HAND IN HAND - RAPUNZEL Sri Lanka Project
Located in the fertile „coco triangle“ in Southwestern Sri Lanka is the farm of Mr. and Mrs. Wigesena. Together with their daughter, they are in charge of the legendary coco plantation that received the very first organic certificate in the region more than 20 years ago. Since that time, the farm has been partner of RAPUNZEL NATURKOST. Many coco farmers followed the example of the Wigesena family ever since. Today, 13 families cultivate a total area of 270 hectares.
Particularities of organic coconut cultivation
The coconut palms are grown in mixed culture together with pineapples, bananas, pepper and coffee. Some farmers even use the coconut plantations as pasture grounds for their livestock. The farmers fertilize the palm trees by burying the potassium-rich fiber shells in semicircular ditches around the palm trees. This provides nutrients to the trees and improves the soil’s water holding capacity.
The coconuts are harvested every 6-7 weeks, stored on the fields and husked subsequently. Further processing takes place in the factory of Desicolanka. There, workers break the hard coconut shell and remove the brown inner skin of the presorted coconuts.
The snow-white pulp is washed, sterilized in 100°C hot water, grated and dried. This is how the tasty coco rasps and coco chips are produced that are finally packaged in Germany by RAPUNZEL.
The importance of HAND IN HAND for the coconut farmers
The personal support, the on-site inspection and organisation of the project by RAPUNZEL employees are very important. RAPUNZEL guarantees to purchase all coconuts at fair prices and pays the farmers organic bonuses.
In comparison to other regional producers, the Desicolanka plantation and factory workers have 10-20% higher wages. In addition, they obtain social services such as room and board, meals and an additional health insurance. Thus, the RAPUNZEL project promotes humane, safe working conditions and ensures that child labour is not used in the production of coconut products.
|Mrs. and Mr. Wisegena||