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Member Spotlight: Ben Ripple, Co-founder & CEO of Big Tree Farms

November 10, 2022 by Sarah

Member Spotlight

Member Spotlight: Ben Ripple, CEO & C0-Founder of Big Tree Farms and OSC Core Member, takes five to reflect on 5 simple questions. Enjoy!

 

OSC: What is your hometown?

BR: West Hartford, CT

OSC: What’s one thing most people don’t know about you?

BR: Since I was about 8 years old I wanted to be a farmer. Not a fireman or a famous athlete like most of the kids on my block, but a veggie farmer. When other kids were playing street hockey or kill the carrier (a less organized spin on football) I was most often found pulling decorative plants out of my mother’s garden to make room for some corn or tomatoes….My wife Blair thinks I’m a rabbit at heart.

OSC: What is it about the mission of your company that really ignites you?

BR: At the heart of what we’re doing at Big Tree is supporting and improving opportunities for marginalized farmers. I love working with our farmer partners; spending time at their homes and in their food forests. I love the land and everything that we do to steward the resource through our company model.

OSC: What’s a favorite childhood memory of food that you have?

BR: I think there are three that stick out most… I remember my first carrot from the soil (it was a chantenay) and I remember being thunderstruck at how amazing it was and how I wanted to learn how to grow and harvest food. I also have distinctly fond memories of my grandmother’s apple pies which she would bake for almost every family gathering…now I make those apple pies with our coconut sugar in the fall in VT!

OSC: What’s one thing that keeps you up at night?

BR: I’m not someone that carries much stress to bed but that’s not because there aren’t plenty of challenges that need navigating. Cashflow, inflationary impacts on demand and cogs, long term sustainability of the Indonesian coconut sector…

About Big Tree Farms

We believe that food is at the heart of vibrant health for our bodies and our planet.
After living in Indonesia and working in sustainable agriculture for several years, my wife Blair and I set out with the mission to produce good-for-you foods that support a better-for-you world. That’s when we discovered the magic of Nira, the organic nectar of the coconut blossom.
By using regenerative farming systems to harvest Nira we restore soils, stay true to ancient practices, and protect our natural resources. The hand-harvested, delicious nectar is then transformed into organic, fair-trade products like our Coconut Sugars and Coconut Aminos that offer delicious, better-for-us alternatives to standard products made with cane sugar and soy.
Today, with the support of over 10k farmer partners, we have blossomed into one of the world’s largest and most sustainable coconut supply chains, and we remain committed to positively impacting our farmer communities, our health, and our planet.