Tag: EcoProducts Factory

EcoProducts gets FSSC 22000 certified!

FSSC 22000
EcoProducts Baobab fruit powder production facility has been certified FSSC 22000.  FSSC 22000 Food Safety System Certification is a highly regarded level of food certification that meets global standards.   FSSC 22000 is fully recognised by the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI)

EcoProducts Celebrates A Year of Growth!

celebrating EcoProducts
It is always a happy and vibrant day when we all go out to celebrate of a year of hard work. So much has happened for EcoProducts this year: moving to new upgraded factory premises, getting HACCP certified - two huge events! Last year we were 22 people and now we are 50 people. So we have doubled our staff and have TREBLED our production output!

Baobab Harvesters visit EcoProducts Factory

Baobab Harvesters visit EcoProducts
EcoProducts invited 30 baobab harvesters from across the Venda area to visit the new EcoProducts Baobab Processing Facility in Makhado. The purpose of the visit was to show the harvesters where the fruit goes and what happens to the fruit once it arrives at the factory.  We also wanted the harvesters and the factory staff to meet and to discuss the collection and processing challenges, and how these can be overcome through better understanding of the process.

Pura-vida: made in the Limpopo, sold in Singapore

LOHASIA is a social enterprise working to educate, empower and inspire everyone to enjoy lifestyles of health and sustainability. Recently, they published an article on Kristi Mackintosh owner of Pura Vida, an online natural product store selling amongst other beauty products, EcoProducts Baobab Oil. Here's an extract from the article: 

"Recognising the potential for positive impact that our purchasing decisions can have on the people that make our products, Kristi works with companies such as Eco Products in South Africa. This small enterprise produces baobab oil, an excellent skin moisturizer containing Omega 3, 6 and 9 fatty acids, which contribute towards maintaining a healthy skin. Eco Products sources the baobab directly from women in local rural communities who have been using baobab oil for centuries, but who never looked at the oil as a resource for selling and making an income. Now over 1,000 women receive income from Eco Products, and the company has rigorous sustainability practices to ensure the long-term conservation of this important tree". 

For the full article click here: http://lohasia.net/heroes/175-kristi-mackintosh

Nothing goes to waste – it all goes back to Nature!

Absolutely nothing goes to waste when we make our baobab oil and powder.  We would potentially have three ‘waste’ products.  The first is the shell of the fruit, which is cracked open to remove the power and seed in the primary stage of processing.  The second is the seed coat, this is the very hard outer layer of the seed itself.  We remove this just before we extract the oil as it does not contain any oil.  The third is the seed cake, this is left over after we have pressed the seed.   The fruit shells are used as a fuel in our Donkey Boiler to make hot water for our staff to shower.  The baobab seed coats are used as mulch in our vegetable and flower gardens.  Lastly the seed cake is used by livestock farmers in the area as feed for their cattle and sheep.  Nothing is left after we've processed the baobab seed pods  – it all goes back to Nature. 

where do you go with the baobab fruit?

Last week while on a photo shoot in Venda,  the harvesters asked me where I went with all the baobab fruit I buy from them.  So I said, why don’t you come and see?  We worked out the taxi money from Venda and back and set a date for the following Thursday.  

The women travelled 200km to visit EcoProducts in Makhado. They arrived in their beautiful Minwendas (traditional venda dress).  I could not resist the temptation of putting on my Minwenda which was given to me by Chief Sumbana a few years ago.  

We showed the women around the premises and they chatted with all the staff.  When they saw what the fruit was being used for and how we process the powder and oil, they realized why I am so fussy about the quality of fruit I buy from them.  There was such tremendous ‘buy-in’ from them, once they understood the importance of the harvesting work they did. They felt part of a greater process rather than just the suppliers of the fruit.  

We showed them the cracking, separating, sieving and packing of the powder.  They also were amazed by the oil press and that such a small dry seed could produce oil.