Governor's Trade Mission to Brazil

Governor Herbert came on a trade mission to Brazil last month. I had the chance to network at various events in São Paulo with members of the Governor’s Office of Economic Development, the World Trade Center of Utah and the U.S. Foreign Commercial Service as well as local Brazilian business leaders and the American Chamber of Commerce. It was, without doubt, a great experience! 

I also had a change to meet the Governor and his wife. 


Our very own Courtney and Kirk were also part of the trade mission. 

The Internship

I’ve been officially assigned to work for Bambuzar, a startup nonprofit organization for the study and development of bamboo found in the state of Acre, Brazil. Bambuzar promotes sustainability related projects that offer innovative alternatives for the use of bamboo.

One of my ongoing assignments is to read and learn as much as I can about bamboo and about the bamboo industry. So I’ve learned a few things. For instance, there are over 1600 species of bamboo that have been discovered up to this point and 440 of them are native to Latin America. Bamboo younger than 30 days old is good for eating. Between 6-9 months old, bamboo can be used to make baskets and other crafts. At 2-3 years old, it can be used for boards and laminations. And finally, at anytime between 3-6 years old, bamboo can be used for construction. After 6 years however, bamboo will gradually lose its strength.

In some regions, bamboo construction has been traditional and only slowed down, or stopped due to industrialization. Bamboo can become an alternative construction material that could potentially substitute wood. Bamboo can be combined with almost any other construction material, is lightweight, durable, sustainable due to its rapid growth, and has low production costs.

China controls one fourth of the world’s production of bamboo. Today’s annual value of China’s bamboo industry output is $14.5 billion and is expected to reach $48 billion by 2020.

Bamboo is just fascinating! There are so many species with different variations and uses. Bamboo can be used to make almost anything ranging from flooring to bikes and long boards. The more I learn about bamboo, the more interested I become in learning about it. This project is incredibly interesting because of its evolving nature. It’s a startup where profitability meets sustainability and social responsibility, what’s there not to love?