After several years of intensive preparatory work, MAL was able to lay the foundations for the first environmental and social project in collaboration with experts from various areas of 1996 in order to be able to guarantee ecologically sound raw materials from their own hands and to make a contribution to sustainable development.
In Sri Lanka, more than 70% of the harvested latex and coconut comes from small farmers. This country is therefore particularly well suited for the project, because it offers the opportunity for "help through self-help". Through intensive discussions, the small farmers could be convinced that the project makes sense and provides an additional source of income, if the conversion of the plantations from mono to mixed culture is successfully carried out. By selling fruit, vegetables and spices grown between the gum and coconut trees, smallholders can earn additional income. At the same time, MAL, in collaboration with experts, developed targeted methods to limit soil acidification by using natural fertilizer materials in the rubber and coconut plantations.
Converting an existing plantation to organic farming requires 2 years to set up a new organic plantation 6-7 years. Only after this period can the first time be harvested.
The conversion of the cultivation is only the first step on the way to a thoroughly sustainable product. The company MAL also completely converts the further processing of raw materials right through to the finished product to ecological ones.