HARMLESS HARVEST PIONEERS GROUNDBREAKING NEW MULTI-STEP MICRO-FILTRATION PROCESS
San Francisco, CA – March 24th, 2016 – Harmless Harvest – the world’s first Fair-for-Life-certified Organic coconut water – is announcing a proprietary new multi-step micro-filtration process that achieves the highest levels of product safety and quality, while preserving optimal flavor, fragrance and nutrients of its critically acclaimed coconut water, which complies with FDA standards and requirements.
This groundbreaking process builds upon Harmless Harvest's history as an industry pioneer in the low-acid beverage category, and enables the company to introduce a new, more environmentally conscious bottle with an average of a quarter less plastic than previous bottles.
Currently, the primary industry method of ensuring the safety of low-acid juice beverages is thermal (heat) pasteurization. Thermal pasteurization is known to heavily heat (“cook or boil”) the product as a way to regulate safety, but it can leave a modified, burnt-like taste when used on coconut water.
According to the CEO of Harmless Harvest, Giannella Alvarez, the introduction of the Multi-Step Micro-Filtration process is a significant advancement for the industry. "With our move to our proprietary FDA-compliant Multi-Step Micro-Filtration linked to an aseptic filling and packaging system – as with every step we take as a company – it is our goal to drive the industry forward towards better products, better practices and more environmentally sustainable business models. We have an amazing team that is committed to bringing delicious organic food and beverages to consumers with a fair and sustainable business model that will change the industry as whole.”
Proving the company's mantra that "the best can always be better," this new Multi-Step Micro-Filtration, represents a groundbreaking "new method" of safe low-acid juice beverage production. Building upon the latest micro-filtration, extraction and bottling techniques from fields as diverse as pharmaceuticals and dairy, Harmless Harvest brainstormed, devised, developed and tested the Multi-Step Micro-Filtration process ensuring it complies with FDA standards and requirements.
Harmless Harvest is an ecosystem-based business that believes in bringing consumers the best organic ingredients through a business model that centers on the welfare of all people in the supply chain – from plant to shelf – and makes the sourcing environment a core beneficiary of its commercial success.
Each year they make a measurable impact on the sourcing communities and beyond, and are verified by third-party boards that ensure adherence to Fair-for-Life principles.
In developing this Multi-Step Micro-Filtration technology to Harmless Harvest's exacting standards, key criteria had to be met:
- An upheld commitment to Fair-for-Life and Fair-Trade principles
- No use of heat pasteurization, which destroy nutrients, modifies the physico-chemical structure of the product and can give a "burnt" flavor
- No use of acids, a common industry approach that results in reduced flavor and palatability
- Complete confidence in product safety and quality
The introduction of the Multi-Step Micro-Filtration process, linked to an aseptic filling and packaging system, is the latest in a remarkable string of beverage industry 'firsts' introduced by Harmless Harvest:
- The first mainstream USDA Organic coconut water brand in the U.S.
- The world’s first coconut water to be Fair-for-Life certified (Sharing the welfare they create with everyone in the chain of custody – from farmer to worker, everyone receives a fair wage and assured well-being.)
- The first coconut water to exclusively use Thailand's great-tasting Nam-Hom coconuts
- The first coconut water committed to being an "ecosystem-based business" that supports the people and planet through a product that truly "does good"
(In 2015 Harmless Harvest provided medical checkups to 776 farmers and their communities through its commitment to Fair-for-Life principles, and certified over 300 organic and Fair-for-Life farms.)
“We select the most fragrant and delicious coconuts, so naturally, it was important for us to develop a processing method that did not burn the compounds or risk losing the intended taste,” said Co-Founder Justin Guilbert. Douglas Riboud, co-founder, added “I am amazed and proud of the Team’s hard work, pioneering spirit and dedication – this has been brought to market at lightning speed.”
About Harmless Harvest
Harmless Harvest delivered the first-ever organic coconut water that is "Fair-for-Life" certified – meaning that it meets rigorous and independent standards for environmental sustainability and provides fair wages, healthcare and well-being assurance for every farmer and employee both abroad and in the US. Harmless Harvest's ecosystem-based business model also includes investing in the Thai communities where their coconuts are grown. From seed to shelf, the Team at Harmless Harvest is committed to sharing the welfare they create and touching more lives with clean, delicious, organic foods that are produced and traded with fair and sustainable business practices that promote social, agricultural and environmental progress.
Continuing to raise the industry standards for social and environmental practices, Harmless Harvest’s new project blends their critically acclaimed, 100% Raw & Organic Coconut Water with fair trade and organic coffee beans. Highlighting the unique flavor, aroma, and nutritional properties of real ingredients, Harmless Harvest combines its distinctive Fair for Life – Fair Trade & USDA Organic certified Nam Hom coconut water with bold, energizing coffee. The stimulating beverage has about 50 mg of naturally occurring caffeine, the equivalent of a shot of espresso.
“The delicious flavor is irrevocably tied to our ingredients’ exceptional sourcing,” says Harmless Harvest co-founder Douglas Riboud. “After tasting coffee from around the world, the outstanding taste of coffee beans sourced from a small cooperative in Peru proved to be the ideal blend with our distinctive coconut water.” The beans are harvested by a small association of coffee producers in the San Ignacio province in Cajamarca, Peru. Like Harmless Harvest’s coconut farmers in Thailand, these Peruvian producers strictly adhere to organic and fair trade practices, making this a 100% Fair for Life certified product that promotes sustainable agriculture and the use of organic practices within the beverage industry.
“This project leverages the hydrating and nutritional properties of our coconut water with the uplifting buzz of coffee,” adds Harmless Harvest co-founder Justin Guilbert. “Our 100% Raw & Organic Coconut Water with Fair Trade Coffee is an energizing, hydrating refreshment with no added sugar, dairy, or preservatives,” he continues. “The flavor is incredible, balancing rich, smooth coffee notes with the lightly sweet, nutty flavor of our coconut water.”
This pioneering product will initially launch at Whole Foods Market nationwide. “Harmless Harvest continues their amazing track record for refreshing, ethically sourced beverages. We are excited to partner on this great one-two punch of HPP coconut water and organic, fair trade, cooperatively grown coffee. This new option is a win for our customers and the growers and farm workers,” says Errol Schweizer, executive global grocery coordinator for Whole Foods Market.
The Peruvian cooperative that harvests Harmless Harvest’s organic coffee beans has a focus on empowering women and the impoverished, with over 50 percent of members located in areas of extreme poverty. The organization has seen a significant decrease in domestic abuse against women, as well as an increased priority on educating children to strengthen the community as a whole. Guilbert concludes, “Sourcing from this cooperative is just another proof that better products can be made to benefit everyone involved. It’s worth the extra effort.”
Harmless Harvest 100% Raw & Organic Coconut Water with Fair Trade Coffee will be available exclusively at Whole Foods Markets nationwide in March.
About Harmless Harvest
Founded in 2009 by Douglas Riboud and Justin Guilbert, Harmless Harvest is a progressive food & beverage initiative set on demonstrating that an ecosystem-based business model can and should be how food is made. By combining innovative scientific methods with local traditional knowledge, Harmless Harvest integrates the long-term welfare of all its stakeholders - from plant to customer - in the creation of better products for all. For more information, visit www.harmlessharvest.com.
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Just in time for the holiday season, Harmless Harvest is launching two exciting new formulas blending their outstandingly popular 100% Raw & Organic Coconut Water with Dark Cacao and another with Cinnamon & Clove. These recipes combine simple, organic ingredients for a complex, indulgent experience.
Boasting the highest concentration of flavonoids in any known food, cacao has been known historically for its medicinal properties. Using organically grown Trinitario cacao beans sourced in the Dominican Republic on the Caribbean island of Hispaniola, the cacao beans are ground to form a simple, potent powder. The Dark Cacao balances smooth, delicious chocolate with the sweet nuttiness of coconut water for an indulgent, revitalizing flavor. This is one case where the sum is indeed great than the parts.
Revered for their culinary and medicinal value, cinnamon and clove are sourced from their native growing region, the Maluku Islands in Indonesia. The essential oils of Korintje cinnamon and clove are extracted for peak flavor, aroma, and nutrition. These dense spices can even be seen within the bottle. Without any homogenization or chemical stabilizers, the spices naturally precipitate in the coconut water.
These ingredients interact naturally with the coconut water. “We encourage people to ‘Shake it Up’,” says Harmless Harvest co-founder Justin Guilbert. “These formulas focus on the distinct qualities of spices, chocolate, and coconut water. Rather than ‘flavoring’ our coconut water, we leverage the unique flavor from real spices and cacao for an optimal treat with therapeutic properties.”
“We’re excited to broaden our offerings, and in turn support organic farmers across the globe,” says Harmless Harvest co-founder Douglas Riboud. “These formulas bring focus to simple, real ingredients and foster sustainable business practices, which is the foundation of Harmless Harvest.”
These blends will be available nationwide November 5, 2014 wherever Harmless Harvest products are sold.
Continually demonstrating its dedication to the long-term welfare of all stakeholders, Harmless Harvest is proud to become the first American coconut water to be Fair for Life - Social & Fair Trade certified. Fair for Life certification requires successfully passing extensive yearly audits covering a range of aspects, from good environmental practices to farmers’ wages and well-being to the working conditions at Harmless Harvest’s operations in Thailand and the United States. The findings are published on the Fair for Life website:
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. (IMO Fair for Life)
Deciding to partner with IMO: Fair for Life was not a quick decision for Harmless Harvest. “Committing to a long-term partnership with a fair trade certifier is pivotal to verifying our ecosystem-based business model,” says Harmless Harvest co-founder Douglas Riboud. From the beginning, Harmless Harvest looked to companies respected for their environmental and social mindfulness, such as Whole Foods Market, which lead to a partnership with IMO to develop a full-scale social and environmental program.
“Four years ago we took a chance on these guys and launched their brand,” said Errol Schweizer, executive global grocery coordinator for Whole Foods Market. “Since then, they have not only proven to be a sales and innovation leader, but a pioneer in ethical sourcing. We couldn’t be prouder.”
“Harmless Harvest’s commitment to fair trade practices is evident throughout their supply chain. Offering stable, fair wages to farmers, directly employing the people who manufacture their product, establishing a safe environment with fair wages and benefits for all employees, and utilizing a fair trade premium that goes towards social initiatives in local communities embody the Fair for Life ethos,” explains Fair for Life representative Kerry Hughes.
With the commercial success of their first project, 100% Raw & Organic Coconut Water, Harmless Harvest immediately invested in the rural community at the source by building its facility in the area, creating over 100 full-time jobs. “Direct involvement allows for transparency along with better control and knowledge of how our products are made. More importantly, it fully integrates the community in our shared success, rather than ‘giving back’ a small piece of the bottom line,” explains Harmless Harvest co-founder Justin Guilbert.
“We have been able to take these steps only because of consumers’ support and the resources that comes with it. It is the ultimate positive feedback loop.” Douglas Riboud adds, “Without the retailers and customers that believed in us early on, we would not be here delivering on our promise to make better products from better sources.”
“At Harmless Harvest, we focus on making, not marketing,” says Guilbert. “Rather than spending on advertising, paid endorsements and cut rate promotions, we concentrate our resources on the raw material, source, manufacturing, and quality which has fostered the true support of a growing and engaged community that fuels our continuous improvement. Being pioneers in this fragmented and murky category gives us a responsibility to show that companies can be truly environmentally conscious, socially progressive, and commercially successful; these are not disconnected ideas, but essential characteristics of a modern company that delivers better food for all.”
About Fair for Life
The Fair for Life Programme is a third party certification standard for Social Accountability and Fair Trade and has been designed as a solution for operators world-wide who want to create a Fair Trade product line (‘Fair for Life’ certification) or wish to demonstrate Social Responsibility (‘for Life’ certification).
Following the popular and critical success of their pioneering raw and organic coconut water, Harmless Harvest is now launching Namacha, a groundbreaking line of cold brewed raw tea leaves (“nama” meaning raw, and “cha” for tea in Japanese). For the first time ever, by harvesting and fresh-freezing organic tea leaves in Japan, then utilizing cold brewing and high pressure processing (HPP), Harmless Harvest has developed a radically innovative beverage that highlights the complex flavors and aromas of raw tea leaves in their original state.
“We felt like most innovation in bottled tea evolved around marketing, flavorings, packaging, or sweeteners, improving superficially on a well-known end-product. Our desire was to deliver the astounding qualities of this fascinating plant in its most primal form, essentially rethinking tea from scratch and offering a fresh, unique, and pioneering approach to tea harvesting, processing, and delivery,” says co-founder Justin Guilbert.
To achieve this feat, Harmless Harvest travelled the world to select the specific gardens and varieties that would best benefit from this initiative, while developing an entirely new supply chain that goes from frozen pulverization, to high velocity blending processes, cold brewing, and high pressure processing (HPP). Like any raw and fresh plant product, Namacha is highly perishable and must be kept refrigerated at all times.
Namacha’s unique makeup, including chlorophyll and L-theanine, provides a stimulating experience with approximately one sixth of the caffeine found in an 8oz cup of coffee.
Douglas Riboud, co-founder, adds that “The result is a tea unlike any other, that effectively maintains the powerful fragrance, flavor, and nutritional profile of the raw leaf while controlling the tannic – or bitterness - release. Unless you have personally wandered through an ancestral tea garden at harvest time and chewed on the tender new leaves of the season, it would be hard to compare this to anything you’ve encountered before.”
The purpose of this project is to uphold the raw properties of the plant and support the community that produces it while creating a more direct and active relationship between consumer, producer, and plant. The tea leaves are 100% USDA Organic and contribute to supporting the traditional rural fabric of the region while encouraging organic farming as a growth opportunity for the Japanese tea industry.
Namacha is currently available at select locations around the country in three formulations to offer unique and complementary experiences:
UNSWEETENED: Simply a handful of raw tea leaves cold brewed in triple filtered water. Complex, floral, and smooth – this is tea in its purest form.
0 calories per 10oz serving
RAW HONEY & LEMON: A spoonful of raw honey and lemon juice cold brewed with our raw tea.
Luscious and fragrant – the perfect sweet tea.
60 calories per 10oz serving
RAW PEPPERMINT: Raw peppermint and tea leaves cold brewed together with a touch of
agave. Fresh, bold, and invigorating – peppermint tea like never before.
35 calories per 10oz serving
San Francisco, CA. Fresh off the heels of launching the first ever 100% Raw Tea, HarmlessHarvest and Whole Foods Market are releasing a limited time offering for the holidays. This seasonal recipe blends therapeutic levels of organic cinnamon and clove extracts using the wildly popular 100% Raw & Organic Coconut Water as a base. With some extra bite and fragrant warmth accentuating the signature nutty flavor of the coconut water, this unique formula allows the natural sweetness to shine through.
Each bottle contains more than twice the minimum daily therapeutic dosage of cinnamon shown to lower blood sugar. Add a dash of clove, known for its antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, and stress-relieving properties, and this becomes the perfect blend for holiday hydration.
“We’re always searching for ways to offer fresh, new flavors our shoppers can’t find anywhere else,” said Dwight Richmond, global grocery purchasing coordinator for Whole Foods Market. “We’re excited to introduce a new, seasonal twist to the lineup of delicious coconut waters we have to offer just in time for the holidays.”
In the spirit of giving, Harmless Harvest has partnered with Whole Planet Foundation for this launch. “Our focus on strengthening communities where we source is a great match for Whole Planet Foundation,” said Harmless Harvest co-founder Justin Guilbert. “We’re very happy to put a portion of each sale towards empowering the entrepreneurial initiatives of women around the world,” added co-founder Douglas Riboud.
Whole Foods Market covers operating costs for the foundation, allowing 100% of funds raised to go directly to support microlending projects for women in countries around the world.
“In the developing communities where we fund microcredit, every dollar donated makes a tremendous difference. For instance, a loan of $200 is enough to help a woman start or expand her home-based business and change her own life,” said Philip Sansone, president and executive director of Whole Planet Foundation. “We’re so thankful that Harmless Harvest is not only supporting our mission, but making it easy for people to join the cause, too.”
This seasonal blend is available nationwide, exclusively at Whole Foods Markets, while supplies last.
About Harmless Harvest
Founded in 2010 by Douglas Riboud and Justin Guilbert, Harmless Harvest is a progressive food & beverage initiative set on demonstrating the success of an ecosystem-based business model. By combining innovative scientific methods with local traditional knowledge, Harmless Harvest integrates the long-term welfare of all its stakeholders – from plant to customer – in the creation of better products for all.
For more information, visit harmlessharvest.com.
High Pressure Pascalization Applied to Raw Juice and Coconut Water
March, 2012—With demand for unaltered juices shifting into the mainstream, pioneering beverage companies BluePrint and Harmless Harvest have turned towards a technology called HPP to safely deliver the nutrition of raw ingredients without modifying the taste in any way. HPP, which uses high pressure instead of heat to inhibit microflora growth in fresh food, is achieving significant results in the fresh, raw beverage category.
Primarily used as a complementary safeguard in packaged meat and shellfish, the technology is now being applied to raw juices as an alternative to adding preservatives and using heat treatment. Unlike traditional heat pasteurization (“boil and bottle”), Pascalization is an external process: The pressure is applied when products are in their final packaging, thus eliminating the possibility of recontamination, while the raw product itself is never touched.
Harmless Harvest, who recently launched a category re-defining raw and organic coconut water available nationwide and BluePrint, creators of BluePrintCleanse, the first nutritional raw juice cleanse program shipped anywhere in the U.S., and now offering BluePrintJuice, their signature raw fresh pressed fruit and vegetable juices available at the retail level, are setting a new standard in beverages. The application of HPP is a huge game changer for BluePrint, which had previously been geographically limited by its own commitment to freshness and a three to five day shelf life. The company that pioneered the modern juice cleanse category is once again at the forefront of innovation and technology. Harmless Harvest, on its side, is rapidly setting a new standard in the exploding coconut water category by maintaining the complex live structure of raw coconut water for proper metabolization of beneficial electrolytes and nutrients. Moreover, Harmless Harvest safekeeps the delicate and fragrant volatile compounds that are essential for a true-to-nature flavor.
This not only allows for increased distribution for both companies, but fosters a growing awareness of the advantages of HPP over heat pasteurization. Because of the chilled temperature at which the juice is treated and the minimal impact that pressure has on the structure of the components responsible for nutrition and flavor, the juice remains raw.
“The fact that the juice remains raw, flavor and nutrients are unaffected and potential for pathogen growth is dramatically reduced, means HPP is raising the bar in our industry, and we are extremely proud to be early adopters of this new technology,” says BluePrint. “We’ve always held that all juice is not created equal; our fresh pressed raw juices have always maintained superior taste and flavor profile. Now, we are creating a new standard for quality assurance altogether.”
“The delicate nature of raw plant products is boiled away by the industry’s shortcuts towards convenience and cost savings. This approach has lead the industry into an ultra-processed system with such inertia that change seemed impossible,” says Harmless Harvest. “Creating progressive business models from scratch that integrate consumer driven demands for better and more diverse nutrition, proven innovations such as HPP and strict respect for sustainable sourcing might push agribusiness into a better future for all stakeholders.”
Rick Marshall (Director of Hiperbaric USA, with more than 16 years of experience in HPP) is pleased to see the technology crossing categories and growing exponentially. “It is very refreshing to finally see companies in the raw beverage industry adopt HPP. In the early stages of HPP commercialization, a lot of testing was centered around fresh juices & beverages with great results but the economics didn’t make sense. Recent improvements in productivity and efficiency make HPP more viable as a processing technology for the beverage industry” says Marshall.
HPP or High Pressure Pascalization is named after 17th century French scientist Blaise Pascal, who pioneered research on the effects of pressure on fluids. Pressure was first used to experiment with reducing bacteria levels in food in 1897 and has been developing and perfecting as a practice ever since.
In addition to disabling the potential for microbial growth and allowing for a risk-free product into the hands of consumers, a key benefit of HPP is a naturally extended shelf life. The extended shelf life is a boon for companies to make raw foods available where previously impossible, a hurdle that both BluePrint and Harmless Harvest have scaled with rapid success.
“HPP is not a magic bullet by any means” says Harmless Harvest. “Very quickly it will reveal the truth behind the brands: superior practices and quality ingredients will now have the opportunity to yield a superior product. HPP allows us to put those superior products in a greater number of hands.”
The method is in no way inexpensive or easy to implement. But both BluePrint and Harmless Harvest agree, “This is the best way our products should be made. Looking ahead, it’s the standard that anyone in this space should adhere to, for the benefit of consumers everywhere”.
Launched in 2006 by Founder Zoë Sakoutis and Co-Founder Erica Huss, BluePrintCleanse began as the first line of juice cleanses to offer varying levels of intensity depending on one’s dietary habits and history. It’s a user-friendly system of cleansing set up to be practical for all nutritional lifestyles, from the most austere of raw food acolytes to the burger-and-red-wine crowd looking to periodically offset the damages of their indulgence. In addition to cleanses, BluePrint now offers BluePrintJuice, a line of individual bottles of fresh pressed juice available at retail outlets including Whole Foods Markets, FreshDirect, Gourmet Garage, Dean & Deluca and more. Juice ‘Til Dinner, BluePrintKit (healthy essentials for the home kitchen), and The 3-Day Cleanse. BluePrint’s fresh pressed juices and raw food programs are delivered to homes and offices across the U.S. and Canada.
About Harmless Harvest
Founded in 2009 by Douglas Riboud and Justin Guilbert, Harmless Harvest develops and markets outstanding functional foods and beverages that provide the raw nutritional integrity of pioneering, sustainably wild-harvested plant products.
To achieve this, Harmless Harvest combines innovative scientific methods with local traditional knowledge, from rewilding to agroforestry.
This safeguards threatened ecosystems and traditions by giving them mass-market appeal with tangible economic value.
After 3 years of R&D, the company launched the world’s first raw and organic coconut water ethically sourced from small agroforestry systems. Without spending a dime in marketing but relying on volunteers and word-of-mouth, this first product is fast becoming the new category standard and a highly successful demonstration that consumers care more about what’s inside the bottle and how it’s made than what ‘lifestyle’ marketing & PR efforts promote.
Six months after launching with Whole Foods Market, 100% raw and organic coconut water is now available in over 1,000 outlets nationwide and counting.