Natural-Habitats
organic products grown in a sustainable habitat

Biodiversity in Ecuador

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14 March 2013

Biodiversity can be described as the variety of plants and animal species, including microorganisms, typical for the eco-systems they live in. At Natural Habitats, we know that it is essential to conduct conservation practices and preserve forest, where biodiversity lives. Therefor, we are committed to the development of conservation and learning programs to promote the security of all species in the area of our farming operations.
Our farms are located in the North-West of Ecuador. This area has a variety of species, which are represented by: 21,000 plants, 402 amphibians, 407 reptiles (100 endemics), 706 fish, 1,559 birds (37 endemics) and 324 mammals (21 endemics). There are few areas with primary forest, which have not being declared as protected by the local government, from such areas we have acquired pieces of primary forest to protect and enhance presence of flora and fauna. Protecting and encouraging biodiversity is a fundamental pillar in our operations. Our agronomists control the environmental impact we have in the province. In order to do so, we conduct several programs within our facilities and together with our communities:

- Reduction of CO2 emissions
CO2 is a formula for carbon dioxide, which is a chemical compound that is found as a gas in the Earth's atmosphere. It is a very powerful greenhouse gas and is currently responsible for 60% of the 'enhanced greenhouse effect'. People produce CO2 gases in the day-to-day activities such as travelling, farming, heating houses, and other activities. Trees and plants, on the other hand, absorb CO2 gases. Organic farming plays a key role in soil carbon sequestration since it returns the carbon to the soil. Trees and plants absorb CO2 gases. In particular when degraded land is planted with forest the contribution to the 'neutralization' of CO2 is remarkably high. At Natural Habitats all development and planting have taken place on degraded land or grassland. Number of measures is applied within our farms to neutralize and reduce the emissions, namely: organic fertilizers, farming with perennials, less reduced fuel usage. Furthermore, we work hard to minimize the effects of forest and grass fires.

- Teaching communities to dispose garbage and recycle responsibly
Most rural communities in the North of Ecuador do not have access to a suitable and environmentally-friendly garbage collection system, which force them to burn or dump their home waste and garbage to the rivers, causing serious environmental effects. We believe that education-in-action is the best way to palliate and reduce irresponsible waste. We organize “mingas” (cleaning working days with communities) and teach people how to dispose and recycle their garbage; this activity contributes not only to the environment but also to the people’s health and hygiene by reducing diseases and contaminations.

- Resources management system
As a 100% organic and sustainable farming company all our operations have been designed in a way to reduce all ways of pollution (water, air, soil), and promote the development of the biodiversity. Our production protocols include chapters for the correct management of waste, water and soil; our supervisors constantly monitor the application of these practices.

Biological diversity defines our existence on the planet. Therefore, we recognise preserving biological diversity as one of the key values of our company.

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Blog & News

Palm Oil Is Everywhere

Palm oil (Elaeis guineensis) originates from West Africa. Once planted, after 3-4 years’ palm oil trees start to producing its first fruits and will continue all year-round for up to 30 years. Oil Palm is high yielding; it produces more oil per hectare than any other major oil seed crop.

Did you know that half of your items in your house contain palm oil?
Palm oil is also the most widely consumed vegetable oil on the planet

farmers, social reponsibility, environment, organic

Why Farm Organically?

With a growing population, nearly 10 billion people by 2050, and an increasing demand for food, agriculture is placed under extreme pressure. We heavily rely on services that the industry provides to us, such as food, clothes, wood, and many others. Unfortunately, with biodiversity losses and deforestation practices that accompany modern agriculture, these services are currently at risk. Therefore, we must take actions to sustain biodiversity, soils and forests for the generations to come

social reponsibility, environment, farmers, organic

An Important Role of Intercropping in Modern Agriculture

Population of our planet is constantly growing. The threat of insufficient food supply in the near future encourages intensification of the search for more productive agricultural technics. At Natural Habitats, we believe that well-planned intercropping is one of the most effective and sustainable ways to increase agricultural productivity.

Intercropping, as well as other forms of multiple cropping, is an ancient method of intensive agriculture that involves cultivation of two or more crops simultaneously on the same field

environment, farmers

Mainstream Sustainable Palm Oil Production in Ecuador

Deforestation caused by many palm-oil producers, harming wildlife habitats, has been a widespread concern around the world. However, more and more palm oil is now being sourced sustainably with a help of the certification initiative promoted by a non-profit association Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) that aims to transform markets to make sustainable palm oil the norm. Natural Habitats as 100% organic and sustainable producer was certified with RSPO standard in 2013.

In May 2013, Natural Habitats in Ecuador (Exportsustent) together with Solidaridad and National Association of Oil Palm Growers (ANCUPA) developed a pioneering project Mainstream Sustainable Palm Oil Production in Ecuador

farmers, environment, partnership, social reponsibility

An Ongoing Education of Farmers

Natural Habitats believes in doing business in harmony with the environment. This is the reason for us to continuously encourage smallholder farmers in Ecuador and Sierra Leone into getting involved in organic and sustainable production of palm oil.

On a regular basis, we educate and train our smallholder farmers in nature preservation and organic farming practices for not only their own good but for the betterment of the society

farmers, partnership, social reponsibility

Fair Trade Explained

Today, we are surrounded by numerous certifications on the products we buy at supermarkets. It is getting more and more confusing to figure out what exactly most of them stand for. Some labels are self-explanatory and some are not. Fair for Life Social and FairTrade certification belongs to the second category. Therefore, most of the consumers do not even realize that while they purchase Fair for Life or FairTrade certified products they contribute to the empowerment of poor around the world

farmers, social reponsibility, environment

Why Healthy Palm Oil is not an Oxymoron

When people hear about palm oil the first thing that usually comes to their mind is heart disease. The logic is pretty simple: fifty per cent of the oil consists of saturated fat that supposed to be bad for the heart, therefore, palm oil causes heart disease. However, numerous studies continue to confirm that palm oil does not promote heart problems and, if anything, it protects against them

cooking, health

Sustaining Food Security

Pressure on the world’s food supply is constantly increasing due to population growth, changing diets and government policies promoting biofuels. Current estimates suggest that by 2050 the food demand will be twice what it was in 2005. Biotech companies have strongly promoted the idea that genetically engineered (GE) crops are the key to “feeding the world”. According to Environmental Working Group , recent studies show that this promise has fallen flat

environment, farmers, social reponsibility