Sri Lanka

Over 25 years of organic farming and processing

A cultivation partner with accolades

White beaches, turquoise waters and coconut palms, that’s the tropical island country of Sri Lanka, where we have been promoting the organic cultivation of coconuts and other tropical fruits for more than 25 years. In Sri Lanka, we work with our own company’s coconut farmers. On 13 December 2015, the company received the accolade of the “Best Enterprise Award”. Alongside the visionary direction of the company, environmental protection and social factors are also included in the evaluation criteria for this award.  The company’s own employees and their working environment, pay and safety are accorded the highest priority.

We place high value on quality throughout the entire production process from the farm to the shelf.  For this reason, our Sri Lanka project is also certified in accordance with the quality management standard ISO 22000:2005. The use of organic products, which are produced without chemical and synthetic fertilisers and pesticides, the numerous quality control procedures during and after production,and continuous production guarantee a natural organic product which is produced using the fastest and shortest processes. The fact that we have collaborated with growers and local staff for many years is a testament to our fair dealings and sustainable business relationship with them.

Our contract farmers

263 contract farmers grow mixed crops, including pineapples, papayas, bananas and coconuts using traditional methods on an area of more than 2000 hectares. The cultivation areas are regularly checked both at an internal level by our own agricultural engineers and externally by the organic inspection body Control Union. The harvest and the transport of the goods is overseen and logged by project workers. The coconuts which are harvested are transported on separate loading platforms directly to the processing facility to prevent mixing with non-organic produce and to guarantee full traceability back to the farmer. Farmers are paid directly and around 15 to 20% more than the standard market price. This project has given the growers involved the security of self-sufficiency for over two decades.

Pineapples

There are well over 100 pineapple varieties which are divided into five variety groups. The fruits of the “Mauritius” variety only weigh around 1 kg when fully grown and are characterised by their sweet-and-sour taste and golden yellow colour. They are available all year round in Sri Lanka. The peak season, however, runs from April to July. The first pineapples can be harvested 15-18 months after planting. The next harvest can then take place six months later.  After three years the pineapple plants are replaced by new plants.  As the fruits don’t ripen at the same rate, the pineapple crop must be checked by plantation workers on a daily basis for harvesting purposes. Only the fruits which are ripe enough for subsequent processing are harvested. The ripe pineapples are ordered so that they can be immediately processed further without delay. Before the pineapples are processed, the fruits are firstly sorted according to level of ripeness and weighed. All pineapples are then washed, peeled and the wood pieces and inflorescences completely removed. Afterwards, the next processing step is selected.

Organic jarred pineapple

After cutting, the pieces or slices are sorted by appearance and fed into an automatic filling machine. There, they are filled into glass jars which are then sealed and pasteurised. After an incubation period of 10 days, the fruits in the glass jars can be shipped to Germany. Upon arrival, they undergo a final quality check and are labelled.

Dried Organic Pineapple

The pineapple pieces/slices are arranged on sheets and then dried in special drying ovens using hot air at around 60°C. They are then packed into boxes and delivered to Germany as quickly as possible. Once they have arrived there, they are subject to an incoming inspection and are packed into bags just-in-time. Completely ripened fruits, which are especially sweet and aromatic, are preferentially harvested and used. The drying process results in a naturally high level of sweetness and a slightly dark colouring. By contrast, unripe fruit produces more brightly coloured dried fruit which is less sweet and aromatic.

Coconuts

Sri Lanka is one of the main cultivation areas of coconut palms, which reach an impressive height of 20 to 30 m and can bear approx 90 coconuts per year depending on their age. The coconuts ripen after 12–15 months and with their shells, they can reach a weight of up to 2.5 kg. The actual nut which is familiar to us from supermarkets only weighs between 0.5 and 1 kg. The coconuts are harvested every two months. Up to 20 nuts per palm can be harvested. The main harvesting season, however, is usually between April and September. In order to avoid the need for intermediate storage, the harvest quantities are adjusted to reflect production capacities. This means that the freshness of the fruit remains at its optimum level. The exterior shell of the coconut is already removed on the plantation. It is primarily used for the natural fertilisation of the plantations, but also to produce ropes or doormats. The coconuts, with their typical brown, hairy appearance, are transported to the processing facility for further processing, where they are cut into halves very early in the morning when temperatures remain low. The coconut water is collected. The white core is carefully separated from the thin brown layer which surrounds it. The coconut is then washed and further processing is selected.

Organic Coconut Water

After the hard shell has been opened, the coconut water contained in the ripe coconuts is collected in a sterile vacuum tank. The coconut water is then briefly heated to 140°C and then aseptic drinking cartons are filled with the ready-to-drink product. ONE NATURE organic coconut water contains no added sugar, preservatives or flavourings. Its light aromatic sweetness comes solely from the ripe coconuts.

Organic Coconut Milk

The fresh fruit pulp is chopped up and pressed in an electric press to produce coconut milk. Depending on the required fat content, the raw coconut milk from the first pressing with a fat content of 35-38% is then mixed with a specific amount of water in a large, chilled tank.  Once the desired fat content of 22% has been reached, the coconut milk is then pasteurised for one minute and then cans which have previously been steam-cleaned are then filled. After being sealed by the machine, the filled coconut milk is sterilised at a temperature of 125°C for 30 minutes, and shipped after a resting period of two weeks.

Organic Coconut Oil

For ONE NATURE organic native coconut oil, the coconut flesh of freshly harvested coconuts is chopped up and dried at a maximum of 50ºC. The dried coconut flesh, with no additives whatsoever, is then cold-pressed and filtered. Coconut oil only turns into liquid at 24-26º and is therefore solid at room temperature and is white in colour.

Organic Coconut Puree

For ONE NATURE organic coconut puree, the coconut flesh of freshly harvested coconuts is chopped up and dried for one hour at 102 degrees. All of the dried coconut flesh is then subjected to a grinding process under high pressure until coconut puree with a firm consistency is produced. As a result of the strong dehydration process when the coconut flesh is dried, the end product has a significantly higher fat content of 71% than coconut milk which is obtained from pressed fresh coconut flesh which has not previously been dried.

Organic Coconut Chips and Organic Grated Coconut

For the production of ONE NATURE organic coconut chips, the white fruit flesh is cut by machine into pieces resembling slices, while for ONE NATURE organic grated coconut, it is finely shredded. After both have been processed by belt drying equipment at a hot air temperature of 90°C, they are packed into 25 kg bags and start their journey to Germany.