AMERICA'S FIRST FAIR FOR LIFE COCONUT WATER
Posted: September 16, 2014
It’s easy to claim to be a sustainable business. It’s easy to claim a lot of things.
Maybe you’ve realized that we’re not big on unsubstantiated claims at Harmless Harvest. We look for proof, verification, and tangible realities. That’s why we started looking for a fair trade certifier shortly after Harmless Harvest was founded. As a young company, we were brimming with ideals and knew from experience that it is easy to lose sight of values when they lead to difficult or unventured paths.
When looking for a certifier, we wanted a long-term partnership with an entity that would question and challenge us with standards that surpassed even our own. With our sights set on the impact of a critical mass of supporters, it was necessary that this partnership could grow with Harmless Harvest.
For the past four years, as Harmless Harvest has developed, we have done so with the goal of gaining our Fair for Life – Social and Fair Trade Certification. And this year, because of the support of retailers and consumers who believed in Harmless Harvest early on, we have obtained that certification.
Fair for Life (IMO) performs vigorous yearly audits which investigate Harmless Harvest’s environmental practices, farmer and employee wage and well-being, and working conditions at our operations in Thailand and the US. These audits verify that our company utilizes a fair trade premium to go towards social initiatives in local communities. The results of these audits are published on Fair for Life’s website, and will be shared by Harmless Harvest as they occur. The results of our first audit have shown that Harmless Harvest is surpassing the norm in Fair Trade sourcing, Support and promotion of Fair Trade Producers and products, and Traceability and Product Handling, scoring an overall 59 compared to a norm of 42. In regards to Harmless Harvest’s Social Impact, Fair for Life stated the following:
Harmless Harvest has been meticulous about setting up their business to benefit fair trade, the environment, and health. The company has set up a subsidiary in Thailand to ensure excellent working conditions at the factory, and has gotten the subsidiary certified Fair for Life. The US company has grown exponentially since its inception, and the company has maintained great benefits and salaries during this growth. This coming year will be the first that the company will generate a fair trade premium, and it is looking forward to creating funds for health- and education-related improvements in Thailand.
In an unprecedented effort to invest in the rural community at the source, as well as increase traceability and transparency, less than two years after launching Organic Coconut Water, Harmless Harvest built a facility in the heart of where the coconuts are grown. Creating over 100 full-time jobs for local community members, this facility allows for better control and knowledge of how our products are made and how our employees are treated.
It is decisions like these that anchor Harmless Harvest in our commitment to an ecosystem-based business model. And with this certification is our simple claim to continue to work towards improvement and creating better products through better processes.