Navitas is famous for its unrefined raw cocoa, which is now a staple of many healthy pantries across the country. Now the company is moving towards rebirth. Recently, the California-based enterprise announced that their Caco supply chain, which comes from Liloma Coco operative in Sierra Leone, is certified regenerative organic.
“It is only fitting that our first ROC product is cacao because it has been a major item for our company for almost two decades. This is all the more significant because of the historical legacy of the cocoa industry’s exploitation and unethical labor practices, “said Zach Adelman, co-founder and CEO of Navitas Organics.
“Regenerative farming is an holistic way of growing food that closely mimics the design of nature and goes beyond simply sustaining our natural resources, replenishing or reproducing them. Although the name may be new, it is rooted in regenerative practice and the knowledge of thousands of years of ancestral knowledge around the world. By emphasizing social justice and soil health, reproductive agriculture respects the livelihood and sovereignty of the farmer, enabling him to manage the land optimally for the future. ”
Indeed, Adeleman notes that the company has long been a proponent of traditional organic farming, which is now being fashionably referred to as “regenerative.”
In three years, Navitas will invest $ 100,000 in Sierra Leone to increase their coco-op. These include setting up farmer field schools, working towards reforestation, and ensuring only labor practices — in terms of the complexity of the Keko supply chain.
“The potential for advancing reproductive organic values is attractive because it further empowers smallholder farmers around the world who have been employing these strategies for centuries,” he says. “These farmers are using holistic and indigenous practices that respect the entire ecosystem and the surrounding communities in a way that industrial agriculture consistently ignores.”
The company will start with 2 to 4 Caco products under ROC this year but will continue to look for new opportunities to include ROC wherever they can, he added.
Although there is some debate about the principles of ROC certification, for example, if certain levels of cultivation are acceptable, there is a broad understanding that the best practices of reproductive farming will continue to adapt to feedback from farmers and brands. .
“Institutions and certifications are so new that it’s hard to say what improvements are needed right now. Nothing is perfect, the certification will continue to evolve as the industry grows and we will learn more about the impact of the structure. “
But ROC, like other certifications, comes at an additional cost. So do consumers really pay attention to these subtle details and is it worthwhile for brands to follow them?
“I think consumers care about ROC certification, although as much as consumers help us make decisions, that’s the core of our business and how we work. We are using our business as a force for good and building a purpose-driven brand that accurately reflects the changes we want to see in the world. “
Since reincarnation is becoming a trend, some companies like Navitas are opting for certification instead of just saying that they are doing regenerative farming. Hopefully this will help them to rise above the noise and potential green washing.