How your Super is helping some of the world’s poorest farmers

Did you know that coconut farmers are among the poorest in the world? Entire families subsist on little more than a dollar a day in some areas. But your Super is helping make an impact through coconut farms, while still bringing strong returns for your retirement.

Big tree farms, a Christian Super impact investment (through Unitus Livelihood Impact Fund), works directly with over 9,000 organic coconut farmers, paying certified fair trade wages, supporting sustainable agriculture and operating social programs to improve livelihoods.

Founded in 2003, Big Tree Farms (BTF) is a supply chain and foods company specialising in coconut sweeteners, coconut water concentrate and cacao. Based in Bali, BTF’s operations include an extraordinary bamboo chocolate factory and two factories dedicated to coconut, all focused on creating world-class products, sourced with the highest ethical and social standards.

BTF procures, packages and distributes Fair Trade and certified organic products to the U.S., Europe and Asia, generating annual gross revenue of over $10 million. BTF’s key product is a coconut sweetener, which is lower on the glycaemic index than traditional cane sugar or agave.

Impacting Lives

There are hundreds of thousands of coconut farmers in Indonesia who participate in the coconut sugar supply chain, with income levels at or near poverty. Farmers have been producing coconut sugar for over 1,500 years, however, BTF is the first company to vertically integrate from tree to consumer and control the process for quality and livelihood improvement.

BTF currently works with 9,200 coconut farmers and offers a 34% price premium for the farmers over local market prices. Farmers engaged in the BTF supply chain over the last five years have experienced increase in income up to a 100% and have established a stable place to sell their sugar at a consistent price to a single buyer.

While adhering to third party environmental, fair trade and social certification standards, BTF also conducts internal audits to ensure supply chains are continually improving and their farmer partner’s “gross happiness factor” (the baseline they use to define quality of life) is further cultivated. This takes into account standards of living
such as, potable water, condition of dwelling, access to and regular schooling for children and general health of the community.

Big Tree Farm’s Commitment:

  • The building of bamboo headquarters; the most sustainable office building in the world.
  • Being the world’s first and only certified fair trade coconut sugar, providing enriched livelihoods for thousands of marginalised farmers.
  • Being a part of a coalition of industry leaders to create home compostable packaging made from GMO-Free material. This will allow industry to move away from petroleum-based materials, to renewable plant based packaging.

And they also have a chocolate factory that is way better then Willy Wonka’s! Click here to learn why.