Producer Spotlight: Sol Simple
Sol Simple: More Than Just A Brand, A Conscientious Experience
Around Central America, small farmers are working hard every day to grow delicious tropical fruits. Plenty of people around the world want to purchase these fruits, but in a way that supports rather than exploits farmers. The challenge is in the connection.
Sol Simple is creating that exact connection.
Founder and CEO Will Burke envisioned this process back in 2007 when he began the Sol Simple brand. He didn’t just want to sell tropical fruit products; he wanted to provide education and training to farmers, use renewable energy, and support communities by employing single mothers.
His vision was always more than just a brand.
Sol Simple is based in Nicaragua, where the economy is focused mainly on agriculture and rural poverty is high. From seed to shelf, Sol Simple is involved in the process of fruit production. They maintain a first-name connection with their farmer partners, not only building personal relationships into the supply chain, but also honing their ability to trace every bite of luscious fruit to its origin. As well as working with many women farmers, Sol Simple’s production plant employs 92 mothers, providing consistent economic stability for working moms in a safe and secure environment.
The Sol Simple field team leads projects around the country, connecting farmers with innovative techniques such as solar night lights to increase yields and water catchment infrastructure for better irrigation.
Solar-Dried Organic Tropical Fruit
Sol Simple produces solar-dried organic tropical fruits like mangos, pineapples and bananas, as well as juices and other fruit products.
What makes their fruit solar?
Sol Simple has one of the largest solar hybrid dryers in the region. Traditional solar drying is done outdoors, but this process takes up to three days and can expose fruit to unwanted bacteria. Sol Simple uses advanced dryers that harness the sun’s energy, but can utilize a backup heater for the rare cloudy day. Their solar dryer can process fruits indoors in a hygienic and contamination-free environment.
Regenerative Organic Certified and B Corp
The folks at Sol Simple believe in the natural intelligence of the environment and value its ability to heal. They believe that this intelligence holds the solution to climate change. Sol Simple proudly practices and promotes Regenerative Organic Agriculture, a set of farming practices that go beyond organic standards to regenerate natural resources rather than deplete them. These practices furthermore work to benefit communities and their environments, embracing the farming techniques that have been around for centuries, especially among communities in countries like Nicaragua that rely on the land for their livelihoods.
Sol Simple worked diligently to become the first fruit processing company in the world to receive the Regenerative Organic Certification (ROC), a holistic agriculture certification encompassing robust requirements for soil health and land management, fairness for farmers and workers, and animal welfare. In addition to the Regenerative Organic Certification, Sol Simple became a B Corp, joining the movement that is redefining business standards through ethical business practices.
Gender Equity & Healthy Communities
In order to support healthy communities with better gender dynamics, Sol Simple also partners with, invests in, transfers technology to and buys from smallholder farmers with no intermediaries. The company hires single mothers and partners with female farmers in marginalized communities in an effort to advance the overall well-being of women and their families in Nicaragua. They coordinate directly with local government groups, educational institutions, and international development agencies to increase capacity and skills for women employees and farmers.
In every area of their business, Sol Simple demonstrates a desire to connect all the pieces in making a good brand—regenerative agriculture, renewable energy, gender equity, nutritious products, and healthy communities.
With each juicy bite of solar dried fruit, they are achieving their goals and putting their values into practice.
Learn more about Sol Simple’s delicious, ethically-sourced products at their organization profile on Producers Market: