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HAND IN HAND – Serendipol/Sri Lanka


Rapunzel's coconut oil comes from our HAND IN HAND partner Serendipol in Sri Lanka. This processor and exporter of virgin coconut oil has an organic and a fair trade certification. 

About 1,300 coconut farmers cultivate coconut trees in the Southwestern part of the island on a total area of approximately 8,500 hectares. Serendipol's oil mill is located in the vicinty of the coconut plantations.  
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Serendipol provides compost to the coconut farmers that is used to boost the soil fertility. The production of the organic compost is financed with part of the organic premium that Rapunzel pays to Serendipol. Agricultural consultants support and train the local farmers and perform the organic inspection. The fair trade bonus is used to implement numerous local development projects. 
Kaffee Grafik
Kaffee Grafik

HAND IN HAND products


Coconut oil virgin, HAND IN HAND
H M Samantha Ekanayaka, Serendipol, Sri Lanka
H M Samantha Ekanayaka, Serendipol, Sri Lanka
H M Samantha Ekanayaka, Serendipol, Sri Lanka

Cultivation, processing and export in the hands of smallholder peasants


Kokosnüsse reifen nach der Ernte noch bis zu drei Wochen nach

Coconut cultivation and harvest


The coconuts are produced on 470 farms (that cultivate an average area between 0.5 and 15 hectares) in the Kurunegala district, the "coconut triangle" of Sri Lanka. The coconuts are collected and processed in the company's mill in Kuliyapitiya. Serendipol supports the farmers in the preservation of soil fertility and supplies them with organic compost at cost price. The compost production is financed with the organic premium.    

Agricultural consultants support and train the farmers and perform internal organic controls. The underlying goal of all actions is the preservation of soil fertility and the improvement of the farmers' income conditions.

The coconuts are harvested throughout the year every 30 to 60 days. One coconut picker can harvest about one hectare per day. 
Eigene GPS-gestützte LKWs holen die Kokosnüsse  von den Bauern ab und bringen sie zur Mühle.
Eigene GPS-gestützte LKWs holen die Kokosnüsse von den Bauern ab und bringen sie zur Mühle.

Coconut collection


Serendipol organizes the collection of the coconuts and the transport to the mill. Serendipol trucks pick up the coconuts from the farmers and bring them to a storage warehouse. There, the coconuts mature for severall days before the outer shell is removed. Removal of the outer shell makes the separation of the coconut pulp easier. "The additional maturation has no negative effect on the quality", states quality manager Mr. Dammika Dissanayake and confirms that this processing technique is commonly used in Sri Lanka. The removal of the outer shell even has positive effects on coconut quality, because it enhances the development of the different coconut aromas. Researchers found out that this treatment is ideal for the coconut varieties that are grown on the island of Sri Lanka. 

However, once the outer shell has been removed, a quick processing is necessary.The fibers of the shells are either processed into compost or they are sold for the production of door mats. 
Die äußere faserige Schicht wird direkt am Feld entfernt und z.B. zu Kokosmatten verarbeitet.
Die äußere faserige Schicht wird direkt am Feld entfernt und z.B. zu Kokosmatten verarbeitet.

Excellent product handling


In the factory, the coconuts are further processed: workers smash and remove the hard shell. Subsequently, the pulp is washed, chopped and dried in warm air. The coconut oil is pressed mechanically from the dried coconut flakes. 

Mr. Stephen Sven Hubbes who is responsible for product development and quality assurance at Rapunzel, was particularly impressed by the processing plant: " The entire production, including the drying process, the pressing process all the way to the filling plant have the level of very good European plants.

Not only with respect to cleanliness, but also with respect to quality and product handling. This is extraordinary, especially for a country like Sri Lanka." 

Financing of local development projects

Serendipol's claim is not only restricted to high product quality, but it also includes the fair trade idea. 

Serendipol pays its farmers an additional organic bonus amounting to 10% of the current market price. Serendipol's customers also pay a fair trade bonus that corresponds to a 10% surcharge on top of the purchasing price and the processing wages. 
The bonus is paid into a fund that is administered by farmer representatives, workers and the management of the company. The fund is used to finance local development projects. 

Already more than 300 projects in the areas of health care, education, energy supply, staff welfare and environmental protection were implemented - also with the help of the purchasing prices that Rapunzel pays for the coconut oil. The long-term cooperation with Serendipol also provides security to farmers and workers. 
Dieses Intensivpflegebett wurde mit Hilfe der HAND IN HAND-Prämie angeschafft.
Dieses Intensivpflegebett wurde mit Hilfe der HAND IN HAND-Prämie angeschafft.
During their visit, the Rapunzel staff also inspected the hospital that used the HAND IN HAND bonus to purchase important equipment. "The latest piece of equipment is an ultrasound device. Although health care is state-financed in Sri Lanka, the level of health care supply is very rudimentary especially in rural areas. Without the HAND IN HAND bonus it would not have been possible to purchase this device", explains Mrs. Sonali Pandithasekera, managing director of Serendipol.
 
And Mrs. Manuela Schmid from Rapunzel adds: „With the HAND IN HAND bonus, equipment used for blood analysis could also be bought. This way, infectious diseases such as dengue fever can be analyzed quickly and safely and doctors can takes effective countermeasures against the spread of typical diseases". Thus fair trade does not only include fair prices and working conditions but also actively improves living conditions.  

Recipes with virgin coconut oil and coconut fat


Histamine free Amaranth bars with coconut and cranberries
Histamine free Amaranth bars with coconut and cranberries
Lemon cake with coconut oil
Lemon cake with coconut oil
Cheesecake with Lime and Vanilla
Cheesecake with Lime and Vanilla
Asia wok vegetables with coconut milk
Asia wok vegetables with coconut milk
One Pot Blondies
One Pot Blondies
Turmeric Coconut Cake
Turmeric Coconut Cake
Rapunzel Smoothie with lamb’s lettuce, hemp seeds and grapefruit
Rapunzel Smoothie with lamb’s lettuce, hemp seeds and grapefruit
Brownies, klassisch oder vegan
Brownies, klassisch oder vegan
HAND IN HAND

Fair trade and organic farming are central for Rapunzel


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