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Case study:
Sustainable Palm Oil Chiapas, Mexico

On March 18th, 2017, the Uumbal Palm Oil operations in Tabasco & Chiapas, Mexico formally opened with an inaugural tour which encompassed La Sombra, the 2,100 hectare plantation of which 600 hectares are held as a reserve.

The ranch was bought in 2013 and is in the second year of production. The plantation maintenance and harvesting process was reviewed as was land preparation techniques including drainage channels to maintain water in the dry season and evacuate water during the torrential rainy season. Further discussed were the challenges to detect and mitigate disease. Lucila Aguilar, architect, lead a visit to show the ranch’s infrastructure, where she explained that La Sombra has various buildings under construction that include housing for workers during peak harvest season. Only sustainable materials were used, mainly compressed earth blocks and bamboo. The buildings were designed and aligned to take advantage of the prevailing winds for ventilation, with green roofs to absorb the heat and humidity typical in the region. The Palm Industrial Plant ls located closer to Palenque, Chiapas. At the extraction plant occurs the industrialization process, from the reception and weighing of the fresh fruit bunches to the final processing of products that include palm oil, kernel oil and palm meal. The Uumbal Palm Oil Ranch and Extraction Facility has received both the sustainable Rainforest Alliance Certification, and the LEEDS, Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design certification, being the first certified industrial palm oil plant in the world to receive the LEEDS award.

The buildings were designed and aligned to take advantage of the prevailing winds for ventilation, with green roofs to absorb the heat and humidity typical in the region.