In order to get 'That Red House' Organic Soapberries into your laundry… at lot has to happen.
The collection of the soapberries is quite a primitive process, in fact it is 100% manual work and the berries pass through many sets of hands before they end up gracing your supermarket shelves.
It is a process which involves:
- Harvesting the berries from the trees which are extremely tall and often in hard to reach places, the trees have to be scaled and manually harvested.
- Packing them into hessian bags for transportation to the packing facility.
- De-seeding the berries – this process involves whacking the berries with a mallet to create a hole and remove the seed inside.
- Drying them naturally in the sun, preserving their raw state and giving them an endless shelf life.
- Cleaning the berries of debris and crumbles by sieving them in an open weave cloth.
- Packing them ready for shipment and transportation to Australia and Europe.
Each step involves a team of people and provides vital employment for many communities. At the beginning of this month we visited our packing facility in a beautiful rural village in the far east of India. It is located on the Nepalese border, at the base of the Himalayas and our supplier hosted us with his family for two days.