Are Dr. Bronner’s Palm and Coconut Oils Produced Sustainably?
Posted on 08 August 2013
Some customers are concerned that the palm and coconuts oils used in Dr. Bronner’s soaps may come from plantations that were established on recently cleared tropical forestland or otherwise contribute to environmental destruction. Fortunately, we are happy to say, that they don’t.
As with any other crop, it’s not what you grow but how you grow it. For one, all growers Dr. Bronner’s purchase from are certified organic. This means that no agrochemicals are used (chemical fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides) and soil fertility is replenished by natural means - compost, manure, mulching with crop residues.
The production of Dr. Bronner’s oils also does not contribute to deforestation. The palm oil comes from about 1,000 acres of smallholdings in Ghana (where there are no orangutans) that were established decades ago. The coconut oil comes from some 400 small to mid size farms in Sri Lanka, most of which have been in the owners’ family for generations. Dr. Bronner's encourages the growers to intercrop with other beneficial species and supply organic fertilizer at a subsidy. This improves soil fertility, yields and profitability of small farms – and allows them to compete with plantations.
By having their entire supply chain certified organic and fair trade Dr Bronner's also want to demonstrate that one can produce any crop - and the products made from them –sustainably.