Most coconut companies contract only with big plantations in order to reduce costs. This leaves owners of small farms at the mercy of middlemen who consolidate these smaller harvests while taking a large cut for themselves. Furthermore, these middlemen take advantage of these farmers by offering loans in their time of need. On the outside, these middlemen look like kind friends, as they are providing money for a low harvest, medical needs, schooling fees, etc., yet these loans come at a high price - often having interest rates of 25 - 200%.
With these interest rates, it becomes nearly impossible to pay back the loan before another need arises, leaving the farmer in a cycle of debt. The terms are never written down or explained, so these simple farmers never realize that their “friend” is the very person keeping them in poverty. Even for the few who realize the system works against them, they have no other options. This cycle of exploitation leaves families vulnerable to trafficking.
This is commonly called Copra Slavery, as "copra" is the local term for the dried meat of the coconut used to make Refined, Bleached and Deodorized Coconut Oil.
We had to stop this.
We offer these farmers a way out by connecting them to you! That's right. By connecting them directly with the people who will enjoy their products, you are offering families freedom from slavery.
You are giving farmers an opportunity to get fair prices for their coconuts and be treated with respect. You help them recognize their innate dignity after years of oppression.
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