Coconut oil raises livelihoods in Solomon Islands

Kokonut Pacific Solomon Islands (KPSI) is a producer of top grade coconut oil.  It is also part of this year’s Pacific Islands Trade & Invest (PT&I) Pacific Path to Market delegation to Auckland’s Pasifika festival on March 25-26. 

PT&I’s Pacific Path to Market adopts a structured approach to helping exporters investigate new markets for their products.  Pasifika is the 3rd stage of the PT&I Pacific Path to Market programme giving businesses an introduction to the New Zealand market.

KPSI will showcase its star product – Organic certified, Virgin Coconut Oil (VCO) and 100% coconut oil soaps.

The company has more than 50 producers on its books, across a wide network in the Solomon Islands.  The good news is more than 60% of the oil revenue goes back to the villages providing an income for over 5000 people.  In 2016, KPSI won a raft of awards including the Prime Minister’s Business of the Year Award, the Business Contribution to the Community and Exporter of the Year.

KPSI was established by Australian Dr Dan Etherington in 1994 to improve the well-being of the rural populations of tropical islands through the production of premium grade coconut oil and other coconut products.

Dr Etherington learned the process on a remote island of Tuvalu from the people who had discovered how to cold press coconut oil from sun-dried coconut.  He went on to create the Direct Micro Expelling (DME) method of processing coconuts into coconut oil using a cold press.  One of the beauties of the DME method is that producers can turn coconuts into oil within an hour of opening.

The DME solution stands for –

  • Direct – quick (oil can be produced in 1 hour of opening the nut) and efficiently expels 85% of the available oil.
  • Micro – it can be done in small scales on family sized farms.
  • Expelling – the extraction of virgin coconut oil and meal.

KPSI’s company goal is also it’s motto – “Empowering and bringing hope.”

The objective was to revitalise the small holder coconut industries through using modern technology and partnering with local communities, local firms, non-government organisations and Governments to ensure the right support systems are in place.

The introduction of DME processing changed lives through a 5-fold increase in the value of coconut exports compared to copra (ref: kokonutpacific.com.au).

Right from the start Kokonut Pacific has adopted Full and Fair Trade, Fair Share and Triple Bottom line principals (demonstrating care for people, the planet and profitability).

It  works with local firms, non-government organisations (NGOs) and Governments to make sure that the right support systems are in place. The capacity of remote communities to produce DME® extra virgin coconut oil is often far greater than the local market can absorb.  Therefore most of the oil must be exported and in doing so, communities must be prepared for quality control, storage, transport, bulking up and finding buyers. In many cases, these buyers are in other countries so the oil has to be carefully packed and shipped overseas.

A big step forward for the Solomon Islands is gaining full Organic Certification status for the oil. Organic certification status is a great encouragement to the producers and assures customers of the quality of the oil.

KPSI was started in 2004 and is a private limited company registered in Solomon Islands.

For more information please contact, Ian Furlong, PT&I Trade Development Manager on ian.f@pacifictradeinvest.co.nz

 

 

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s