Whole Story

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Supplier Stories: Harmless Harvest

By Carly Price, August 23, 2012  |  Meet the Blogger  |  More Posts by Carly Price


We love our producers, suppliers and vendors and we think most of them have some pretty interesting stories behind their products too. We’re sharing some of our favorites here in an ongoing series.

Three to six minutes. That’s the astoundingly short amount of time that passes between cutting open a fresh, organic coconut and bottling Harmless Harvest 100% Raw Coconut Water.

"We work with small-scale community farmers in Thailand to source our freshly ‘squeezed,' raw, organic coconut water. It is never heated or cooked,” says Justin Guilbert, who co-founded Harmless Harvest with Douglas Riboud.

The entrepreneurs share a desire to show the world that it’s possible to build a successful business with large-scale production that also supports small, rural communities and preserves natural wilderness areas.

"We are proving that you can source and distribute food from small, traditional, rural communities while respecting their land,” Justin says.

Justin and Douglas collaborated with farmers, academics and scientists to come up with a way to preserve raw coconut water without the use of heat while also giving the product a long enough shelf life to deliver it safely to refrigerators on the other side of the world. What they came up with is a pioneering high-pressure process that had already been used for deli meats, but never for beverages.

Not only has Harmless Harvest succeeded in capturing the coconuts’ true, pure, tropical flavor, they’re also making an impact on communities living at the source. Rather than farming the coconuts with modern, industrial agriculture methods, these communities harvest coconuts that grow in the wild or traditionally managed areas. Each coconut is carefully clipped from the tree by hand.

“We provide a livelihood for thousands of individuals,” Douglas explains. “And when a consumer buys our product, they are actually safekeeping about 75 different agroforestry areas — a mix of groves, wilderness areas, permaculture areas and other rural land.”

Have you tried Harmless Harvest 100% Raw Coconut Water yet? Share what you love about it!

Category: Supplier Stories




Amy says ...
Love it!! Keep it coming :)
08/23/2012 8:42:14 PM CDT
Anne-Margreet says ...
It is a god's drink so good it taste! I hope the success of this product won't disbalance the ethics of production. I love it!
08/24/2012 5:59:26 AM CDT
Louise L Bridges says ...
Have been using this especially after exercise or heat of any kind and find it to be extraordinary in its effectiveness in fighting the effects of dehydration. Instead of having to go to the emergency room for saline intravenous treatment in bad moments, I take this coconut water and am able to fight it at home. Thank you for such an awesome product and thank you Whole Foods for carrying this!
08/28/2012 2:14:08 PM CDT
Kimber says ...
LOVE this coconut water. I have tried many different varieties and this is hands down the best tasting one I have had. That, along with their whole business model, is why this will be my "go to" coconut water. p.s. I always make it a goal to find the pinkest water :)
08/28/2012 2:32:16 PM CDT
Guri S says ...
Hands down the best coconut water on the market. I love the business model as well. The only sad part is that I am not rich enough to afford this coconut water. I guess the only way I am going to get some coconut water is if I move to Asia. Still, love this coconut water, my best to the HH team. G
08/29/2012 1:32:20 PM CDT
Wendy's been here... says ...
Love Love LOVE your coconut water. This stuff is the stuff of dreams. I want a pink one.
08/29/2012 6:42:21 PM CDT
ruth says ...
This is my favorite coconut water and in fact I find that others don't taste good to me anymore. I only buy it once a week or so because it cost more, but it's worth it.
08/29/2012 6:50:14 PM CDT
Gadbriel Price says ...
Yes, I've tried this new 100% raw coconut water and if you are a coconut lover like me it really doesn't get any better. Talk about the Best of the Best!! I just wish I could get it in a larger size than the smaller bottles I've only been able to find at the store. It's a little pricer than all of the other brands, but aren't we worth the Best?! Hat's off to the "Real Thing" for change.
08/29/2012 7:06:55 PM CDT
Diane says ...
My husband bought a couple of cases when they were on sale. It was like drinking the water directly from the coconut. Harmless Harvest is the best tasting harvested coconut water I have ever tasted. We'll be getting more soon.
08/29/2012 7:09:49 PM CDT
Rob ray says ...
I love coconut water but have a hard time finding either/both coconut water that is in a glass containers and/ or is organic? I would love to purchase your product, but I do not purchase products in plastic or BPA lined cans. I know it is more expensive to distribute in these manners, but if health is the reason for choosing your product, these factors should be very important. Thanks for your time
08/29/2012 7:41:09 PM CDT
chefgrid says ...
From someone who grew up in the Caribbean, this taste like coconut water just picked from the tree.
08/29/2012 8:01:13 PM CDT
Teresa says ...
This is the best!! coconut water, hands down. I don't mind paying a little more for something that makes me feel so good. It truly has a balancing effect on your body chemistry, and it tastes good too. I drink it in a tall glass over crushed ice a squeeze of lime and a sprig of mint, best summer cocktail ever. Don't ever stop carrying this product.
08/29/2012 8:29:18 PM CDT
Rosalia says ...
I grew up in an island in the Caribbean and I used to drink a lot of fresh coconut water. I have try to find coconut water that taste very natural until I tried yours and it is as fresh and natural as the one I used to drink as a child. I love it! And I love the fact that your company is helping all these communities.
08/29/2012 8:31:49 PM CDT
Jenny says ...
Yummy! It actually tastes like coconut. I refuse to buy other brands after one taste.
08/29/2012 8:51:49 PM CDT
Andrea S says ...
I was ADDICTED to Harmless Harvest coconut water...until I came across a series of 'skunk' bottles. It's the worst thing to ever happen to my taste buds :( I've not been able to drink HH since and it truly makes me sad.
08/29/2012 9:41:35 PM CDT
Cecelia says ...
This Stuff is the best EVER!!! It sells out every time from my local whole foods. Love it!!
08/29/2012 9:43:19 PM CDT
Adam says ...
The very best coconut water you can buy. No other brand compares, and no other brand is completely raw, not to mention organic.. it has this unique, sweet yet earthy flavor all its own and totally delicious
08/29/2012 10:33:35 PM CDT
Jennifer Reinish says ...
Best stuff on earth! I am hooked!
08/29/2012 11:47:58 PM CDT
Gloria says ...
I think this is the very best coconut water I drank from a bottle...it feels like you are placing a straw in a fresh coconut! Love it.
08/29/2012 11:53:26 PM CDT
Carol G says ...
My old dog and myself both love the water and the "meat." Dog is recovering from Lupus for 3rd time so you know I am all getting her back to better health. Coconut water is something she drinks daily. A little goes a far way for a 34 pounder! Love the taste.
08/30/2012 1:17:42 AM CDT
Josie says ...
Simply AWESOME. I have not yet tried this product but I will tomorrow. More vendors like the HH please!
08/30/2012 2:55:28 AM CDT
rebecca says ...
That's awesome. That's what i hope the future of our food industry leans towards in the future.
08/30/2012 5:55:37 AM CDT
Karen says ...
The taste is just perfect. I felt like I finally knew the true taste of fresh coconut and it is delicious. Thanks for bring this product to me.
08/30/2012 8:39:58 AM CDT
Josefina says ...
I just want to say: Congratulation! Your product is excellent and an example of responsible and fair trade. I used to live on a Caribbean island and now I am living in Miami Florida, and I really love your product, because it gives me a real fresh coconut water
08/30/2012 9:01:34 AM CDT
Sherri L says ...
There are dozens of coconut waters on the market in San Jose, where I live. But they are all pasteurized. This is the only one I've found to be raw. You can't compare the taste! it's like comparing canned peaches to fresh! Can you make a larger bottle? Thank you. :-)
08/30/2012 11:09:21 AM CDT