The benefits of coconut oil are well known to Pacific Islanders, especially to the Banaban people living on islands off the north-east coast of Fiji.
Increased immunity to disease, improved cardiovascular health and resistance to common problems, such as arthritis and diabetes, are consequences of the traditional use of this 'superfood'.
Using only mature coconuts, those with the highest lauric acid content, islanders extract coconut oil from the white coconut flesh after air drying it at low temperatures (below 60 degrees centigrade).
Research into the benefits of coconut oil has shown that cold pressed coconut oil, in particular, contains a high percentage of beneficial anti-oxidants, derived from monolaurins, which the body converts from lauric acid.
From the island plantations in Fiji, coconuts are harvested in the early morning and brought promptly to the processing factory on the property, so that the oil squeezed from them will be as fresh and nutrient-rich as possible.
Banaban is a small island near Nauru and was once mined for phosphates, when it was named Ocean Island. Mining removed much of the island’s soil, leaving it barren and almost uninhabitable.
Forcibly displaced to Rabi Island in Fiji, over 2,000 kilometres to the south, at the end of World War 2, its inhabitants had no choice but to start a new life there, although their hearts remained with their home country, now so far away.
Purchased from its then copra plantations’ owner by the British Government on behalf of the Banaban Islanders (without consultation!), Rabi and its neighboring islands are fertile, lush and highly suitable for growing coconuts organically, without the use of pesticides or fertilizers.
Some of its Banaban inhabitants, as well as Fiji islanders from other areas, work on the Fijian owned plantations and processing factory, located in an island group to its north.
Nature Pacific was the Banaban owned product development, marketing and distribution arm of the business, based on the east coast of Australia and headed up by its principals, Stacey King and Ken Sigrah.
Unfortunately the company was forced into liquidation in mid 2018 but we hope that it will be able to re-invent itself once again, for the benefit of the Banaban people - as well as all the happy consumers, who are now forced to buy coconut products mostly owned by conglomerates, although they are marketed under a variety of brands.
Back on the island, harvesting continues during the cool of the morning, after which the coconuts are split in half, the flesh removed and cut into strips, then air dried over the next twenty four hours at a temperature below 60 degrees, thus preserving the vitamin and essential fatty acid content.
Cold pressed, the resultant virgin oil is neither heated, as is the
case with expeller processes, nor does it contain chemicals such as
hexane, often used to remove more oil from the flesh. Instead, the
residue is made into delicious Coconut Crunch.
extraction, the oil is filtered several times to remove any bits of
coconut fibre and left to settle in large tanks for a day before being
loaded into containers for the journey to Australia, where it was
packaged and distributed to the world.
The sale of Nature Pacific’s Banaban organic coconut oil and its by-product, organic coconut crunch, helped to support the islanders, who were employed in its production.
In addition to organic coconut oil, Nature Pacific sold a wide choice of coconut products, such as coconut water, coconut soap as well as products for pets and for skin and hair care. Although many of these products were sourced from other areas of the Pacific region, it was great to have them all accessible in the same online shop.
The emphasis of this website is on tropical 'superfoods', such as organic coconut oil and its partner, organic coconut crunch.