Ecuador

Ecuador is the country where the Natural Habitats story began. In 2009, our organic palm oil production was launched in Esmeraldas, Ecuador, with small farmers that believed in the benefits of organic agriculture. Over time, more and more farmers joined the Natural Habitats team, converting their farmland from conventional to organic, and in 2011, independent farmers joined the Natural Habitats journey, organizing themselves in the first organic producer association in Ecuador.

Today, over 129 small farmers and 150 small farms grow organic palm oil for Natural Habitats in Ecuador, and that number continues to grow as more farmers recognize the benefits of converting to organic. Our palm oil produced in Ecuador serves the US, South American and European food and personal care markets with a robust list of product offerings.

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Fernando Davalos

Country Manager, Natural Habitats Group

Fernando is one of the firsts employees of Natural Habitats Group. He is now the Country Manager of Ecuador.

He brings to Natural Habitats more than 20 years of international experience in banking and business development.

Fernando is responsible for generating and prioritising a flow of innovative opportunities of high potential interest to the Ecuadorian operation in current core business areas, strategic partnerships and new potential markets. He is also responsible for all added value, strategic operations, and exports.

His project management, finance, and venture capital knowledge together with his strong communications skills allows him to identify optimal deal structures, participate in deal negotiations, and steer deals through approval processes and to closure.

He is an Ecuadorian and Spanish national who has lived and work in different continents for several years, making him knowledgeable of different cultural organisational styles; allowing him to convert cultural differences in business opportunities.

Richard Jacome

Richard Jácome V.

Finance Director at Natural Habitats Group, Ecuador

Richard is a senior professional with over 15 years of experience in management of administrative, financial and internal control areas. He has worked in high named multinational companies and participated in mergers & acquisitions and joint ventures processes at international level. Richard is a dynamic professional, proactive and focused on creating value in the activities he performs. In addition, Richard has experience in strategic business consulting in several Central American countries and has worked in regional management positions in some South American countries. Richard is a personal finance coach and enjoys university teaching.

In Ecuador there are over 120 organic small farmers representing over 150 small farms that have partnered with Natural Habitats group. These farmers have dedicated their land to producing organic palm oil using only organic agricultural practices, free from chemicals and conventional methods, and are aligned with the values, beliefs and principles of Natural Habitats Group.

The organic farmers we work with not only comply to all of our third party certifications, including organic, RSPO, Fair for Life, Non-GMO Project, and soon Rainforest Alliance, they are paid a premium for the organic fruit they produce and are supported through the many social programs that Natural Habitats Group employs, including support of local schools, a medical doctor, and continuing education.

Natural Habitats continues to grow the number of farmers that participate in our organic palm oil collection in Ecuador, and the group continues to assist small farmers in converting their land from conventional to organic, a process that not only positively impacts the environment and farmer health, but also the economic opportunities of the farmers that earn a premium for complying with the Natural Habitats organic standards.

In addition to working with small farmers, Natural Habitats Group has formed partnerships with larger palm operations in Ecuador, guiding the conversion of conventional palm production to organic, helping to improve the overall palm industry in Ecuador and beyond.

Natural Habitats has formalized an innovation JV with La Fabril, a leading palm oil R&D facility in Manta, Ecuador. Natural Habitats has innovation capabilities above and beyond any other organic palm oil supplier, and is leading technology in organic palm oil processes to bring new and unique products to market.

To learn more about La Fabril, visit http://www.lafabril.com.ec

Natural Habitats Group is leading organic palm oil production in Ecuador through expanding reach of organic agriculture. The Group is always striving for continuous improvement, and is focused on the following areas:

Local Partnerships: Natural Habitats Group currently operates in many areas across the Country of Ecuador, and has formed partnerships with local producers, mills and refinery to scale organic palm oil production and create a positive impact in the palm oil industry.

Third Party Certifications: To ensure Natural Habitats Group organic palm oil complies with the highest standards, we have a team of agronomists continuously working with our farmers to comply with and exceed our third party certifications – organic, RSPO IP, Non-GMO Project, and Rainforest Alliance, to name a few.

Additionally, Natural Habitats has partnered with other local Ecuadorian palm oil producers to guide and provide expertise on gaining RSPO certification, and is helping to encourage the conventional palm oil industry to comply with third party standards, elevating the industry at large.

Social Projects: Natural Habitats supports a number of social projects, going above and beyond our third party certifications, demonstrating that a Palm Done Right approach is good for the environment, as well as the local communities where palm oil is grown. Some of the social projects Natural Habitats implements on the ground include support of local schools, soccer teams and traditional culture events, employing a medical doctor and social worker. Additionally, Natural Habitats donates ~1% of profits to three organic farmer associations to allocate the funds to social programs that make a positive difference in their areas.

Through community support and empowerment, Natural Habitats aims to improve the livelihood of everyone in the supply chain, and demonstrate that organic palm oil is a very sustainable and supportive crop for local communities.

Quality Assurance: Natural Habitats Group is dedicated to providing the highest quality, organic palm oil possible, and has made significant investments in the supply chain to ensure the highest quality controls we can.

As part of Extranatu’s commitment to transparency, we present summaries of the company's management documents below:

The following documentation is available upon request:

  • Land titles of Extrantu
  • Public summary of certification assessment report

All requests for information should be addressed to Extrantu through requests for information procedure.

Extranatu is strongly committed to community development and social responsibility. The company is certified with Fair for Life and Hand in Hand standards, which aim at improving the market access and bettering the living conditions of smallholder producers and workers on agricultural farms. In order to achieve this goal, both labeling initiatives provide several practical mechanisms. One of them is the Development Premium that is intended to finance sustainable social community projects. The Premium is paid in addition to the sales price by Fair Trade buyers and administrated separately to a special fund. The premium money is only used for the investment in social, environmental or economic development projects. Below a summary report on project activities and the progress achieved is presented.

Fair for Life and Hand in Hand Premium Fund Administration Summary Report 2017