Pioneer of the Pacific Island region’s virgin coconut oil industry Adrian Tarte passed away this week in Fiji. He was 86.Mr Tarte’s facility on the island of Taveuni, where his family had settled since 1878 and tended coconuts is Fiji’s only certified organic coconut farm. He was also the first in Fiji to introduce mechanical farming in the copra industry.

The pioneer was a visionary and an environmentalist and conservationist long before the terms came into vogue. He created an entirely sustainable renewable energy source to run the whole plantation and plant using steam power.

He is also credited with employing a number of Banabans – islanders displaced from Kiribati and resettled in Fiji after their original islands in Kiribati were rendered useless because of phosphate mining in the last century – turning out to be the community’s major source of income.

“His spirit will remain with us all in every drop of oil we send out to our loyal customers throughout Australia and exported to the far ends of the world,” director of Nature Pacific Pty Limited Stacey King said.

Mr Tarte’s was laid to rest on Wednesday at his Wainiyaku Estate in Taveuni.

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