We use only certified organic and sustainably grown and harvested palm oil in our products, directly from the Palm Done Right. I flew to Ecuador last year to check out the Palm Done Right operation myself, and here is what I learned:
Several years ago, the founders of Palm Done Right went to Ecuador and started working with small, family owned farms that were already growing conventional palm oil to help them transition to growing organic. The farms I visited were growing many things there—banana’s, pineapple, passion fruit, cacao, and rubber! They are ‘multi-cropping’ rather than ‘mono-cropping’, which creates a much healthier environment and is sustainable.
They are also working with many (about 175 when I visited) independent, family operations rather than buying the land, kicking people off of it, and creating a factory farm. This is in stark contrast to what is happening in Malaysia where the forests are being clear cut to grow palm oil, and orangutans are being kicked out of their homes or and killed.
Palm Done Right paid all the fees associated with getting organic certified, paid the farmers for lost income during the transition period, pays for ongoing training and consultation as needed, and purchases 100% of the yield. They also help support local schools and pay for nurses to come in and give the kids checkups they wouldn’t otherwise receive.
We also got to visit the facility where the palm fruit is turned into crude palm oil. The majority of the power to operate it comes from the burning of the husks of the palm fruit that is generated by the process.
I would be happy to introduce you to the folks at Palm Done Right if you would like to ask them any more questions. If you want to go down for a visit, I’m sure that could be arranged as well!