Sustainability

Luna & Larry created Coconut Bliss as an alternative to dairy ice cream not only for the great taste and health benefits that coconut milk provides, but also with the hope of lessening the heavy ecological and ethical impacts of dairy farming. This section of our web site outlines our Sustainability practices. Navigate the  links on the left to learn more.

Our Product

Every Luna & Larry's Coconut Bliss product is created with thought and care relative to environmental concerns. Read on to learn more about our policies regarding ingredients, production, and shipping. Navigate the  links on the left to learn more.

Ingredients

All of our ingredients are carefully and mindfully chosen based on the original high standards that Luna & Larry set when they made their first batches of Coconut Bliss for their family and friends. Along with the idea of simplicity (using ingredients you could find in your kitchen), and an awareness around their own food sensitivities, Luna & Larry also considered sustainability. Today, that translates into sourcing ingredients that are:

  • Certified Organic — Our final product is USDA Certified Organic by Organic Certifiers. To be certified USDA ‘Certified Organic’ means that at least 95% of all of our ingredients are certified organic by various independent agencies that are licensed by the USDA. The guar gum used in our coconut milk (less than .35%) is not consistently organic, though we have been encouraging our producers in Thailand to find a steady organic source.  
  • Fair Trade — Our cocoa, coffee, and chocolate are all certified fair trade, by Trans Fair USA. This means that the production of these ingredients are regulated by policies set by Trans Fair in accordance with those of the Fairtrade Labelling Organizaztions International (FLO). These organizations ensure that the farmers who grow and process these ingredients are being well and fairly treated in all aspects of their business.
  • Kosher Parve (a non-dairy Kosher certification) — A Parve certification shows that our production process and plant has passed a very thorough inspection for any traces of dairy product.
  • Our flavor extracts (including vanilla) are extracted in organic alcohol which is made from organic sugarcane, rather than grain sources. To the best of our knowledge, Coconut Bliss is gluten free and does not contain any ingredients which might be cross-contaminated with gluten.

Our certified organic coconut milk  is produced by a family owned organic coconut farm in Thailand. Luna & Larry went to Thailand to personally connect and check out the farm years ago when they realized they were going to need a large, steady supply of organic coconut milk as sales increased.   It is processed under strict guidelines at their factory in Thailand  then shipped in approved food-grade containers on a cargo ship over to Portland, Oregon. It is then shipped to Junction City (just outside of Eugene) to the Lochmead Dairy facility, where the production of Coconut Bliss takes place.

Our certified organic agave syrup comes from Jalisco, Mexico. It is produced under strict supervision according to (the Mexican certifiers). Our general manager Doug recently went there to inspect the plant and the process with his own eyes, and came back with a gleaming report. Parts one and two of his account of the trip, with photos, are on our archived blog.

Production & Manufacturing

Luna & Larry’s Coconut Bliss is manufactured at a Eugene, Oregon-area, third generation family-owned dairy facility: Lochmead. It has manufactured several other vegan ice cream products over the years and is very familiar with the protocols used when moving from from dairy to non-dairy milk production. As an added precaution, we test every batch of Coconut Bliss mix for the presence of dairy proteins before flavoring and freezing.

Luna & Larry’s Coconut Bliss is produced in a facility that also processes foods containing many of the common allergens. We employ a strict allergen control program which is comprised of two primary parts. The first part is scheduling; our products are run exclusively on days devoted to Coconut Bliss, so there will be no dairy or soy present in the plant. When we make a flavor that contains a tree nut or peanuts, we will schedule that flavor as the last one in the day. When the run is over, we will take the equipment apart, wash it carefully, inspect it and then leave it to air dry. The following morning, the equipment is inspected again, reassembled, sanitized and then rinsed with clean water. Only then will we start up with a flavor that does not contain the allergen. The second part of our program is the handling of allergenic materials: when we receive things like nuts, we mark each case with a dedicated label and store them separately from the other ingredients. We will not move these allergenic ingredients into the production room until we are ready to start that particular flavor. The production staff is well aware of allergen issues and has been trained to follow strict protocols for scheduling and handling our products in order to avoid accidental ingredient cross-contamination. We feel confident that we are doing everything in our power to ensure that the products are free of allergens, except where noted on the labels.

Lochmead Farms Sustainability statement

As noted above, Luna & Larry’s Coconut Bliss is manufactured at a facility owned by Lochmead Farms. Following is Lochmead Farms' statement on sustainability.

Lochmead Farms: A Tradition of Sustainability — For the Gibson Family of Lochmead Farms and Dairy, sustainability is more than a trendy catch phrase; it’s the foundation of a family business that has been part of the Willamette Valley for three generations. Since 1941 when Howard and Gladys Gibson started farming near Junction City, we’ve been passionately dedicated to the land and the animals we care for. Lochmead Farms milk comes from 600 Holstein cows that have been born and raised on the 2400 acre family farm, just a stone’s throw from where we grow 80% of their food. And just 4 miles away we pasteurize and bottle the milk and use the fresh cream to make a variety of delicious ice cream flavors and brands. Lochmead Farms and Dairy are committed to a sustainable system that keeps the entire product lifecycle close to home, ensuring quality and freshness:

  • Our milk goes from cow to customer within 48 hours and is sold within a 40-mile radius of the dairy farm. This makes us the most carbon footprint-friendly dairy in Oregon!
  • Lochmead Farms does not, and has never, used the artificial growth hormone, rBST, on our cows. We use good nutrition and cow "healthcare" to keep them healthy. Healthy cows make healthy milk.
  • 25% of our milk volume is sold in reusable half gallon bottles. These bottles are cleaned and used 100 times on average before they are recycled and made into more bottles.
  • The Peppermint Oil that is used in the Lochmead Farms Oregon Mint Fudge ice cream is grown on our farm and distilled at our facility.
  • The hazelnuts in the Oregon Hazelnut Fudge ice cream are also partly from our (and other Oregon) hazelnut orchards. Ice cream doesn't get more sustainable than this.
  • The cooked peppermint straw and dried cow manure is combined to produce a nutrient rich compost fertilizer for a local landscaper.
  • Lochmead Farms is also in the process of developing a system to convert its methane gas into energy for the local communities.

At Lochmead Farms and Dairy, our passion for sustainability extends beyond the farm and business and into our community, where we employ 500 people in Lane, Linn and Benton counties. Lochmead Dairy and Dari Mart stores have donated generously over the years to the Children's Miracle Network and have been very active in Relay for Life Fundraising and Events. We regularly support our local communities through donations of our fresh milk, juices and ice cream.

Back when Howard and Gladys Gibson started their family farm on a 120-acre patch of paradise, they set out to not only make a living, but also a way of life. And we’re proud to build on that legacy through our enduring commitment to family, community and quality.

Shipping  and Distribution

Distribution — Our main distributor is UNFI, United Natural Foods Inc.  They are currently the largest natural food distributor in the US. Their two largest distribution centers, in Rocklin, CA and Dayville, CT  have solar electric systems installed that together produce over 2.1 kilowatts of electricity.  They are continually involved in researching more efficient ways of transport over land and have established programs to help decrease the use of fossil fuels within their company.

For more info, visit the green initiatives page on the UNFI web site.

We transport our coconut milk by cargo ship directly from a port in Thailand to Portland, Oregon. It is then shipped by truck to Junction City (just outside of Eugene) to the Lochmead Dairy facility, where the production of Coconut Bliss takes place.  This method of transport uses a small fraction of the energy of overland trucking.

Packaging — Alternative packaging for any kind of ice cream manufacture can be challenging – at this time there are still no viable alternatives to the paper cartons coated with a thin coat of plastic we currently use. Some manufacturers are exploring the use of stainless steel tins and glass jars, which in the end, actually have a comparable carbon footprint when the manufacturing, shipping, and handling is factored in. Our cartons are recyclable as as milk or juice cartons are. We are always on the outlook for more sustainable ice cream packaging, and stay current on new developments in packaging research.

Our Company

We try to bring sustainable practices to all levels of our operation. We have a company culture that supports a sustainable lifestyle. In January of 2010 we moved into a centrally located 100+ year old farmhouse. We upgraded our office building with full spectrum lighting, organic wool carpets and natural “no VOC” paint.   As a community of ten people, we tend to ‘think green’ whether at work or home.

Our Office

  • We offer a “biker’s incentive” to staff who regularly use their bicycles as transportation to and from the office.
  • We have someone come in three days a week to prepare vegan, organic lunches throughout the week, which saves time, water and electricity.
  • Our compost is taken by a local compost angel to the Food For Lane County Gardens
  • We recycle everything that qualifies.
  • We are a member of EWEB’s Green Power
  • As a group, we buy CSA shares, buy bulk foods,  and have our own Co-op

Printing and Supplies

  • We work with a local eco-friendly printing company for many of our printing needs
  • We always buy recycled paper supplies

Demos and Supplies

For all of our demos going on across the country we use bio-compostable materials, such as “Taterware” spoons and non-coated paper sample cups.

How we support community

  • A Night of Bliss’ — Once a year, we put on an ice cream social for all of Eugene: it’s called A Night Of Bliss. It’s a wonderful night of music and fun, for all ages. Luna & Larry have scooped Coconut Bliss for all our ‘tribe’, and 100% of their donations at the door go to support local education and sustainability focused groups.
  • Other Events We Support— We choose to support events that are closely aligned with our mission statement and that reflect our values. Here are some of the larger events that we have sponsored in the past:
    • Beloved Sacred Arts & Music Festival
    • Earthdance
    • Bhakti Fest
    • Mystic Garden
    • Harmony Festival
    • Lowell Summer Music Fest
    • Wanderlust Festival
    • Common Ground Green Fest Party
  • Organizations of which we are members
    • Willamette Valley Sustainable Food Alliance (WVSFA)
    • Provender Alliance
    • Green America
  • Bliss Cart — We now have our first “Bliss Cart” operating at various festival and events throughout Oregon and Northern California to provide Coconut Bliss to the public as an alternative to the traditional ice cream truck. Our Bliss cart does not use fossil fuels nor dry ice, and instead uses cold plate technology which lowers our carbon footprint.

  • Donations — In addition to supporting our local community through fundraising events like A Night Of Bliss,  we  give donations throughout the year to non-profit organizations and other groups across the country, that exist to improve the quality of life for all beings. We are currently looking for a way to donate a percentage of sales to communities and animal shelters in the vicinity in Thailand where our coconut milk is produced.   Here is a partial list of the organizations we donated to in 2009:

    • Provender Alliance
    • In Defense of Animals
    • Whiteaker Community
    • City Repair Project
    • Culture Jam
    • Lightworkers.org
    • First Friday Family Fun Night (City of Eugene)
    • Hoes Down Festival
    • Living Yoga Gala Event
    • Marrakesh World Aids Day
    • Friendship Cambodia
    • OCTA
    • Civil Liberties Defense Center
    • OTA (Oregon Toxics Alliance)
    • Foundation for Meditative Studies (Ashland)
    • Common Vision
    • Cascadia Wildlands
    • Maharishi School
    • Lost Valley Educational Center
    • Eugene Waldorf School
    • Huerto de la Familia
    • South Eugene High School
    • Peace Village 365
  • Excerpts from letters we received

"Thanks again and again for the Bliss – everyone here loves it & you’ll have lots of new followers! Over 4,000 people attended and it was a perfect day!"

— Dru Rivers - Hoes Down Harvest Festival Committee

"On Behalf of the Petersen Barn Community Center’s First Family Fun Night crew, I would like to send a heart felt appreciation to your company for donating the tubs of Coconut Bliss for our event. Our staff enjoyed the opportunity to share this wonderful product with the West Eugene community."

— Sincerely, Kenya Luvert program Coordinator

"Thank you for your donation to Ashland High School’s Fresh Start program. Your generosity has touched the lives of 270 young people and a few dozen adults. Thank you for helping us make our school, community and the world a better place."

— Mark Schenh

"Dear Friends at Coconut Bliss: On behalf of Living Yoga, I would like to sincerely thank you for your contribution to the success of the 2009 Invest in Human Spirit Through Service, Support and Yoga Gala and Auction. By donating the 3 gallon tubs of Coconut Bliss for the event you helped us keep our costs down and raise an outstanding $75k. These funds will help support more than 800 yoga classes in the community this year. Funds raised from the event make it possible for us to organize and coordinate a community effort to continue to bring yoga to prisons, drug and alcohol rehab centers, domestic violence shelters and other transitional services for youth and adults. Thanks so much for your support, we are huge fans!"

— With gratitude, Amy Eaton, Executive Director, Living Yoga

"It’s a great joy to thank you for your very thoughtful gift of the 5 cases of Coconut Bliss. We were thrilled to share this wonderful gift at our Holiday Fundraiser. We’re delighted by the enthusiastic support the School is receiving from our own community and state and throughout the nation. Your gift brings another wave of fulfillment as we watch our school grow."

— With very best wishes, Springli Johnson, Director of Development, Maharishi School