In this article, we want to introduce you to Valúdo, producers of coconut products, who will be co-exhibiting at BioFach 2022. BioFach will take place in Nuremberg Germany from the 22nd to the 29th of July this year.
Valúdo is a company committed to developing an exchange network of highly responsible small producers. Therefore, Fair Trade and Organic are two key aspects of its value proposition.
Valúdo works rehabilitating abandoned coconut plantations in the country, always respecting the diversity of peasant cultures and the environment. They are an economic engine in the island and they are committed to preserving the biodiversity of São Tomé and Príncipe.
São Tomé and Príncipe, an archipelago still unknown for many, are called the islands of the middle of the world since they cross both the equator and the Greenwich meridian. Located off the coast of West Africa, in the Gulf of Guinea, they have a very favorable tropical country for coconut cultivation.
Valúdo’s Out-Grower project and their Fair Trade certification provide growers and harvesters with stable financial benefits in exchange of the supply of coconuts, and so, equally throughout the year. They provide inputs and technical supports to the growers and harvesters in order to improve the productivity of their culture. They do so by combining traditional Santomean practices with modern processes of quality and control.
Valúdo is also responsible for the transport and logistics that connect it to growers and their produce, including those living in remote communities. This service allows as many outside growers as possible to have a source of income.
Valúdo’s mission is to offer its customers high quality organic products with a certified origin. This, based on a smart network of small farmers. To guarantee the quality of their products, they control the entire production chain, from the coconut tree to the finished product. It is through this totally controlled value chain that they manage to obtain responsible products: organic and fair trade.
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About Valúdo’s products
The products offered by Valúdo are: Organic Virgin Coconut Oil, Organic Coconut Flour, Desiccated Coconut and Coconut Charcoal.
The coconut tree is a herbaceous plant, and not a tree, therefore it has a considerably slow growth, which allows its fruit, the coconut, to be filled with all the (wealth) that constitutes it. In fact, every part of the coconut tree is usable, hence its nickname “the tree of life” or “the tree of a hundred uses”. For example, people can drink the coconut water, eat its flesh and use it to make oil, use the coconut fiber and leaves as building material, and the tree sap as syrup. Most coconut trees bear their first fruit after about 3 years, reach their maximum productivity after 10 to 20 years, and can produce coconuts for about a 100 years. They give an average of 50 to 150 coconuts a year, depending on the variety.
All Vaúdo coconuts are harvested only once the plantations of their partners in their project are mature. After harvest, the coconut fiber is removed and then collected at identified collection points in partner communities.
About water use
Coconut trees require a significant amount of water per year to produce up to 150 coconuts. The abundant rains on the islands of São Tomé and Príncipe are partly responsible for the country’s innumerable coconut palms and their growth without the need of external sources of water.
Within three days after the harvest and after a first quality selection, the coconuts are transported to the Valúdo facilities. It is here where a second quality classification is carried out and the coconuts are subsequently stored by date of arrival and origin. When preparing for the production, the nuts are deshelled and pared, leaving the white flesh only, that is then washed several times.
After washing, the coconut meat is grated and dehydrated at a controlled temperature. Once this step is done, the desiccated coconut is placed on stainless steel tables to cool down. This intermediate product is then cold pressed to obtain virgin coconut oil. The oil is left in settling tanks and filtered to obtain a pure and transparent virgin coconut oil. As a final product, the oil is stored in stainless steel tanks and specialized export tanks.
Valudo has obtained the following certificates:
- Organic EOS
- Organic NOP
- Fair for Life
- For Life
- One Voice
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