Theo Smits and Dirk-Jan Oudshoorn were working for an Indonesian NGO for several years and have managed several community development projects. They noticed there was an urgent need for alternative sources of income, other than the rubber trees that most of the people are cultivating. The only other option people seem to have is to convert forest into palm oil plantations, or to mine for gold, in a not safe or environmentally friendly way. While there are so many beautiful and useful products already in the forest, the market for these products still has to be developed. Or, in case there already is a market for these forest products, the farmers often lack access to the local or international market so they have to go through middle men, if they are even available.
Forestwise, buys directly from the farmers, directly connecting the farmers to the international market. They have contracts with over 700 farmers to supply them with their raw materials, that they harvest from the forest in a sustainable way. In return for Forestwise pledging that they will buy the illipe nuts, the communities pledge to protect the forest in which these trees are located. The preparation process is done by the farmers as much as possible. For illipe nuts, an independent study has shown that Forestwise has increased the farmer's income by 16% annually, already taking into account that the nuts are only available once every three years on average. They are constantly searching for more products that can be harvested from the forest and introduced to the international market, and they keep making their products and supply chain more and more sustainable and certified.
Their ultimate goal is to inspire companies like Ladson’s to start exploring the wide range of rainforest ingredients and help these communities to thrive and keep protecting their forest.
The geographical coordinates of the factory are these:
The picture is from 2016 so it does not show anything yet. Unfortunately, instead of building the factory in an area that had no trees, we were requested by the government to move to the dedicated industrial zone, a few km outside the city. Forestwise is only the second factory there, there is an energy plant that runs on coal, not far from our factory north east to our factory location.
The good news is that 30% of our area had to be dedicated as 'green area', so we planted a lot of different kinds of trees there, as well as vegetables for our staff to use for lunch.
Their motto is 'Born in Brazil'. All products from Rainforest Chica are wild-harvested from the Brazilian Amazon Rainforest. Their suppliers support local and indigenous communities that harvest every nut or fruit wild. Supporting local farmers secures income and keeps people away from seeking jobs at larger corporations that farm on larger scales and timber.
The products they promote have been used for thousands of years for skin, hair and health care by indigenous forest communities.
- Pracaxi oil
- Pataua oil: This oil has been used for generations of indigenous people in the Amazon, there is still a saying that the people look more beautiful during the Pataua extraction season.
- Maracuja Oil: Local to Paraguay and northern Argentina.
- Brazil nut oil: The Brazil nut tree is one of the most important species of the Amazon. Large and majestic tree that can produce 50 liters of oil per year. Local river women use it for cooking, baking, hair and skin care.
- Cupuacu butter: Local in the northern Brazil.
- Ucuuba butter: Tree is a native tree of the floodplains found throughout the Amazon region, extending to the states of Maranhao and Pernambuco.
- Murumuru butter: From the wet regions of the Amazon forest. The growth region extends to the borders of Bolivia and Peru. Flooded areas, islands, lowlands of Marajo island.
- Avocado butter
- Bacuri butter: Popular in northern Brazil. Native to the state of Para (Eastern Amazon Forest)
Baraka Shea Butter
“Baraka is designated to help women and communities to help themselves. They want dignity of income and not charity handouts”
“We aren’t perfect, but the more we succeed in our purpose, the more impact we have, the more fun we have …”
There are videos and a lot of pictures on their website, barakasheabutter.com. Interviews with locals, pictures of the women that make the shea butter. The whole process of making the Baraka Shea butter is documented handmade. You can watch each step on film or video. Every purchase of Baraka Shea Butter has a direct impact on the 3000 families that are involved in the program.
- Shea Butter
Mountain Rose Herbs
Rosemary Gladstar in 1987 (California School ofHerbal Studies). With her move to Vermont, the School of Herbal studies was split in two: A mail order company and retail herb shop. Mail orders were fulfilled by Rose Madrone and Mountain Rose Herbs was born.
Rigorous guidelines for ethical wild harvesting, high quality goods. Strict organic policy for all products Certified Organic company since 1999. Located in Eugene, Oregon. In 2010 the company became Fair Trade certified.
Shawn Donnille sole owner of the company today. Move to Phoenix Industrial Park in Eugene, with a 12-acre campus that is being developed into green space.
- Jojoba oil: Harvested and processed in the US, in the farthest reaches of the Arizona outback. Jojoba requires 60% less water than any other crop and is native only to the area that stretches from southern Arizona’s Sonoran Desert to parts of Mexico’s Baja California. Native plant to the Sonoran Desert. Chip is a farmer that started out growing and harvesting jojoba with his father, his brother and brother-in-law in the 70ies. Production started in the 1980s and he joined the operation at the age of 21. Today Chip produces some of the finest jojoba oils worldwide. The seeds are only harvested once a year but stored and kept for as long as possible. 17 pounds of seeds are pressed fresh for every gallon of oil.
- Sesame oil
- Sea Buckthorn oil
- Hazelnut oil
- Olive oil
Their history goes back to many generations cultivating olive trees and producing olive oil. In the 1990s, CHO Company began selling its olive oil in bulk to co-packers and manufacturers in Europe. Dismayed to see our beautiful, golden, smooth tasting olive oil blended with lesser quality oils from other countries, they developed Terra Delyssa to be the ambassador brand of Tunisian olive oil.
They have built an integrated structure (horizontal integration and vertical integration) to support the authentic olive oil our ancestors first produced many years ago.
- Global Organic Ingredients
- Organic Sourcing
- Organic Processing
- Organic Distribution
- Regenerative Farming
Olive Oil Origin:
Terra Delyssa stands for quality. We believe that by pioneering quality control in our industry in our International Olive Council accredited laboratory, we protect our farmers' hard-work and build a better future for our children.
We believe that our impact on the environment and the social wellbeing of our farmers is an integral part of the quality of the oil we produce.
Conversion desert to high intensity agriculture snapshot
As farmers, we must protect our environment. We strive to reduce our carbon footprint by recycling, innovating our processes and our packaging. We achieve this by using sustainable farming methods and by using waste materials to create by-products of soap, fire logs, cosmetics and animal feed.
We are planting over 100,000 trees every year by converting desert waste land into irrigated high intensive orchards.
- Avocado oil: Upcyceled product that is manufactured in Ethiopia where the Avocado trees grow as shade trees on coffee plantations. The fruit has been going to waste because the peel is too thin for export and there is no local market for Avocados. In 2019 Tradin Organics opened a processing facility SUNVADO - located in the heart of the avocado growing region 300km south of Addis Ababa. Tradin Organics works with 30’000 local organic avocado farmers who provide the raw material for the factory. The fruits are not from large scale commercial plantations they grow on organic coffee farms. Now the farmers can get a better price for their fruit, and certification has given them access to premium organic prices.
- Olive oil: Harvested in Tunisia by Terra Delyssa
- Watermelon Seed oil: Harvested and produced in the USA. Raw, virgin.
Exclusively selects small or medium sized plantations & remote boutique apiaries.
- Kokum butter (unrefined and raw): Kokum butter is extracted by traditional rural/cottage industry sized oil mills. Kokum seeds are gathered from natural forest habitats. Keynote works with rural cooperatives in Sindhudurg, Maharadscha, India to produce all natural raw unrefined kokum butter extracted solely using physical extraction methods. Garcinia indica trees have been growing for decades in the wild and the kokum butter is extracted using wild-grown kokum fruit only. Wild growing kokum trees have not come in contact with chemical fertilizers or pesticides and therefore is an exquisite butter. Keynote kokum butter is one of the most untouched authentic and raw butters and was pressed to order for Ladson’s.
- Mango Butter
Orangutan Alliance aim to ensure the protection of endangered species and their habitats through advocating for the surrender of ecologically damaging products to sustainable alternatives.