Our family business
We are jojoba farmers with more than 40 years of experience in growing and processing this special crop. Sustainable agriculture has been our core value from the very beginning: INCA OIL is nowadays the world‘s largest organic jojoba producer. Our family business offers wholesale directly from the source.
The founders: Who we are
In the early 90s, Argentine brothers Adolfo and Afredo Mealla started growing jojoba in the sand dunes of Ica in Peru. Adolfo the agronomist and Alfredo the accountant studied climatic data, water and soil conditions carefully before planting a wide range of jojoba varieties there. Why the region is particularly suitable for growing jojoba we explained on our dedicated sustainability page.
In 2000 Christian Wätjen joined the brothers to process jojoba in Ica – INCA OIL was born. Christian is also a agronomist and comes from a farm in Northern Germany. For many years he lived in Argentina, where he gained his experience in growing, processing and marketing jojoba since 1982.
At INCA OIL, the Mealla family is responsible for the local farms and the cultivation of the jojobas. Christian takes care of the processing and distribution of the jojoba oil. The next generation of both families is ready to continue the family business.
Our development: Milestones
Since 2000: Sustainable agriculture
From over 3,000 jojoba motherplants, we have selected seven high quality jojoba varieties. Since the beginning of our company, sustainable agriculture was an important issue for us. We were certified organic in 2004 to guarantee the protection of resources, using no pesticides or GMOs and offering fair working conditions. To learn more about our commitment to combat desertification, we invite you to visit our sustainability page.
2014: Our advanced oil mill in Panama
To satisfy the worldwide increasing demand of jojoba oil the oil processing was moved to Panama in 2014. Panama is an ideal logistical location as it is right in between the Atlantic and Pacific Ocean which allows fast and reliable deliveries to all ports in the world.
2018 our new state-of-the-art factory was inaugurated in Panapark Freezone in Panama City. New presses with latest technology are now the basis to ensure consistently high quality. A refinery was added which allows the processing of all qualities of jojoba oil under one roof. As only jojoba is processed in our production site, no cross contamination with other oils or substances is possible.
2019: Agricultural innovations through our organic laboratory
On our farms, we are preparing our own compost and fertiliser. In order to find the best fertiliser for our jojoba plants, we set up a biotech lab on site at our farm in Peru in 2019. Currently we are researching microalgae to obtain the right algae for our organic fertiliser.
2021-2022: FOR LIFE – 2023: UEBT
Our employees are an important part of our business: We employ 140 permanent staff on our farms, and up to 260 people during harvest time. In Panama, 15 people work in our production site. Since the very beginning of our business, we have been supporting the region of Ica / Peru. For example, we are sponsoring a school and a kindergarten with stationary, books, food, equipment or organising sport events.
We were certified in 2021 with the social label “FOR LIFE”, which confirms our fair working conditions. This means that our employees receive health and social insurance, holidays, daily free meals or free bus transportation.
In 2022 we changed to provisional “UEBT” membership. The Union for Ethical Biotrade is a non-profit association that promotes sourcing with respect. With our membership we can work to regenerate nature and secure a better future for people through ethical sourcing of ingredients from biodiversity. We went through UEBT membership assessment and comply with its entry indicators. We are now in the process of acquiring full membership, which involves the adoption of a 3-year work-plan to further improve our ethical sourcing practices.
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