Economically Viable - Ecologically Sustainable
On the island of Bali, there is an ancient textile symbol called Poleng. Poleng represents the light, the dark and the in-between…it illustrates the opposing forces of the universe and man’s place within them. Poleng is a guide to earthly balance and an instruction for achieving harmony. The teachings of Poleng are applied to every aspect of Balinese life; From religion and mysticism to daily business.
Big Tree Farms’ philosophy of ECO² is woven of the same cloth. To achieve a balance between economy and ecology is to have arrived at the successful realization of sustainability.
Understanding Market Driven Conservation
Sowing the Seeds of Change
You hold the power. Even though the marketers may determine exactly what goes on the shelves for you to see, it is you the buyer who decides what stays and what goes. Responsible consumerism is the idea that buyers should make educated decisions about the products they buy based on their own personal set values. Think of your purchase as your vote. If you believe in supporting sustainable industries and artisan producers, than those products are exactly what you should buy. Stray from your beliefs and you’ve lost your voting power.
Market-Driven Conservation is a strategy for supporting sustainable industries and artisan producers that need your help. Think clearly about your purchases. “Buy into Sustainability!”
From Fields of Green to Black Sand Beaches - ECO2 in Action
When Big Tree Farms first began growing bio-intensively in the central highlands of Bali, the vision was to create a sustainable model of small-scale agriculture for growers in the humid tropics. An immaculate cultural heritage of sustainable farming had nearly been wiped out years before by transnational campaign extolling the market-oriented virtues of the Green Revolution. High input use and overly intensive production systems were established and quickly zapped the strength of the fragile tropical soils.
The beautiful system of old simply didn’t work economically and the Green Revolution’s systems of “new” simply didn’t work ecologically. Small farmers were becoming disenfranchised and anything began to look better than the choice to farm. The key to the model developed by Big Tree Farms was creating the power of choice. By creating a model that worked both economically and ecologically , small farmers were able to celebrate the unique attributes of their agricultural heritage while still succeeding in the marketplace. The farms were finally “working” for the farmers. Balance.
Then Ben and Blair happened upon a family of traditional sea salt producers while attending a Hindu ceremony with one of their fellow farmers. The process of harvesting the salt was beautiful and inspirational.
The saltmakers were following an inherited traditional process that had been passed down from generation to generation. Father to son, mother to daughter, the complex process that served as a root between these people and their environment had thrived since before the Majapahit Dynasty some 1,000 years before. But the process was nearly extinct.
With the industrialization of the salt industry, local artisan producers couldn’t compete. Big Tree Farms Handcrafted Balinese Sea Salt, and now all of our products, is the realization of ECO 2 for all the traditional farmers we work with. By creating an industry that highlights the beauty and artisan quality of their unique sustainable products, Big Tree Farms is able to offer the power of choice for a better future; a future in which the artisan cultural heritage of the workds farmers can continue to be celebrated while at the same time offering a viable standard of living. Balance.