Balanoor Plantations is a mixed cropping plantation which grows not only coffee, but also pepper, arecca nut and timber within the growing areas. Balanoor has always strived to be a company providing and looking after the welfare of its staff. Besides the statutory requirements, they provide their workers and their family members with free medical facilities, a crèche to look after the workers’ children while the parents are at work, housing, education and retirement benefits to name a few. For several years, they have been steadily demolishing and rebuilding the old labour lines into modern buildings. Each housing unit comprises of 2 bedrooms, a living room, a kitchen and an attached bathroom. All houses on the estate are provided with electricity and running water. The management wants the workers to think of the estate as home and this way they will have a connection with them and in turn lead to mutual development.
Balanoor not only looks after the social aspect of life, but also focuses on the environmental as well. They have a policy that every acre should have at least 2 jungle trees besides mixed trees. These jungle trees will not be uprooted or sold. Instead, they will add to the estates micro-organismic activities. The leaves that fall from the trees are allowed to decompose and then used as mulch in the fields. They have soil and water collecting pits dug through the estate and along the estate roads. This helps in soil and water conservation during the heavy monsoon periods. There are check dams, trenches, tanks etc which are cut within the plantation which help in rain water harvesting on the property. This helps in dramatically in increasing the water table level.
The plantation is blessed with an abundant amount of wild life. They have a strict no-hunting policy at the estate and strive to ensure the safety and protection of the wild animals that call their plantations home. The animals that are found here are The Indian Bison, Spotted Deer, Samba, Fox, Wild Boar, Wild Goat, Peacock, Wild Fowl, Rabbit, Wood Pecker, Slender Loris, Snakes, Laggar Falcon, House Sparrow, Crows, Bulbul, Flower Pecker, Maina, Owl, Indian Parakeet, Pigeon etc.
Balanoor has a 50 acre Certified Organic (certified by IMO) Arabica division called Vontekad. This has been certified Organic for several years and has been increasing in yield over the years. The entire Arabica Estate is also Rainforest Certified.
They take great care to ensure that the water bodies are not misused and are kept clean. They have water treatment plants at all pulping locations to treat the water. This way, they can treat the water, store it and then use the same for irrigation on their own property. Through all these efforts – the conservation of water and re-use of effluent water for irrigation – they have calculated and noticed that they add back more water than they actually use.