Volcanic Earth ⋆ Green Woman Store

Volcanic Earth

About the company

Volcanic Earth is located in Port Vila, the capital of Vanuatu which is an archipelago of 83 separate island located in the South Pacific. We are a manufacturer, wholesaler, retailer and exporter of natural organic skin care products and traditional Melanesian skin treatments whose main focus is to formulate safe and effective products for people with skin problems from aging to acne and everything in between. Our products are made from locally-produced Tamanu Oil, Virgin Coconut Oil, Volcanic Ash and Volcanic Pumice. The company sources inputs from various areas of Vanuatu and operates a processing and storage facility in the capital, Port Vila.

Located in the beautiful South Pacific, Vanuatu (formerly known as the New Hebrides) straddles what is known as the “Pacific Ring Of Fire”. This small island nation of 83 separate
islands is situated between Fiji and New Caledonia (about 1,400 miles east of north-eastern Australia) and boasts the most accessible active volcano on our planet (Mt. Yasur on the
outer island of Tanna).

Vanuatu is also known for its natural waterways, sandy beaches and crystal clear waters. This untouched paradise is virtually free of pollution, pesticides, herbicides, fertilizers or insecticides. Crops are grown organically and flourish here in the rich volcanic soils and high rainfalls without the need for chemicals.

It is through its involvement in Vanuatu trade and the opening up global markets for its unique products that Volcanic Earth seeks to be a significant employer for Ni Vanuatu inhabitants
but in a way that allows its people to continue to live in happiness and harmony with the beautiful natural (unspoiled) environment and stay in touch with ancient earth.

The company is headed up by Linda Trenkner (CEO) and her husband Barry Roche (Export Partner), who are both strong advocates of natural, organically grown products. They are great supporters of the belief that we are all connected to the earth’s energy. Our motto is, “the stronger the connection, the stronger and healthier we become”.

Origins of Volcanic Earth

Volcanic Earth was born out of a desire to utilize the natural resources of Vanuatu to create much need jobs and employment opportunities for disadvantaged Ni Vanuatu, particularly on the more remote islands of Vanuatu. Linda and Barry were aware of the extensive ash planes on Tanna Island to the South and thought that there must be a way to utilize this ash to the benefit of mankind rather than leaving it to go to waste. After extensive research and testing, they discovered that volcanic ash and pumice are natural exfoliating agents that also work to cleanse and purify the skin. They learnt that some indigenous people on Tanna Island used volcanic ash as a skin treatment and had for centuries.

Traditional therapies also incorporated the wide use of Coconut Oil and a secret skin healing agent they called Nabagura Oil (these days known as Tamanu Oil). Both of these Oils are natural products produced from nuts. Coconut Trees and Tamanu Trees grow in abundance across virtually all 83 islands of Vanuatu.

These revelations led these Expat Australians to develop an extensive range of natural body scrubs and other natural skin care products based on Virgin Coconut Oil, Tamanu Oil, Volcanic Ash and Pumice. The sourcing of local, raw ingredients and embarking on establishing Volcanic Earth as a trusted, international skin care brand would also create a significant number of income opportunities for villagers collecting coconuts, Tamanu nuts and volcanic ash.

In 2008, Volcanic Earth embarked on a joint project with AusAid to expand its processing plant to produce bulk supplies of skin care products for export markets in the wholesale and retail sectors, as well as a program of working more closely with village suppliers to increase supply and to provide technical support for first stage processing by these suppliers.

Over the next 3 years, Volcanic Earth’s production capacity increased by 400% and the business doubled its gross income. By 2010 Volcanic Earth had established a network of overseas agents/distributors and payments to local tamanu nut collectors and graders, primarily women, were over $A30,000. Coconut suppliers in rural locations were also receiving around $A10,000 per year from Volcanic Earth. Volcanic ash was also purchased in bulk quantities. Payments also went to land transport providers and inter-island shipping companies. Most of these suppliers had limited alternative income sources.

In 2011, Volcanic Earth moved to new premises in Port Vila to further expand its production facilities. Both domestic and export sales grew and continue to grow to this day. With over 700 resellers around the world and stocking distributors in Japan, The Netherlands and Australia, Volcanic Earth is making a direct impact on the lives of more than 1,500 Ni Vanuatu disadvantaged by remoteness and poverty. Villagers now have the opportunity to earn cash for necessities in an otherwise non-cash economy. This hard fought growth has also lead to direct employment opportunities within the company and specialist training.

So when you buy Volcanic Earth products you are not only supporting the growth and export development of a small, local company but you are also contributing to the development of direct and indirect employment and livelihood opportunities for many indigenous communities throughout Vanuatu.

 

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