Our Organic Virgin Coconut Oil programme is a great example of long-term business success in our villages. Our programme has enabled farmers to learn how to extract cold-compressed coconut oil and develop micro-business structures that Samoan farmers can implement with minimal set up costs.
In addition, WIBDI has also found a secure buyer, The Body Shop, who pays a fair price to small farmers for a high quality product. Through this work, many families' livelihoods have been transformed. This transformation has meant that small farmers can afford to pay for their children to go to school and to generate a cash income that allows them to meaningfully contribute to their families and communities, rather than waiting for remittances from overseas family. Read more...
Direct – it is quick and efficient with an extraction rate of over 85% of the available oil in the coconut.
Micro – it is a small scale on farm activity
Expelling – pure virgin oils is expelled from the coconut by mechanical means without any chemicals used in the process.
DME blends the wisdom of age old techniques with the efficiency of appropriate modern technology. In just one hour, mature coconuts are transformed into extremely high-grade, pure extra-virgin oil which is highly prized in both local and export markets. Virgin coconut oil retains the natural coconut flavour, giving it a rich nutty taste.
Traditionally, communities in tropical regions use virgin coconut oil as a vital source for food, health and general well-being. New research verifies the traditional beliefs that the coconut palm is the “Tree of Life” and that virgin coconut oil has many health benefits. It is rich in many nutrients necessary for good health.
Coconut oil is primarily composed of medium chain fatty acids, known as Lauric acid which is also found in breast milk. It is the most important essential fatty acid in building and maintaining the body’s immune system. Lauric acid is both antiviral and anti bacterial.
Research has shown that these shorter medium chain fatty acids boost the body’s metabolism, raise body temperatures and help provide greater energy. It improves digestion and nutrient absorption resulting in a healthier and leaner body.
Coconut oil is a very stable cooking oil as the chemical structure is kept intact when it is heated. It does not produce trans fatty acids even when used in higher cooking temperatures.
The medium chain acids are different from those commonly found in other fatty foods (which are long chain fatty acids) and are burned more quickly for energy production. They are not converted into body fat or cholesterol and therefore does not increase cholesterol levels. Unlike other saturated fats, virgin coconut oil improves the cholesterol ratio so it actually reduces the risk of heart disease.
The small molecular structure of coconut oil allows for easy absorption through the skin giving a soft, smooth texture. It makes an ideal ointment for the relief of dry rough and wrinkled skin. The oil prevents destructive free radical formation and promotes healing for a more youthful, healthy appearance.
To clarify, Samoa and her people have never been found wanting as far as food and housing is concerned, it is simply the lack of viable employment that has many a Samoan family and indeed families all across the Pacific relying on a subsistence lifestyle and monetary remittances from family abroad. This is precisely why it is so important to us here at WIBDI, because we strive to instill a sense of pride and ownership with their finances, as through the growth of their small businesses and understanding of their personal finances, they not only contribute to the financial stability of their families, but also to the expansion of the Samoan economy through traditional sales and new avenues such as exporting to niche markets overseas, as well as online marketing and deliveries.
Of the variety of small business projects we've implemented throughout the first decade of our existence, virgin coconut oil was prime among them due to the abundance of coconuts that grew organically on the fertile islands of Samoa. We started producing virgin coconut oil in 1995, albeit at a snail's pace, but the belief was held that any venture WIBDI invested its time into, it would be both sustainable for the women and their families' development and financial security, whilst simultaneously being an eco-friendly way to promote health benefits for our consumers in Samoa and the world over.