Natural-Habitats
organic products grown in a sustainable habitat

Our Social Development Program

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13 March 2013

We care about communities and social impact we have on the areas of our operations. Thus, social responsibility is one of the main pillars for us.

Social Situation in Esmeraldas, Ecuador

Esmeraldas, a town along Ecuador's Pacific coast, is one of the poorest regions in the country. Agricultural sector is the main source of income for local inhabitants. The average age in productive rural area is 26 years old (51% male and 49% female) and almost 40% of the population is under 14. Although the illiteracy rate is low (10%), still the population does not receive enough information regarding good production practices, or measures to reduce the impact of urbanization and agriculture. Certain parts of Esmeraldas suffer greatly from poverty and one of the main barriers for their development is the lack of potable water and provision of basic health and education. Such areas (North-East) have deficiencies in basic services such as running water, and electricity. There is no canalization system, which is one of the reasons why the Esmeraldas river is dirty. Therefor, sewage goes straight into principal source of drinking water. Furthermore, population has no information regarding recycling or disposing.
While conducting our operations in Ecuador, we take into account problems that locals face. Thus, we develop programs, which would improve situation.

How we provide help:
We believe that education-in-action is the best way to contribute to the society and the environment. We do not simply donate, but also develop projects in the region. To contribute to social development in our communities and support education and nutrition programs, we give 1 % of our sales each year to social and environmental stewardship programs.

Our social development projects in Ecuador include:

➢ Food Security Coaching. In rural areas of the Ecuadorian sea side there is an inadequate access to food on a periodic bases. This fact causes deterioration of the nutritional status of children and elderly people. In order to maintain an access to food, we organize workshops and train nurses to educate people on how to obtain food. Furthermore, we supply food to elderly houses.

➢ Garbage Disposal and Recycling Sessions. Natural Habitats organizes cleaning working days with communities, called “mingas”, as part of the social impact assessment plan. We aim to teach people to manage, dispose and recycle their garbage responsibly. Mingas activity contributes not only to environment but also to people’s health and hygiene by reducing possible diseases and contamination.

➢ Medical Surveillance Support. There is a lack of medical support in areas such as Esmeraldas, therefor we see development of medical program as important one. We built two medical centers and provided them with doctors. Locals have difficulties in accessing basic medicines, due to it s high price. Therefore, we supply medical kits with basic pills to communities. Communities have a chance to come for counseling, get vaccines and have regular check-ups in the centers.

➢ Children Integral Development Programs. We work with children in order to boost their development right from the young age and give them opportunities with bringing skills and knowledge. At this stage, our children support project includes: organizing football school with professional coaches and providing supplies for schools. We also organize celebrations for kids in schools.

We continuously search for opportunities to contribute more to the society. Therefor, the list of our doings will keep on growing. Please, check our video, which shortly summarizes our social program.

 

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