Organic crops produced by farmers based high in the Mount Kenya area are enjoying high market demand. Initially there were 90 farmers producing pressed seed oil (also know as borage) and a variety of vegetable seed crops but now there are 250 working with Earthoil.
In line with Earthoil’s internationally recognised ethical, Fair Trade and organic standards, the company provided the expertise, logistics and support to allow the farmers to convert from conventional methods of production to entirely organic processes.
At every stage, from farming practices, processing and storage to trading, traceability and product testing, Earthoil ensures the organic supply chain is protected and ethical, fair trade standards are maintained and independently audited. The members of Earthoil’s Kenyan Organic Oil Farmers Association (KOOFA) also have access to the company’s agronomists and field officers for support and guidance.
“By ensuring the farmers have access to expertise on a regular basis, projects have the best chances of crop success while benefiting the environment through better farming practices for the soil, water and wildlife,” says the company. Earthoil also ensures fair prices are set for farmers; there is a reliable market demand for their products and education focuses on improving organic farming methods.
A critical aspect of the project is the establishment of a community fund that is operated by the farmers and Earthoil with the aim of implementing projects such as schools or health clinics that will improve the lifestyle of all the farmers and families involved with KOOFA.
“Through a community fund and commitment to independent fair trade certification for each project, Earthoil is dedicated to projects which benefit the lives of people in Third World Countries,” says the company.