Debra embarked on a journey on how best to sustainably harvest and incorporate Nama into her skincare formulas. Being mission driven, Essence Group built the world’s first sustainable Nama harvesting program alongside the Australian Government funded Market Development Facility*. The sustainable Nama harvesting program was designed to create opportunity for the women of the Yasawa islands. It generates a new income source to compliment that of the traditional village system and safeguard an important natural resource in a pristine environment.
Market Development Fund (MDF), an arm of Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), partnered with Essence Group Fiji to develop a sustainable nama harvesting program with the Fijian women of the Yasawas. Women harvesters spend up to 8 hours in the water, 3 days a week, hand picking the wild nama “sea grapes”. Nama regenerates rapidly (within 3 weeks) and harvesting the nama does not negatively impact the ecosystem. The nama harvesting program allows the Fijian women to earn an income.
We work closely with Somosomo & Gunu village in the Yasawa Region to harvest Nama for our products.
The nama is transported via boat from the villages to Nadi on Viti Levu, where the Essence Group Facility is.
The nama is turned into extract form, which is then added to the Nama Fiji formulas.
Watch to hear more from our Founder and how the Nama Fiji brand was created to further her mission to support women and the local communities of Fiji.
Meet Ana and Siteri of Somosomo village, who harvest Nama for their families’ needs, and to support the economic development goals of their entire village.