Tauranga-based Heilala Vanilla has teamed up with Oxfam's partner the Tonga National Youth Congress (TNYC) to produce Virgin Coconut Oil for the global market.
This partnership is strengthening the vitality of Tongan villages and building economic independence for young people.
Growers are processing the oil using sustainable, organic agriculture methods. Oxfam supporters and the New Zealand Aid Programme have provided the processing equipment, as well as training and technical expertise, to TNYC and the growers to enable them to produce the 100% pure Virgin Coconut Oil for export.
Heilala Vanilla Director Jennifer Boggiss explains: “The oil is made using fresh coconuts, not dried copra, and grown using sustainable, organic agricultural methods. After the coconut flesh is grated and dried, oil is extracted using the cold pressed method, not heated or fermented."
This high quality product is being sold to specialty food retail and fine dining establishments and gourmet food manufacturers. Markets have been established in New Zealand, Australia, Singapore, Japan, Brazil, Denmark and the US.
Check out the 100% pure virgin coconut oil available online from Heilala Vanilla.
Close to home
Communities living in some of the most remote and isolated areas of Tonga have embraced this new and exciting opportunity.
“Often these communities are left out of the cash economy and productive sector, mainly due to their sea distance from the main islands. The experience of earning cash right at their door step is something truly welcomed by these isolated communities and they are keen to maintain and grow this,” says Kamilo Ali, Oxfam's Pacific Livelihoods Programme Officer.
You can support the coconut growers in Tonga by purchasing the gift of coconuts at Oxfam Unwrapped.