At Niugini Organics, we value sustainability in many forms:
With a productive life of well over 100 years the coconut palm is perhaps the ultimate sustainable crop.
It has very low impact on the natural forest habitat around it. With all nuts supplied to Niugini Organics under “Wild Harvest” conditions the nuts are husked close to where they fall. The husks are a valuable source of potassium, as are the fronds that shed continuously. Naturally occurring leguminous creepers are allowed to thrive, fixing atmospheric Nitrogen into proteins which decompose back into the soil.
The palms themselves are indigenous local, varieties and highly resistant to the insect pests and viral infections that plague hybrid coconut palms and high yielding selections that are planted commercially in many regions and are dependant on fertilizers and insecticides. A thriving microbiological ecosystem within the soil is the first step towards any balanced ecosystem.
Our Farmers Methods
Our farmers have observed the effect that crops such as Oil Palm and Balsa Wood have on tropical soils with high rainfall leaving them leached of nutrients. Many have said they will not grow balsa ever again and they will never ever grow palm oil.
Monoculture systems of farming are foreign to traditional Melanesian life. A walk through a typical food garden (and everyone grows their own food) reveals a constant mix of sweet potato, taro, cassava, papaya, beans, yams and all sorts of food crops totally mixed up. No-where will you see neat lines of vegetables that have been grown from seeds that have come in packets.
We value the health and endurance of biological systems, all our the farms under forest are unaltered by harvesting, our method is known as 'wild harvest'. The ripened coconuts fall to the ground, and each month farmers clear the ground under the trees, and the coconuts are husked on site.
Most of the energy requirements for the Niugini Organics factory are met by the 1000 kilowatt steam boiler which consumes coconut shells as it fuel. While our medium term dream is to go totally solar currently our electricity is supplied by PNG Power’s 20 megawatt Warangoi Hydro Electricity generating facility. Our older diesel vehicles are run on coconut oil. As the oil is so pure, and the daily temperatures usually over 30 degrees celcius, the vehicles will run well with as no modification.
We are passionate that in this throw-away world, if recycling is good then reusability is even better.
We get feedback from customers who tell that our custom made Kilner jars are a great storage solution to their kitchens, they use them for bulk buying of healthy ingredients and many who have been encouraged to start making their own jams, relishes and preserves. Very occasionally you might find a dark spec in the glass, don’t worry that glass has been recycled once already.
The official unemployment rate in PNG is around 2.5% when measured on the same basis as industrialised countries. The problem of course is that the bulk of the population would like a job but they know that they do not have the skills and that the jobs are simply not to be found. The bulk of the population live in the rural areas much of which do not even have roads let alone locally based industries.
Niugini Organics is not a large company but we do exist in a rural area and we do employ over 40 people from surrounding villages. Their formal education ranges from grade two to bachelors degrees.
All of our maintenance, equipment fabrication and construction is done in house. Many of our maintenance team who have trained with Niugini Organics have gone on to work at some of the world class companies within PNG.
Formal employment gives people a sense of self worth, which otherwise sees young men getting involved in, all of which usually end in violence. Over the years we have seen at Niugini Organics, young men involved in petty crime, drugs and home brewed alcohol who, given an income and responsibility, develop into reliable production supervisors, get married, look after their families and become respected leaders within their own communities.