"Tak kenal maka tak sayang"

To understand the nature of the “Bali Virgin Coconut Oil” business is to understand the Village and the families that live and work together. This small family business represents an extension of that social order and supports the owners’ family and their extended families and others in and around Nongan Village. It is complex and yet a simple existence shaped by nature and the rhythms of life on the Island of the Gods. As the sacred Gunung Agung or Mother Volcano looks down upon these lives. Each family dwells in their own family compound. Mothers & Fathers, their children, grandchildren, great grandchildren living, working and surviving together. Several buildings bedrooms, bathroom, kitchen and temple are clustered around an open courtyard. Every family building in every compound in Bali is arranged around an imaginary line that originates from Gunung Agung.Each family home has a garden with plants supplying all the day-to-day needs to satisfy sustenance, medical and religious needs. papaya, coffee, Coconuts, durian, guava, cinnamon,turmeric to name a few. Each family is also supported with an entitlement of agricultural land with which to support their family and generate additional income. The natural order which governs this land remains true to this day. Seasonal crop rotation means the rains brings rice,dry season gives chillies, yams, flowers for religious offerings, all extra yield taken and sold at the market.All the while the simple Coconut palm watches benignly from the edges. Along rice paddies, in home gardens and in the lush tropical jungles and river banks that surround. Producing continuously, naturally, alone and without assistance. They are the original coconut palms of Bali. They have no need of modification they have been living in harmony since the time before their people. They are not especially venerated like some other trees of religious significance are in Balinese Hinduism. They coexist almost unnoticed and yet life would not happen here without them.

Processing


At Bali Virgin Coconut Oil the workforce consists of several layers. One man who husk the
coconuts. Six other women and men who process the coconuts throughout production. Two more in packaging and finally two drivers who transport and distribute. The management and day to day production is overseen by Ida Ayu Ari Mahayani (Ani) one of the owners and her manager Ngakan Putu Juniarta (Putu), her husbands (Swami) cousin.
Their production target per month is 3000-5000 litres of the First quality, Pure cold pressed oil.To give perspective it takes around 20 coconuts to yield approx. 1 – 2 litres of this oil. This equates to 30,000 – 50,000 coconuts processed per month. There is rarely a shortage in supply. Even better everything produced as a byproduct is on sold or reused, everything. The whole process from beginning to end takes about 1 week.


Husking


Husking is a simple matter with a sharpened metal stake piercing the dry fibrous husk down to the nut and paring it off. This Coir is sold to another supplier who sells this for cooking fire fuel,mattress and furniture padding, which I am assured is marvellous as it is warm in cool weather and cool in hot weather and planting receptacles for orchids. My personal favourite…

Old Packaging

Cracking the Nut


A simple tool fashioned from a piece of discarded steel the handle wrapped in an old motorbike inner tube is expertly used to crack the nut. One sharp tap on the mid rift of the nut over an old bucket and it opens seamlessly. The coconut water is collected this is the liquid that can be processed by drink makers for the delicious coconut waters you buy in the store. More commonly for this village the unprocessed liquid is used to feed the farmers pigs (babi). Once opened the sharpened end of the tool is used adroitly to slide in between the shell and the
flesh, with one quick flick out it comes, one whole half. Shells are divided off, some is sold per kilogram to handicraft manufacturers, button makers and the like the mostly it’s purchased by local charcoal makers. So when you see and smell all the sizzling sate and golden corn cooking along the roadside in Bali this is the fuel of choice. Arang (charcoal), original, cheap and recycled.

Collection
The young coconuts (kelapa muda) can be harvested at any time for a refreshing drink and to delight in the scraping and slurping down of the soft juicy flesh.


Around every 3 months several members of the family will harvest the coconuts (kelapa) to sellfor oil production. The ritual is that the men climb and cut and the women collect and carry.They look for the changing colour of the nut. The young coconuts are bright greens and yellows,they can be dropped from a great height without splitting. The coconuts for oil production are a dried pale brown. They still have liquid but must cut and lowered carefully so as not to split them therefore rendering them useless. Once they have been collected the Petani (farmers) will call the Penegepul (buyers) who bring their small pickups to travel in and around the local villages buying the coconuts to sell to Bali Virgin Coconut. The local price paid for each nut is the same for everybody. The price to the factory is the same per coconut sold at a slightly higher price creating commerce. Workers at the factory also supply coconuts for the buyer to on sell for processing by them at work

Grating the Great


This appears to be the only mechanised stage of the process. The fresh meat is fed into the grater and collected for the continuing process. A measured amount of spring water is added to the fresh gratings and mixed well. The raw components are then pressed by hand using a muslin cloth to extract the pulp from the liquid emulsion.The solids left can be fried without oil with Balinese herbs added this is called Saur. This condiment is used to enhance local dishes and also used as part of offerings that are laid on the small banana leaf plates as a daily ritual to acknowledge the Gods.In its raw state it is also sold as an animal feed.Lastly this material can be used to enrich soils in the hard working fields where it is spread along the furrows during the dry season to compost down, attracting ants away from the primary crops and to be returned to the soil as a rich hummus during preparations for the rice planting season.The women and men all share in each step of the process. Their working day starts 8.30am and is fulfilled after the daily quota of coconuts has been reached 100 each per worker.

Extracting the Oil


After the heavy solids are removed the milky white viscous liquid is transferred to sterilised
containers, which charmingly come adorned with colourful lids. The mixture then transferred to a dark warm room, which is around 21–26 C for 24hrs.

We have Separation


The process follows an age-old method with slight modern day adjustments. The plastics used are all food grade BPA free receptacles. The filtration papers stacked neatly in their wrappers.Once the required time has past, approx 24-36 hrs the top layer (Santan) is carefully removed.The lowest layer, the water drained away and the filtration of the raw virgin oil can commence.Each container may be strained with multilayers of filtration required. Variations caused by seasonal differences and sourced locations can influence the way to the final product. Quality control carefully watched.Again the water component is not wasted. This is also given to the farmers for watering directly on crops. Farmers’ also steep additional leaves in this water, then ferment the liquid further to use as liquid fertiliser for crops.This 1st quality oil is high on health, the oil sold as premium grade food & health supplements,cosmetics additives, beauty oils and soap production.The top layer (Blondo) is transferred to another container to allow for an additional separation process
to continue. The resulting oil the second quality, filtered and packaged is for food consumption and the base for massage oils.Finally, the Santan/Blondo with all the free liquids removed but still oil rich is taken to a basic kitchen at the factory. It is added to a large wok and cooked slowly until the final pressing is released. It is golden brown and you can smell the coconut aroma wafting lightly around the kitchen. It is then strained. The resulting oil is used in cooking, distributed locally throughout the village. In a beautifully and complete cycle of nil wastage the Santan material that is left, after cooking oil extraction is used to fuel the very fire that is used to extract the cooking oil. The ash spread onto the gardens. Cool!

Packaging and Distribution


The oils are then packaged on site and the business has its own transport and delivery
employees directing each product to its final use and destination. Bye bye Oil...🙂💋

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