Ruohonjuuri´s coconut oil is monkey-labor free!

Our customers have been pondered by the fact that some coconut plantations unethically use monkeys to collect coconuts from palm trees. Ethical production methods are important to Ruohonjuuri, which is why we went to found out what the situation is with regard to the coconut oils we sell.
Ruohonjuuri´s coconut oil is monkey-labor free!

We received detailed responses from all of our coconut oil suppliers, and we can proudly say that all of our coconut oil is demonstrably monkey-labor free and, in that respect too, smart and ethical choices.

All the products in the Foodin series are monkey-labor free and Foodin has visited the coconut oil production sites to get acquainted with the production.

“When I visited the site, the workers had just finished collecting the coconuts from the trees, meaning they were collected from the ‘forest’ and taken to the main road using buffaloes, from where they were transported by car for further processing to the ‘factory’.”

Coconuts are collected from the tree in the same way that coconut nectar is retrieved for coconut sugar, meaning men climb a tree – but instead of collecting coconut nectar, they manually remove the nuts from the branch and drop them on the ground.

The thick shell is then separated from the nuts, and dried and used for fiber or e.g. to be used for cloth. The small nut that is under the shell is transported by buffaloes to trucks, from where their journey continues for processing. The nuts are broken, after which they are peeled like an apple, leaving pure white meat. The meat of the coconut is washed and at the same time the best nuts are selected for cold pressing, the lower quality ones are made into traditional coconut fat, which is whitened and refined to be tasteless and unscented,” says Lasse Jalkanen, CEO of Foodin. He adds that their coconut oil suppliers are committed to adhering to ethical and sustainable production methods.

Child labor or monkeys are not used to collect or process coconut

In the production of CocoVi series coconut oil, no child or monkey labor is used, but trained adults take care of the job, as can be seen from the picture.

“Organic coco does not come from farmers that use apes to climb the trees and pick the coco. Nor any other animals are used for picking coconuts! The coconuts are picked by human beings! Trained adult men are doing this job,” Marieke Klijn-van Roon, a supplier of coconuts used in CocoVi coconut oil, explains via email.

The producer of Ekovista coconut oil, Greenfield Bio Plantations, also does not use monkeys to collect coconuts.

“We only use humans to pick the coconuts.  You can guarantee that: No monkeys are involved in the process of plucking coconut in our facility,” coconut producer Yasoja Dunuwille said in an email.

Puhdistamo provides the following statement about their coconut oils:
“Our producer does not use monkey labor. This practice is more often used in Thailand, but our coconut comes from the Philippines.” So, also the Puhdistamo coconut oils are an ethical and monkey-labor free choice.

Biona coconut oils’ production does not use monkey-labor either – animal welfare and the promotion of vegetarianism are actually very important for the manufacturer of the series.

“Our Biona products are picked by hand using long plucking sticks that have a curved metal knife at the top to remove the coconuts. No monkeys are ever used to pick our coconuts. At Biona animal welfare is a top priority to us and all our products are vegetarian,” Charlotte Riley of Windmill Organics, a producer of Biona coconut oils, announced by email.


The coconut oil in the Voimaruoka range is also made without the participation of monkeys in the collection. Representatives of the Voimaruoka range have also visited the sites to confirm the matter. Hanna Jormanainen, the representative for the range says:

"Monkey labor is by no means used to collect nuts used in the production of centrifuged coconut oil for Voimaruoka. We have audited the production facility twice, and the most recent audit took place as recently as November 6, 2015, from which we have just received an approved report under the BSCI control system and registered for the BSCI system.

The BSCI is a European system for social control of ethical sourcing of materials, based on the labor standards of the International Labor Organization (ILO) and supporting the continuous improvement of the social performance of suppliers. Its ultimate goal is to promote sustainable working conditions in factories worldwide.

The BSCI Code of Conduct covers the following areas:

·         Compliance
·         Working hours
·         Compensation
·         Prohibition of child labor
·         Prohibition of forced labor and disciplinary action
·         Freedom of association and the right to bargain collectively
·         Prohibition of all forms of racial discrimination
·         Occupational health and safety
·         Management systems
·         Environmental and safety issues

Hopefully this suffices as a guarantee – although the use of animal labor is not specifically mentioned in the list, its ban is, of course, part of the required standards.”