Harmless HarvestHarmless Harvest is an organic coconut brand that guarantees nonpesticide, chemical or GMO supplements in its young Nam Hom coconuts, harvested from Thailand. Known to be the first brand to introduce non-thermally pasteurized coconut water in the United States, its mission is to “create remarkable coconut products through sustainable farming practices while having a positive community impact,” says Harmless Harvest CEO, Ben Mand. Utilizing organic-certified Nam Hom coconut farms, Harmless Harvest ensures growing coconuts without “persistent pesticides, synthetic fertilizers or sewage sludge.”

Fair Wages for Workers

In addition to its commitment to clean practices and natural coconut products, Harmless Harvest guarantees social accountability through its Fair for Life certification. Fair for Life certification demonstrates the organization’s efforts to provide fair wages for its workers in Thailand. Fair for Life advocates for financial resiliency for all its workers and reallocates funds to support communities of farmers to found mobile health clinics and provide dental checks and water filtration systems. The certification promises social responsibility and fair trade to all the people involved in the production, which starts with farmers that harvest in the very beginning to the consumers that take home the products. 

Regenerative Coconuts Agriculture Project (ReCAP)

In December 2020, Harmless Harvest announced its partnership with Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) to introduce a new agricultural project called the Regenerative Coconuts Agriculture Project (ReCAP). This project aims to ensure a sustainable farming model with innovative coconut harvesting and the training of farmers to maximize their overall productivity. With plans to implement new regenerative farming methodology and agricultural management training for Thailand farmers, ReCAP considers many aspects of the harvesting process other than just the coconut’s quality.

Sustainable Farming and Education for Farmers

The main aspect of the project is to reinvent coconut farming and produce more eco-friendly efficiency. Harmless Harvest aims to implement new sustainable coconut harvesting practices by utilizing cover crops, which then increases the soil’s water absorption and reduces soil erosion during heavy rainfall. Other methods such as intercropping, bee-keeping and organic inputs were included in the coconut farm regeneration in efforts to promote clean farming.

The project also seeks to provide farmers with education in farm management and innovative agricultural practices that target longevity and resistance against climate change. By teaching farmers new strategies to increase biodiversity and resilience, sustainable coconut harvesting becomes a stepping stone to transitioning modern farming to regenerative agriculture. The brand’s overall goal is to rediscover a more environmentally sustainable and resistant farming methodology while also promoting farmers’ wages by the end of 2023.

Addressing Poverty Through Coconut Farming

Harmless Harvest’s project ReCAP shifts the coconut industry and other farm-dependent brands away from chemical-laden monoculture crop farming, which is susceptible to climate change and is inefficient environmentally. The project alleviates ecological stress and utilizes a more efficient system of production, which corresponds with Harmless Harvest’s overall mission of ethical practices. ReCAP seeks to encourage new methods of sustainable coconut harvesting and aims to increase the income of farmers by 10% or more by the end of 2023. From celebrating zero coconut waste in September 2020 to up-cycling and utilizing all parts of the coconut up to the husk, the brand continues to introduce techniques to better the planet and help farmers lift themselves out of poverty.

– Linda Chong
Photo: Flickr

Climate change in ColombiaHistorically, Colombian farmers have had beneficial cultivating environments with reliable rainfall. In recent years, the increasing climate change in Colombia has inflicted substantial turmoil through flooding and drought.

“Colombia is very vulnerable to phenomena of extreme climate variability and climate change,” stated the Minister of Environment and Sustainable Development, Luis Gilberto Murillo. To build their resilience, the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) has collaborated with national partners by designing a South-South exchange with Senegalese organizations. The exchange’s objective is for Colombian partners to acquire knowledge from the experiences of farmers in Senegal.

CIAT was founded on October 17, 1967 and functions in collaboration with numerous partners to assist developing countries in crafting more competitive, profitable and durable farming through its efficient and sustainable natural resource management. With this principle, the organization aims to help policymakers, scientists and farmers in understanding the key adversities of our world which include food insecurity, malnutrition, climate change and environmental ruin.

The global research contributes to several of the U.N.’s Sustainable Development Goals, such as good health and well-being, affordable and clean energy, decent work and economic goals, sustainable cities and communities, climate action and partnerships for the goals. The international partnerships work cost-effectively and realistically together. Diversity is regarded as a key asset, for adjusting easily to the existing climate change in Colombia and striving to improve progress through continuous education.

From acclimatizing to rigorous climate changes for millennia, the Senegalese partners have established an abundance of indigenous knowledge on techniques for monthly droughts. In the framework of this phenomenal international collaboration, these partners have acquired fresh new proficiency and expertise on incorporating site-specific communication towards the climate change in Colombia. This has resulted in Senegalese partners providing agro climatic forecasts to Colombian farmers, including instructions that match their specific contexts. There are 154,059 Colombian farmers who are now receiving agro climatic orders and an additional 6,000 have implemented climate-smart practices. In the medium-term, the project is expected to reach 1,588,640 farmers.

With climate change affecting the world in various ways, it’s a relief to know that Colombia is fostering these programs. Agricultural research is an essential tool in producing new technologies, methods and knowledge that enhance farmers’ preparations and make production more eco-efficient, especially for low-income smallholders.

Thanks to CIAT, more than 5,000 Colombians have enhanced their knowledge of agriculture and their aptitude through the abundant training opportunities offered. Furthermore, CIAT and its partnerships have designed an advanced biosciences platform that provides ready access to cutting-edge technologies with the aim of having agriculture be more competitive. There are always opportunities to improve agriculture and Colombia has worked with its Senegalese partners for training and education on new techniques. It’s all part of the global collaboration to help nourish their people during these difficult climate changes.

– Nicole Suárez

Photo: Flickr