, particularly native fruit pulp. The organization is half owned by a private partner, and half by the Centre for Indigenous Work, on behalf of indigenous communities. The initiative has successfully combined locally-abundant fruit varieties, traditional knowledge of their cultivation, and modern processing and storage techniques.