As far as oils go, coconut oil is lauded for its many benefits. People eat it, use it on their hair and body, cook with it and use it on their pets. You can read plenty of information about unrefined, refined, fractionated, extra virgin, cold extracted, hot extracted, organic and fair-trade oil.
For our purposes, we just wanted to explore the benefits of using coconut oil as the main carrier oil in our coffee scrubs.
The first hurdle came when we discovered that animals may have been used/abused as part of the coconut supply chain.
Apparently in areas such as Thailand, Malaysia, Sri Lanka and Indonesia, pig-tailed macaques are specifically bred and trained – often with punishment – to harvest coconuts. Because of their climbing abilities, the monkeys are capable of harvesting several hundred more coconuts a day than a human can.
This is where the topic becomes controversial.
Some report that at dedicated monkey training facilities, the monkeys are caged or chained by the neck and trained to pick only ripe coconuts. They do this all day, every day, day in, day out. Added to this, the main sources of the working monkeys are thought to be either the offspring of already trained monkeys, monkeys caught by nets or traps by poachers or, babies who are taken from nursing mothers (who are shot).
Others report that many monkeys are kept by poor farmers who are just trying to survive and support their families and are actually treated like beloved family pets. They liken the practice of using monkeys to collect coconuts to using oxen to plough fields, sheepdog to herd livestock, and dogs to guard property or sniff for drugs in airports.
Unfortunately, there are no statistics to tell us how wide spread the practice is or who does or does not employ cruel tactics.
There are however, suppliers who do not engage in this practice at all, so ethical sourcing is not an issue for those of us prepared to do a little extra research.
At porze, we decided it was easier to just find and use other high-quality, organic carrier oils in our scrubs..
If you are interested in finding out more about what we are doing, we would love for you visit us at (WEBSITE)
If you are interested in finding out more on this topic, you can read a thorough report by the Huffington Report here.
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Thank you to Timo Wagner for the photo