Serendipalm is a sister company of Dr. Bronner’s, the top-selling brand of soaps in the U.S. natural marketplace. Dr. Bronner’s was founded in 1948 by Emanuel Bronner, the descendant of a Jewish-German soapmaking family from Heilbronn, Germany who had emigrated to the U.S. in 1929.
The death of Emanuel’s parents in the Holocaust turned him into an activist for world peace and tolerance, believing that we must transcend religious and ethnic divides or perish. His grandsons, David and Mike, who have managed the company since 2000, alongside their mother Trudy, expanded its commitment to social and environmental issues. In 2005, Dr. Bronner’s decided to shift the supplies of its main raw materials—coconut, palm, olive and mint oils—to fair trade and organic sources. Since these did not exist at the time, Dr. Bronner’s developed its own agricultural and processing projects with smallholder farmers and local partners and worked closely with other, like-minded projects. Starting in 2007, Dr. Bronner’s financed the development and scale-up of Serendipalm. The members of Dr. Bronner’s Special Operations Team continuously support the project. They visit Serendipalm 4-5 times per year and work closely with the local management team on planning, agriculture, production technology, staff development, project expansion and fair trade projects. Dr. Bronner’s is Serendipalm’s major customer—and proud of having set up the world’s first fair and sustainable palm oil project.