Fairtrade Friday Review – Niugini Organics Coconut Oil.

Welcome to this week’s Fairtrade Friday!

So what is Fairtrade Friday? It’s where I find Fairtrade items and review them every Friday. Fairly easy to understand isn’t it? Basically I want to give a shout out to Fairtrade companies the world over as they are doing their best to make the world better for the farmers, producers and sellers of items. I also want to highlight how easy it is to shop and use Fairtrade items.

We are a single income family and don’t have the money to splash around on frivolous things. However, we are also a family with a big heart who want to try and help make the world a better place one tiny step at a time. We’re doing this in different ways. One is that we’re striving to become a zero waste household. Another is we try and shop and buy local as much as possible. And when we can’t buy something that is grown and made locally we strive for Fairtrade, sustainable, ethical and all round eco-friendly. You can do it too, and I hope my Fairtrade segment helps you realise how possible it is.

What does Fairtrade mean?

As I gather a lot of good information from Fairtrade Australia, here is how they explain it all:

“Fairtrade is about better prices, decent working conditions, local sustainability, and fair terms of trade for farmers and workers in the developing world. By requiring companies to pay sustainable prices, Fairtrade addresses the injustices of conventional trade, which traditionally discriminates against the poorest, weakest producers. It enables them to improve their position and have more control over their lives.”

The most basic explanation I can give of Fairtrade is where larger companies work with small companies in developing countries and pay them a decent amount of money for their goods, services and products. Meaning: if, in our country, it would cost $12 an hour to do something… the big companies pay the economical equivalent to people doing the same job in their developing country. What you need to understand is $12 here can be equal to $200 elsewhere… so they get equivalent rather than the exact same amount. Hopefully that makes sense?

And it isn’t all about pay. The bigger companies help set up the smaller companies in the developing countries to ensure they have better work environments, healthier/ safer conditions to work in, decent work hours and so on. Basically, Fairtrade is trying to ensure workers in developing countries get to work in the same safe, healthy environments we get to work in, they get to work decent hours and not horrendously long hours and they get paid exactly what their efforts are worth, not just a token few cents and left to toil in sweat shops and slave labour situations.

This is why Fairtrade is so important to me! It is my family’s way of supporting families in developing countries and saying – you deserve what we have! Think about it when you next go to buy something. Yes they Fairtrade item may cost just that little bit more… but when you consider where that money is going, it is the right choice.

Okay, onto the review!

And here is a bit of a disclaimer for you all:

I bought this product with my own money, I am not being paid to make this review, nor will I be reimbursed for my work. I’m just trying to give an open and honest review on Fairtrade items I buy to help raise awareness as to how easy it is to do.

And so here we go! Today’s Fairtrade Friday shout out goes to…

Niugini Organic Coconut Oil.

Niugini Organic coconut oil

I’m not going to do a big lecture on coconut oil, it’s pro and cons and so on. We use it, we love it. We are aware of the health concerns that come with it; we’ve accepted that and have moved on. 🙂

For those who do need a little coconut oil 101 here is a small paragraph:

It is made by extracting oil from the flesh of fresh coconuts, often cold pressed. There are many different views on the good and bad of the saturated fats it contains. It has a similar consistency to butter and we use it in baking and cooking (sweet and savoury) as a dairy free replacement to butter. It has a high smoking point so is awesome for deep frying (not that I do that too often) and has a mountain of positive uses. Just Google to see for yourself, if you would like to know more.

But this post isn’t about coconut oil; it is a review of my favourite coconut oil brand. And I give them a…

4 out of 5 stars.

Niugini Organic Coconut Oil is fantastic. I buy it in the large 1000ml (1kg) Kilner jar as we use it so often. I buy a jar about everyone month or so, and if I’m honest and really don’t feel it is too expensive when you know what it is, how it is made and who you are supporting.

Plus the Kilner jars are re-usable and just so awesome! Our cupboards are full of them to store dried beans, herbs, nuts and so on and I love using them when I make my own nut milk yoghurt.

But I don’t buy it for the jars! I buy it for the taste.

I’ve tried a few different coconut oils and found some of them just a little too overpowering in taste and smell. I don’t know what it was, but some of them just don’t sit right with me. I’ve also tried the odourless coconut oils and although they are palatable, they are far more refined and therefore starting to lose the benefits attributed to coconut oil.

However, Niugini Organic Coconut Oil has a nice balance. Yes it still smells and taste like coconut, but it doesn’t drown the other flavours out. I’ve actually found the oil so nice I’ve started using it for oil pulling (you’re going to need to look that one up too as I’m not going into it here. 😉 )

I find I can use this particular coconut oil as a 1:1 ratio exchange with butter in recipes and so have really found using it as a dairy free replacement super easy. It’s organic, single origin and Fairtrade on top of this… How could I not love it so much?

As I live in the Adelaide Hills, I can keep this oil in to pantry without issues. It is a solid (if a little runny at times) form for most of the year, thought right now – during the height of summer – it looks more like an ocean seascape with a few solid oil icebergs floating in a sea of oil. It will solidify as the temperatures drop around here and it won’t have gone off. It’s just what it does. Rather artistic, no?

Truth is I didn’t even know it was a Fairtrade item until I was going through my pantry seeking inspiration as to what to review today. And, not only are Niugini Organics Fairtrade – they are who Fairtrade International approached to be a consultative partner when trying to figure out how best to decide on a uniform pricing for coconut farmers in their area of the world. Now that is Fairtrade with a gold star on top!

I love their website and strongly recommend you go check it out. They’ve spent a lot of time explaining who they are, what they do, the communities they work with and the approaches they take to ensure their impact to the environment around them isn’t as detrimental as other palm farming in that area of the world.

Would I recommend this item to others?

Yes I would. The quality of the product is excellent and I’m one of those who feel quality comes from those who make it. Treat your farmers and producers well – you get a quality product. When my friends ask which coconut oil I use, I recommend Niugini Organics every time.

Would I buy this item for myself?

Yes I would, in fact I made some fried chicken the other night (not an everyday meal here) and so have this coconut oil already down on my shopping list for next week. I mostly use it in baking, but do sometimes fry with it. I love it, use it and will keep seeking it as my preferred brand for as long as I can.

In summary: This is a great coconut oil. Doesn’t have the overpowering taste or smell some coconut oils can have. Doesn’t upset my stomach like other coconut oils have either. It’s organic, it’s Fairtrade, it’s amazing. Look for it on your Supermarket, health food store or fruit and veg shop shelves tomorrow!

Until next time,

Janis. XXOO

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