Vanuatu coconuts go organic
Vanuatu is beginning to convert its largest coconut plantations to organic this month, says Sophie Langley in the <a href="http://www.ausfoodnews.com.au/2013/02/25/island%E2%80%99s-coconuts-converting-to-australian-organic-status.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+AustralianFoodNews+%28Australian+Food+News%29">Australian Food News</a> (AFN) website.
The country grows its coconuts largely organically, without the addition of chemicals, but the Australian certification makes it officially organic.<!--more-->
<p style="text-align: left;"><a href="https://pacifictradeinvest.com/PTI/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/Farm_coconut.jpg"><img class="alignright size-full wp-image-4593" alt="Farm_coconut" src="https://pacifictradeinvest.com/PTI/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/Farm_coconut.jpg" width="300" height="200" /></a>Sanma Community Coconuts, which collectively encompasses over four hundred hectares of coconuts on Espiritu Santo Island, and more than 200 growers, are accepting organic from Australia, says the AFN website. The largest single owned coconut plantation, Plantation Russet du Vanuatu, covering 1550 hectares, is also converting to organic.</p>
The changes are part of the Vanuatu Sustainable Agri-Business Initiative (VASABI), which aims to increase grower returns by converting plantations to organic. VASABI was launched by an organisation called African Pacific, in conjunction with the Vanuatu Government, the Vanuatu Agriculture College, World Vision and Australian Organic (<a href="http://www.ausfoodnews.com.au/2013/02/14/australian-organic-industry-rebranding-update.html">formerly Biological Farmers of Australia, BFA</a>).
A significant proportion of the 234,000 population of the country that is spread across 83 islands produces coconuts.
Organic certification will now mean Vanuatu’s coconut growers will have improved records of farm practices. Produce is intended for the premium-priced organic market sector, says the website.
The Vanuatu farmers expect to achieve full organic certification in 2015.