We see sustainability as built from three integral pillars, and true sustainability is only achieved if all three pillars are complete.
The pillars of sustainability are ecology, economy and society.
Borneo is home to one of the world’s oldest rainforests, estimated to be 130-140 million years old. This ancient gem is being devastated by mass deforestation, logging and the oil palm industry. Oil palm is native to the African continent but is cultivated en-masse in both the Indonesian and Malaysian part of Borneo (Indonesia and Malaysia combined supply around 84% of palm oil globally).
Palm oil has a devastating environmental and societal effect, as it is grown in sprawling monocultures that require massive amounts of chemical pesticides and fertilizers, which in turn pollute the river-systems and aquifers. These enormous plantations are always owned by large conglomerates who underpay local workers whose homes are surrounded by plantations, leaving them no option but to accept work from the predatory industry, or to leave their homes in search for employment elsewhere. This is a story we were told over and over during our time in Borneo.
But that’s where the kratom industry comes in.
Unlike the oil palm tree, kratom is endemic to Borneo. It grows abundantly and naturally, meaning that a family can sow a few seeds in their garden, come back a year later and have a valuable crop ready for harvest. It doesn’t deplete the soil and can be planted in conjunction with other crops.
A crop that can be planted on a small scale gives autonomy to farmers. A family can supplement their income with a few dozen trees, or a village can become a kratom farming community by repurposing surrounding land and purchasing communal milling equipment.
Growing kratom allows parents to pay for their children’s higher education bringing further value into communities. Furthermore, the kratom industry creates jobs within the villages, allowing families to stay together and work together. It’s a multi-generational endeavor, as the adults pick leaves in the fields, the elderly oversee the drying and de-stemming, and the tech-savvy youngsters who speak English communicate with international buyers and organize export. The typical kratom farmer is able to earn on average four times the wage they would by working for a massive palm oil conglomerate.
‘Jaya’ means success, triumph and victory- we truly believe that the kratom industry facilitates long term success of the ecosystem, the victory in the fight against predatory economies and triumph to family and community. We hope you can taste the joy that goes into our kratom.