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Direct Micro Expelling®
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The Tree of Life

The Tree of Life

The coconut palm is called the "Tree of Life" because it can meet so many basic human needs — for food, shelter, and fuel. Did you know that among its many remarkable properties, each coconut palm produces a bunch of coconuts every month? So if a family owns 250 palms (on about 2 hectares), it has a constant supply of nuts all year round.

As a low maintenance, subsistence crop it is so much a part of the tropical scene that it is often taken for granted. However, as a commercial crop, it is in big trouble. The main "cash crop" is copra. This is the dried white flesh of the nut. It takes months for this raw material to reach the industrial processing plants in Europe or Asia. By then the copra is very dirty and usually rancid so that when the oil is extracted it has to be highly processed for edible use. (For details, see the copra problem).

Direct Micro Expelling (DME®) uses an entirely different approach. It takes the processing right back to the farm level. It enables rural families on tropical coasts to produce pure virgin oil within one hour of opening their coconuts. These coconuts are grown and processed organically, without the use of fertilisers or other chemical inputs. Some DME sites now have Organic Certification.

Many tropical coastal communities are the custodians of unique endangered cultures, languages, reefs and rainforests. The coconut is the most sustainable agricultural resource of these communities. DME bypasses arduous copra-making and provides rural people with meaningful employment, a regular income and enhanced living standards. So, in buying this oil, you are not just getting a premium product but also supporting the livelihood of many island peoples and their environments.

Flow charts showing a current island scenario and a sustainable development scenario (569Kb pdf) and DME® a Pictorial Overview (368Kb pdf)

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