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What is 30under30?
30under30 is an Anthill initiative that was launched in early 2008 to encourage and promote entrepreneurship among young Australians. Each year, we invite our readers to nominate young Australian entrepreneurs deserving of recognition for their outstanding entrepreneurial endeavours. More.
Dwayne Martens, NSW (b. 1985)
Name: Dwayne Martens
Age: 25 (Born: June 1985)
Dwayne Martens is an evangelist for the purpleberry.
That’s the more fanciful name for the acai berry, a violet fruit grown in the Amazon rainforests of Brazil. Amazonia, the company Martens started in 2008 with out-of-pocket savings, imports the acai for sales to Australia and Asia.
Of course, whenever one says “rainforest,” hot-button questions about sustainability, environmental consciousness and fair trade pop up. Tackling those issues is a big reason why Martens got into this line of work.
“I bring a new era of business ethos,” says Martens, who runs his health-food business out of Bellevue Hill. “I am absolutely passionate to show conscious business is more powerful and more effective than the dollar-driven business.”
He says Amazonia is the first certified fair-trade source of acai, which the company describes as “nature’s multi-vitamin.” Amazonia works directly with local Brazilian families and communities for the collection of the fruit. “Through our education programs, we preserve more than 2,000 acres of natural acai forest,” Martens says.
As for the bottom line, Amazonia moved $300,000 in product in August, and totaled $2.4 million in sales in 2009. Martens hopes to crack the $3 million mark soon.
But Martens is just as proud of a couple of other numbers. In August, Amazonia donated $8,500 to a hospital in the rainforest’s Macapa region, where the acai grows. The company also purchased more than $5,000 worth of fair-trade bracelets made by schools and women’s groups in Macapa.
“I really stand strong in my beliefs,” Martens says. “Amazonia is my leverage to do much good to many people.”
“Follow your passion, stay true to your heart and don’t just settle for good. Be great. Trust in that universal force that somehow got you from a twinkle in your father’s eye to adulthood without a single conscious thought.”
— Dwayne Martens
More about Amazonia
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To check out the full list of Anthill’s 30under30 winners, click here.