Dr. Bronner’s Launches New Short Documentary Journey to Serendipol
Video Tells Story of the Fair Trade and Organic Project that Produces Dr. Bronner’s Virgin Coconut Oil
March 01, 2016
VISTA, CA – Dr. Bronner’s, family-owned maker of the top-selling natural brand of soap in North America, has debuted its short documentary, “Journey to Serendipol.” The 8 minute video documents the production of the fair trade and organic, virgin coconut oil used by Dr. Bronner’s in its soaps and sold as culinary oil, as well as the development of Serendipol—Dr. Bronner’s fair trade sister company in Kuliyapitiya, Sri Lanka, which cultivates, harvests and processes the coconuts. To view the video, please visit: https://youtu.be/gtOQd748dC0.
Dr. Bronner’s founded Serendipol in 2006 following a tsunami relief effort, as part of the company’s desire to create a cleaner supply chain by sourcing all of their major raw ingredients from fair trade and organic sources. This mission driven initiative is part of Dr. Bronner’s commitment as a fifth generation soap-making family to carry on the social and environmental ideals of company founder Emanuel Bronner through integrating social initiatives and environmental stewardship into their business model.
“When we decided to commit to fair trade and organic ingredients for our soaps, no such source of virgin coconut oil existed to meet our needs,” said David Bronner, CEO of Dr. Bronner’s. “Serendipol is proof-positive that organic, fair trade projects can scale to meet growing world demand, improve quality of life in their community, and do so without reliance on chemical herbicides, pesticides or GMOs. Serendipol is a blueprint for how we need to shape the future of agriculture—via systems that are regenerative, sustainable, and uphold fair practices for workers.”
Since its founding, Serendipol has become the world’s foremost producer of certified fair trade and organic coconut oil. In addition to the story of that development, the documentary shares the voices of the organic farmers and staff at Serendipol. The company currently purchases from approximately 1,200 farmers who farm organically, a practice initiated by Serendipol that has resulted in improved soil fertility and increased yields. The company’s staff has grown to 300 individuals who enjoy working conditions and compensation uncommon in the industry.
“What we wanted was to have a chain where you knew where the materials came from, and that they would be produced under socially responsible and environmentally sustainable conditions,” said Gero Leson, Director of Special Operations for Dr. Bronner’s.
The fair trade premium paid by Serendipol’s customers, which averages $200,000 per year, is administered by a broad-based committee. It funds a range of community development projects, hospital equipment, school facilities and books, water and electricity supply. A model for other projects worldwide, Serendipol exemplifies what it means to demonstrate a fair trade supply chain from root to fruit.
“Fair trade has many facets,” said Sonali Pandithasekera, Chief Financial Officer of Serendipol. “To the customer, it’s a reliable source, fair pricing and fair terms. To the employee, it’s good working conditions, regular work, fair wages, health and safety. To the farmer, it’s fair payment terms, fair price for their lands, and transparency.”
Dr. Bronner’s commitment to progressive business practices including promoting sustainable agriculture, fair trade, corporate accountability, and consumers’ right to know is part of the company’s mission to put into practice the social and ecological principles that inform Dr. Bronner’s philosophy printed on the company’s iconic soap labels.
For further information on Dr. Bronner’s, please visit: http://www.drbronner.com.