How is Lav Kokonas Virgin Coconut Oil processed?
At a latitude of 17 degrees, the Islands of Vanuatu have the perfect climate to grow coconuts – warm and humid. The unique method of oil extraction, used in the creation of Lav Kokonas Virgin Coconut Oil, takes only a day. Most coconut oils take between 3 and 5 days. This unique method requires less work for the farmer and, therefore, provides the added benefit of higher prices being paid to the farmer – up to 3 times more than they would receive otherwise.
Our Virgin Coconut Oil is harvested from sustainable, “wild harvest” and healthy coconuts from traditional palms by small holder plantation owners. Farmers and members of the wider community gather and open the coconuts, removing the white flesh, which is sent to the oil mill. The dried coconut meat passes through an ultra-violet light chamber to eliminate possible contamination. The meat is then pressed to extract the oil, and then filtered to remove fibre.
The prompt processing of the coconut meat means that the Virgin Coconut Oil retains its fresh coconutty taste and aroma. With the water being removed from the coconut meat, the freshness of the flavours are enhanced.
What does this unique process mean for the consumer?
A superior quality Virgin Coconut Oil which tastes delicious and feels great on your skin and hair. The added bonus is that the oil is organically produced and “fair traded”. For a growing number of New Zealand consumers, these are an important aspects in the decision making process in choosing foods.
In New Zealand, your Lav Kokonas Virgin Coconut Oil is likely to be in a solid state. This is because coconut oil is a tropical oil and will begin to melt at around 18 Celcius. It is easy to melt the oil. Place the jar in the larger container of warm (not boiling) water or simply remove the amount you require and heat in a saucepan, scoop out of the jar and add to your pan or eat it straight off the spoon – delicious. In warmer months, the oil will be soft enough to scoop straight out of the jar without any need to melt first. Store your jar of Virgin Coconut Oil out of direct light (a pantry is an ideal place).
World Vision Vanuatu with funding from New Zealand have carried out extensive work across the remote area of Vanuatu where the coconuts grow to become Lav Kokonas Virgin Coconut Oil. Certified Organic status and Kosher approval has been made for the growing and processing of this oil. Because of the regulations around Certified Organic Status, and our Lav Kokonas’ ethos of “paying it forward in Vanuatu“, we have made a conscious decision at this time, NOT to become Certified Organic. What this means for the consumer is that our labels will only hold the word “organic” on them; not Certified Organic. Lav Kokonas could pour copious amounts of money into becoming part of many marketing tools, or continue to “pay it forward in Vanuatu”. We asked our customers and they said they would rather we did the latter. You, the customer, still get a high quality ORGANIC Virgin Coconut Oil that you will enjoy and the FARMERS ARE rewarded. A win-win.
“Fair Trade” recognises and promotes the positive differences we as individuals, businesses and consumers can make to the lives of disadvantaged producers in developing countries by purchasing fairly traded products. Fair Trade gives you the opportunity to use your purchasing power to tilt the balance in favour of improving people’s livelihoods and well-being. Fair Trade is a growing, international movement which challenges the present economic system and ensures that producers are guaranteed a fair share of the profits. While the term means that something is being done for the producers, Lav Kokonas is doing far more than most other “Fair Trade” organisations.
At Lav Kokonas we have put our own stamp of “Fair Trade” into our product – we refer to it as “paying it forward”. 10% of our annual profits are returned to the communities who harvest our coconuts (and other products). Our donations will assist in a variety of ways but in particular, education of children from within our producer communities – children who would otherwise miss out on education beyond the early years.
Lav Kokonas Virgin Coconut Oil has been tested by Cawthron Institute, to ensure that it is of a quality which you would expect.