Friday, November 19, 2010

EcoProducts Giving Back

EcoProducts Give Back to the Community
EcoProducts Organic Baobab Oil comes from the Vendaland in Limpopo Province, South Africa. EcoProducts have established a network of over 400 rural women, who collect baobab fruit from trees in their homesteads, fields and surrounding grazing lands. Many of the women head their own households, having to feed and cloth children and look after the elderly. Their relationship with EcoProducts has helped to bring in much needed additional income.

Sylvia says “EcoProducts has been a god-send. The income I get from baobab seed helps feed and clothe my children.”
Constance says “Last year I saved enough money to buy a fridge.”
Hendrik (headman) says “EcoProducts has helped my people.”

Baobody ingredients are biodegradable, pH balanced and soap free making them safer for ground water systems than many other products. Baobody is packaged in containers made from PET recyclable plastic to minimize our impact on the planet.  Organic certification means that no fertilizers and pesticides are used and that wild harvesting is sustainable. EcoProducts is involved in ongoing monitoring and research into the ecology of baobabs to advance our understanding of the environment in which they occur.
EcoProducts is involved in studying the ecology of baobab trees in Vendaland. Baobab trees are extremely long-lived trees, some are known to be over 1000 years old. Although these ancient giants are a well-known feature of the African landscape, not enough is known about their ecology. EcoProducts have a long-term research program which monitors fruit production patterns, regeneration and mortality of the trees. This research will guide resource users in sustainably managing this population of baobab trees.

More information on Eco Products Community Upliftment
EcoProducts works with communities who live in the poorest and most underdeveloped part of South Africa. Households are often headed by women, who have to support large extended families. There are few jobs in this area and local people rely on subsistence agriculture and social grants for their survival. Thus, working directly with these communities, brings much needed economic benefits.

EcoProducts has developed relationships with several villages. Each village is visited once a month in order to give harvesters enough time to collect fruit. Rural women, even if they are unemployed, have a full day: tilling fields, collecting firewood and water, cooking food, looking after children and meeting social and tribal responsibilities. In some villages, a micro-economy has established around these collection days: fruit vendors arrive, non-perishable foodstuffs are sold between villages and goods that are difficult to get in the area are bartered. The sale of baobab fruit and seeds has already become an important source of income in these areas.

EcoProducts is working with traditional leaders to protect trees and encourage sustainable harvesting. Historically Baobab fruits were used as a food source and for this reason the trees where protected by cultural by-laws. In present times the fruits are no longer eaten and the tree is loosing its importance. Now, despite provincial and national legislation protecting Baobab trees, trees are being cut down to make way for fields, roads and houses. Through the sale of Baobab products we aim to reverse this trend.

EcoProducts has started a tree planting program in villages in order to boost the population of baobab trees for future production. This is a long term project as trees only start bearing fruit after about 20 years. Baobab trees can live for over 500 years and they continue to bear fruit for most of their lifetime.

Baobab Products Scoop Top Awards for Natural Products

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