Volcanic Earth was born out of a desire to utilize the natural resources of Vanuatu to create much needed jobs and employment opportunities for disadvantaged Ni Vanuatu, particularly on the more remote islands of Vanuatu. The founding owners 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 Australian owners 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. Over the ensuring years, Volcanic Earth’s production capacity increased significantly. Coconut suppliers in rural locations benefited from cash payments for their produce. 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.
Both domestic and export sales continue to grow to this day. With over 635 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 a Volcanic Earth skin care gift set for yourself or someone special, you are also contributing to the development of direct and indirect employment and livelihood opportunities for many indigenous communities throughout Vanuatu - now that truly is a gift.