As we celebrate Earth Day this year, we wanted to take the time to explain how Kelapo practices smart, earth friendly choices year-round. It is important to understand where your coconut oil comes from and the practices being employed to harvest such a product. Unfortunately, we cannot source coconut oil stateside. All coconut oil must be imported from overseas, most commonly from the South Pacific. Kelapo has a great working relationship with organic farmers in Sri Lanka, a small island nation off the southern tip of India.
Organic means that our growers may use only natural methods for improving the fertility of their land and do not apply chemical fertilizers, pesticides, or herbicides. Organic farming will increase coconut yields, improve resistance to diseases and drought and make estates healthier and more profitable. Sustainable practices also include maintenance and improvement of soil fertility, and controlling weeds and pests by natural means. Our growers are provided with custom made compost that meets the nutrient needs of the coconut palms. The compost, or mulch, contains coconut leaves and fronds, which provide high levels of potassium needed by the trees for fruit production. Farmers also “intercrop” their organic farming with organic crops, such as black pepper, spices, tropical fruits, and gliricidia. These help to maintain good soil composition and also help farmers increase their return on investment on their land.
The factory also showcases virtually complete recycling of all process by-products and waste: husks are sold for fiber and coco peat, coconut shells generate steam in our boiler and are sold for charcoal and activated carbon, the seed cake is sold for animal feed, and the wastewater is treated and used for irrigation and groundwater recharge.
Even in transport, we employ practices that are supporting the sustainability of our environment. Our shipments are packaged in special totes that can store as much as two to six steel drums in 20% less space. Plus, the totes contain no metal and are completely recyclable and biodegradable.
To read more about cultivation and sustainability of coconut oil visit our website: kelapo.com/fair-trade-coconut-oil/