Tanna Farms Story – The Good Stuff
Natural organic living is also taking pride to have Tanna Farms and to be able to share The Tanna Farms Story – The Good Stuff Team & Products on board. They’re also one of the most kind hearted business owners/suppliers who are hugely impacting lives positively for many local communities.
Know the Tanna Farms Story to Truly Appreciate
Get to know the Tanna Farms Story & their Lovingly created naturally organic Virgin Coconut Oil, Soap, Lip Balm & Peanut Butter!
Welcome to Tanna Island, where a fire breathing volcano provides fertile soil. From the palm fringed Pacific coastline, to the island’s jungle clad interior.
Mt Yasur spreads its cloak of black earth across the entire island. So that coconut palms, peanut bushes, coffee trees and vegetable gardens are lush and fruitful, quite naturally. Agrochemicals have no place here – it’s as simple as that. You’ll not find monoculture here either, with coffee trees in the jungle, taro plants mingled with peanuts and various crops thriving where they sprout.
Tanna Farms promotes the use of complementary crops. Which means farmers can continue to grow their own food, and food for their local community, while making money off additional crops.
“We don’t want a situation where the people can make money, but not grow their own food,” says Jono. “This is about creating sustainable futures for the people of Tanna Island.”
Our people also include a couple of Kiwi families – the Bushells and the Kennards – who forged a link between New Zealand and Tanna Island through their contract labour company Vinepower.
Jono Bushell came to Vanuatu eight years ago, on a mission to recruit Ni-Vanuatu for work in New Zealand’s wine and horticultural industries. Under the New Zealand Government’s Recognised Seasonal Employment Scheme (RSE), Pacific Island nationals can work in New Zealand during peak seasons. Which eases labour shortages in vines and orchards. In turn, the RSE workers bring much needed earnings, as well as new skills, to developing Pacific islands.
“We have guys like Winjoe Yahpie and the Kakiki brothers, Jerry and Namaka, who have headed to New Zealand every winter for seven years,” says Jono, whose New Zealand contracting business Vinepower , works predominantly with communities on Vanuatu’s Tanna Island. “The money they earn always goes back to the wider community, mostly paying for education for relatives. It’s not a ‘this is my money’ mentality; it’s very community-based.”
He soon fell for the culture and people of Vanuatu, and particularly of Tanna. This undeveloped Pacific paradise is just a three hour flight from New Zealand, but it can seem a whole world away.
However, for all the happiness he found in the communal gardens and village communities, there was also hardship, with many children going without education and healthcare because families simply couldn’t afford it. Jono became concerned that the men had no work when they returned home, and that others on the island could not earn from the RSE scheme.
He and Vinepower business partner Jason Kennard began to think of ways to create community-based employment on the island. Thus, in 2013, they joined forces with Seth Kaurua and Germaine Koniamek, both of whom had been RSE workers in the past, to establish Tanna Farms.
Where does our Pure Virgin Coconut Oil come from
Our pure virgin coconut oil comes from Tanna Island, Vanuatu, where coconuts grow on family farms at the edge of the sea and the foot of a live volcano. They thrive in the rich soils, ocean breezes, abundant sunshine and tropical rainfall of this Pacific paradise, then crack to the ground when nature deems they’re ready.
How are our Coconuts collected Local farmers and their families gather the coconuts and husk them using sharp spikes of wood or metal called kakers. Then send them to our small factory at Lenakel, on Tanna’s west coast. There our factory staff grate the flesh, then dry and press it by hand, to create our extra virgin coconut oil. It takes time and care to produce. So we package our oil in glass, not plastic, to ensure you enjoy an unadulterated taste of the Pacific.
What process do we use to collect our Pure Virgin Coconut Oil – DME Process – Direct Micro Expelling. Our coconut oil is 100% natural, 100% handmade, and created with a 100% renewable energy source. The DME (Direct Micro expelling) process we follow uses coconut shell and husk as fuel, so that nothing goes to waste.
The Ethical Benefits That’s good news for you and for our environment, and good news for the people of Tanna. Other forms of coconut oil production can see old coconuts taken far from their plantations to be processed with chemicals or high heat. Also without local employment.
Our coconuts are processed on the island they were grown. With local people given sustainable employment in our small factory. We teach skills and empower communities to determine their own future.
How Can You Use Our Pure Virgin Coconut Oil
The question should really be, how can’t I? Coconut oil has a vast amount of uses, from creating delicious food to ensuring luscious skin. We’ve had to limit ourselves to our top picks:
- In the kitchen, to create delicious food infused with the taste of paradise. With a high smoke point, coconut oil is great for stir-fry’s.
- We also use it as a replacement for butter in baking, and in our fruit smoothies.
- As a massage oil, to soothe tired muscles.
- Or as a moisturiser, to hydrate dry and rough skin.
- Also as a makeup remover, to take off everything from lipstick to mascara, while cleaning and moisturising.
- It can be used as a lip balm to hydrate and protect lips.
- A safe way to kill and remove lice.
- Also a great body scrub, by mixing with sugar, or cinnamon and oatmeal.
- To ease the symptoms of dandruff, by massaging into the scalp.
- Also to nurture a shiny coat in your pet, while also improving their breath and easing their joints.
- As a natural aftershave.
Why Choose our Pure Virgin Coconut Oil . This is a really important question because the cheapest coconut oil is made from the dried flesh of coconuts, which needs to be industrially refined, bleached and deodorised – No Thanks!
Virgin coconut oil, is the only oil Tanna Farms will make. This is made from fresh coconuts from naturally organic farms. Once at our mill, they go through the same process as cold pressed olive oil. So you taste the very best of our paradise in every jar. We create our organic virgin coconut oil from the first-press. Finally, with any residual oil used for soaps rather than being re-pressed.
Why Buy our Virgin Coconut Oil When you buy Tanna Farms Cold Pressed Naturally Organic Coconut Oil, you’re helping yourself! With a lovingly made oil we believe will transform your food and your skin. Use our Virgin Coconut Oil to see how it can add creaminess to your smoothies, flavour and moisten your muffins. Or to create fantastic stir fries and provide a perfect natural moisturiser, face scrub and makeup remover.
Your purchase is also helping isolated communities of Tanna Island, which earn much needed money through their coconut plantations. After the market for Tanna Island copra dried up in the 1980s, many of those plantations were abandoned to weeds . Thus we pride ourselves on helping revitalise a vital industry. “It encourages the community not to just rely on their old coconut trees, but to start planting new ones,” says grower Loughman Charlie.
Tanna Farms Business Partner
Tanna Farms business partner Ben Kaurua says the partnership of Tanna Farms is taking his island’s coconut oil to the world. “We’re building a bridge from Tanna Island to Port Vila, New Zealand and Australia. And it’s changing lives.”
On Cyclone Pam Since the devastation of Cyclone Pam, which smashed Tanna in March 2015, we have maintained our commitment and support to the island’s communities. We have also expanded our product range, to create a new income stream for farmers through peanut crops. We’ve supplied free seed, so landowners now once again plant Tanna’s fantastic red peanuts. Also we are committed to buying their dried peanuts when they’re harvested.
The Other Good Stuff “We’re not about giving handouts,” says partner Jono Bushell. “We’re about teaching skills and empowering communities to create their own sustainable future.”
Where is Vanuatu?
Vanuatu is the closest Pacific Island to New Zealand and Australia. Thus our coconut oil crosses a ditch, not an ocean, to get to your kitchen. You can use to bake, smoothies and everyday cooking or try a few of our beauty treatments, like a face scrub, makeup remover and luxurious moisturizer.
The where: Our coconuts come from organic family farms at the foot of a live volcano on Vanuatu’s Tanna Island. The 20 foot Vanuatu Tall Coconut trees thrive on the rich soils and ocean breezes. Also, abundant sunshine and tropical rainfall of this island paradise, and the coconuts they produce are part of everyday life here.
The who: The people of Tanna Island live simple lives, largely based around communal gardens. However, in order to send their children to school or seek basic health care, they need money as well. There are very few ways to earn money on Tanna Island. Thus by buying coconuts and peanuts off farmers and by employing people in our factories, we are enabling communities to help themselves.
The how: Firstly, Farmers gather their fallen coconuts then husk them, using sharp spikes of wood or metal called kakers. These are thrust into the fibrous shells and pulled back to reveal the nut inside. Next, we collect the coconuts and take them to our small factory at Lenakel, where we grate and press the kernel by hand.
Then, we press our oil using the Coconut Pacific Process (Direct Micro Expelling). Before buying oil we recommend that you find out how your coconut oil is made. Also, coconuts are a wonderful food that nature has packaged perfectly. Moreover we reckon that adding chemicals and heat to the mix is just bad thinking, or “ino gud” in Bislama.