Stories from the Field

Ask Us About Our Palm Oil

It’s always a treat for us when people ask us about the ingredients in Pacha Soap; some will simply say, “This smells great!” or, “This feels awesome on my skin!” and we like that response too! But after that, sometimes we are asked about what goes in to our soap and what impact it is having. We love that we live in a day of transparency and information. We try to embrace that! So here’s our attempt:

If you aren’t familiar with why Palm Oil is a controversial crop, let me give you a brief synopsis: the high-yielding oil palm tree yields the palm fruit, which is then pressed for its oil. Many of us are unaware, but we are probably consuming a form of palm oil in something we eat every day. The majority of palm oil is grown and processed in Indonesia and is responsible for severe deforestation, loss of animal habitat, and social injustices. These issues should not be taken lightly and severe reports like this have called people to action to avoid using palm oil altogether to prevent further irrefutable destruction of the Earth.

Some say using no palm oil is the only surefire way to stop the damage that is being caused. But why not focus on the positive impact palm oil can have on the earth and people? Here’s a question: If some masons are dishonest and corrupt, should we avoid structures built of brick and stone? No, I think the better solution is to know your mason and feel comfortable with both their level of expertise and their moral disposition before entering in to an arrangement. Maybe I’m biased but I think that homes built of masonry are extremely durable. Similarly, palm oil is an excellent addition for a high quality soap bar.

We are elated with the relationship we share with our palm oil producer, Natural Habitats out of Ecuador. Jim, our contact at Natural Habitats, brings much experience in fair trade agriculture and we are thankful for his passion. They use the “Farmer to Fork” method so that they are able to monitor their social and environmental impact in every step of the process. Check out their website for more info: http://natural-habitats.com. I’m not a “gold star” type of person, but let me share with you their impressive array of certifications for their palm oil. Everything from Fair Trade to Organic!

Certifications:

So, in short, palm oil can be grown, processed, and used the right way and we are thankful to partner with likeminded organizations so that you can rest assured knowing that when you purchase Pacha, you’re contributing to the greater good in every capacity: From helping to alleviate poverty, to supporting sustainable agriculture, to helping spread W.A.S.H. education around the globe. That is what Raise the Bar is all about!