The coconut water craze just keeps getting crazier and crazier. Coconut water cocktails? Check. Chocolate coconut water? Check. Coconut water with added protein? Check.
At anywhere between 99 cents and $5.99 for a 12-ounce bottle, the profits just keep growing.
Even so, for every bottle sold, the average coconut worker gets between 12 to 25 cents per coconut. Poverty wages are the norm where coconuts are concerned. In the Philippines, the world’s second-largest coconut producer after Indonesia, nearly two-thirds of small-scale coconut farmers live in poverty.
How can you make a difference?
Educate yourself Learn what you can about the industry and the brands that make up the industry. Some brands have commited themselves to making a difference in those areas where their livelihood is grown by signing on to Fair Trade standards. Begin by reading these eye-opening articles:
- Stop Going Cuckoo for Coconuts, Mother Jones
- Coconut water: how its popularity has affected the supply chain, The Guardian
- The True Cost of Coconut Water, The Nosh, KCET
Make coconut water a treat, not a staple
Instead of looking for the cheapest brand or bargain basement deals, prioritize Fair Trade certified coconut water. Spend a little extra, prioritize quality over quantity, and make that coconut water your indulgence, not your go-to every time you get thirsty. Water is still the best way to keep hydrated, and you can get electrolytes from a whole host of other good-for-you foods.
A healthy planet for a healthy body
We’re all in this together. Think about the environmental consequences of your consumption. And while you’re at it, give a thought or two to the people who help produce what you consume. Supporting healthy economies helps support a healthy planet, and a healthy planet means a healthier you.