Natural Habitats Group was founded in 2009 by Alfons van der Aa, a Dutch entrepreneur with a vision for redefining the palm oil industry. With a background in international business, strategic management, and building companies from the ground up, Alfons recognized that the conventional palm oil industry was causing severe negative impacts on the environment, native species and local communities, and was convinced that it could be done differently. In fact, Alfons founded Natural Habitats Group with the intention of proving that palm could be grown for good, at scale, to positively impact the planet and create sustainable livelihoods. It was this vision that inspired Alfons to create the first 100% organic, fully integrated supply chain in the palm oil industry.
Natural Habitats Group organic palm oil production began in Esmeraldas, Ecuador, supplying the organic food market in the US and Europe. In 2011, independent farmers joined the Natural Habitats journey, organizing themselves in the first organic producer association in Ecuador. In 2014 the company started organic palm oil production in Sierra Leone to expand and geographically diversify the organic palm oil supply. Today, Natural Habitats Group continues to expand and form more partnerships in these regions to bring organic, responsible palm oil to scale, in large quantities, and affect positive change across multiple industries using palm oil.
In addition to scaling organic, sustainable palm oil production, in 2016 Natural Habitats created a movement called Palm Done Right to grow brand, manufacturer, supplier, media and consumer awareness about the positive economic, environmental and social benefits of organic palm oil. The mission of Palm Done Right is to educate and inform the world that there is another side of the palm oil story, and encourage conscious companies and consumers to join the movement.
What began in 2009 with a vision to change the palm oil industry still holds true today - Natural Habitats Group continues to build a future in which farmers, workers and their communities are empowered, value chain partners collaborate extensively and organic agriculture will prove to be the answer to secure healthy resilient communities and healthy ecosystems. Through building sustainable organic palm oil production and changing the mindset around palm oil, the group will continue moving forward with this effort to bring positive change to life from now into the future.