Projects
The journey of each ingredient from farmer to table is as important as the quality of the food itself to Essential Trading.  The co-operative has strict guidelines for all its producers, suppliers and associates.  Every item that Essential Trading handles meets its stringent requirements.  Every so often we hear a story that epitomises all that we do and strengthens our resolve.  These four projects have literally been life-changing for the people involved and demonstrate how ethical enterprises can succeed.
The Coconut Story
Coconut oil, milk and cream are increasingly popular for their health and beauty benefits.  To meet consumer demand, some producers are clearing tropical forestland and planting coconuts to exploit the market.  However, Essential Trading sources its coconut products from sustainable groves in Sri Lanka that are on established land and cultivated in balance with the environment.
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The Café Rebelde Story
Back in 2000, the Zapatista group of autonomous indigenous people in Southern Mexico reclaimed 50,000 hectares of land in eastern Chiapas and set about farming it.  Today, around 200,000 people from 1,000 villages are now gainfully employed with the money they make being reinvested in their villages to improve their health, education, water and food production infrastructure. 
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The Infusions Story
The Egyptian farm from which Essential sources its tea range is built on reclaimed desert sand.  It has been cultivated with biodynamic farming methods since 1977, providing one of the most inspired eco systems in the world.  The company behind this is SEKEM and its specialised form of organic farming is at the heart of this successful, self-sustaining farming unit. 
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The Chocolate Spread Story
It is ironic that chocolate is associated with luxury and love yet the cultivation of cocoa is fraught with environmental and social troubles.  Less discriminating farmers mass-produce cocoa plants by forcing them into the sun to ripen quickly and use artificial fertilisers and pesticides that degrade the soil and forest land. 
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