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Dr. Bronner's / Serendipalm
Approved to post Kiva loans from: Ghana
Kiva conducts regular, ongoing monitoring of all Field Partners, but only posts status updates here in response to relevant, major changes at the partner.
Dr. Bronner’s is a top-selling U.S. manufacturer of organic and Fair Trade body care and culinary oils with company roots that can be traced back to 1858, in southern Germany. Dr. Bronner’s makes its products almost entirely from agricultural materials – specifically, coconut, olive, palm, hemp, and jojoba oils.
In 2003, the company decided to take on more active management of its supply chain and the resulting social and environmental conditions. The company first went organic then recognized full transparency of the supply chain could only be met by taking on more active management of its supply chain on the ground.
Dr. Bronner’s created Serendiworld to manage the sourcing and supply of its raw materials from organic and Fair Trade projects, and Serendiworld now manages several organic and Fair Trade companies in Ghana, Sri Lanka, India and Kenya. All Serendiworld projects are inspected and certified organic to U.S. and EU standards and are also certified Fair Trade by IMO under the Fair for Life program.
Loans funded on Kiva will be disbursed to farmers by Serendipalm, Serendiworld’s Ghanaian subsidiary. Serendipalm supplies Dr. Bronner’s with organic and Fair Trade palm oil, a primary ingredient in the brand’s bar soaps. Serendipalm is now a large community employer in the Eastern Region of Ghana, working with more than 670 family farms and producing more than 500 metric tons of organic palm oil every year.
Serendipalm is the world’s first Fair Trade and organic palm oil project that works exclusively with smallholder farmers. The company pays farmers an organic premium and also provides inputs and organic agricultural training.
Through a Fair Trade premium received from its customers Serendipalm has financed numerous community development projects targeting clean water, education, infrastructure and worker’s welfare.
A unique lending approach:
Serendipalm offers 0% interest loans to small-holder farmers to purchase more productive palm oil varieties. Once trees produce fruits, about 3-4 years after planting, Serendipalm will purchase and process the palm fruits, guaranteeing the purchase of the farmers’ harvests and offering them long-term markets. Kiva financing will enable Serendipalm to offer more loans and increase the production of palm oil on organic and Fair Trade terms.