How I fell in love with the rainforest!

How I fell in love with the rainforest!
"I lived next door to the farmers, slept in wooden cabins, showered with rainwater and heard the voices of nature. There it was again - the feeling of freedom and happiness."

"Albana, why did you give up a secure job as a top manager to sell açai berries from the Amazon?" A question that I have been answering regularly since the Rainforest Company was founded. I admit: My project was daring and somewhat unconventional. But for me it was the most important step of my life so far. Because it gave it a whole new meaning. Above all, it enables many people today to have a better future.

I grew up in Kosovo, in a small village called Botushë - with my grandparents, surrounded by animals and untouched nature. My parents came to Switzerland in the seventies as guest workers. We didn't have warm water or money, but we had love, solidarity and endless nature. During my stay in the rainforest, I had the feeling of being back in a place where I came from emotionally - a place where the values I knew from my childhood count.

But at that time I was still living in a world that was characterized by fast money and fast consumption. In my late twenties, I had made the leap to the managerial level and asserted myself as CFO in a male-dominated industry. This brought me self-confidence and courage, but above all financial independence. I was proud of what I had achieved. However, I lacked meaning.

In 2015 I planned a trip to the Brazilian rainforest. What was planned as an adventure vacation in the survival camp turned out to be the biggest adventure of my life.

At dawn I went with the local farmers to the açaí harvest and learned everything about the miracle berry and its trade. The desire became stronger and stronger to actively protect this magical place with its breathtaking wildlife, plant diversity, and wonderful inhabitants. I wanted to give the farmers a financial incentive to continue to manage the forest in a sustainable manner.

Back in Switzerland, I quit my job and the idea for The Rainforest Company was born. Today we provide farmers with a secure and fair income and work together with them to protect our planet.