organic products grown in a sustainable habitat

Sharing our values: Empowerment

24 October 2013

environment, farmers, social reponsibility

According to the Fairtrade Foundation 2013 , small farmers produce more than 70% of the world’s food supply, but surprisingly enough they represent over 50% of the world’s hungriest and poorest people. This is the result of an unfair and inequitable trade system that provides with no opportunities for these farmers. They are vulnerable being trapped in a cycle of poverty – this unbalanced global food system prevents them lifting up from poverty and improving their livelihoods. Therefore, it is essential for small farmers to be empowered in order to ensure a fair social and economical situation for them while preserving and conserving the environment!

Farmers’ empowerment is an important instrument for agricultural and community development. It focuses on developing small farmer livelihoods while using organic and sustainable agricultural practices. Expressly, it is about improving farmer skills through training and continuous learning while teaching them how to use their resources in a more efficient way, and to obtain high quality, organic and sustainable outputs.

As defined by Wallerstein 1992, empowerment is a social-action process that promotes participation of people, organizations, and communities towards the goals of increased individual and community control, political efficacy, improved quality of community life, and social justice.
In other words, empowerment is the proactive process of increasing the capacity of individuals to understand, support and continuously learn in order to make the optimal choices that will improve their livelihood of themselves or community.

At Natural Habitats, empowerment is part of the business core values. The group focuses on improving farmers’ livelihood in a fair and ethical way by ensuring good working conditions, guidance, support when required, and paying premium prices. Farmers are encouraged to switch their conventional production practices into organic, sustainable and fair-trade practices. This involves farming ecologically and using non-renewable resources effectively to grown nutritious food while learning about organic compost, environmental stewardship, and biodiversity conservation.

In Ecuador, different empowerment programs have been developed to benefit farmers, communities and workers:

Improving the livelihood in a fair and ethical way (Learn more about it here );
Training and offering proactive support to our farmers (Learn more about it here );
Driving community development (Learn more about it here) .

Natural Habitats is actively working to mainstream its business values in the palm oil sector, while protecting and preserving the environment for a more sustainable world.


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