Building partnerships for a sustainable future.
Kokonut Pacific Solomon Islands (KPSI)
Kokonut Pacific Solomon Islands is a for-profit social enterprise comprising a network of more than 70 independent village businesses producing Virgin Coconut Oil (VCO). Formed in November 2004, KPSI originally operated from an old rented warehouse near the harbour in Honiara. At that stage it supported ten DME® VCO producers on three islands, with a total of three members of staff. In 2014 KPSI purchased land near the airport on the outskirts of Honiara and built a new warehouse on its own ‘Coconut Campus’ from which it now supports over 70 DME® Units and 800 nut suppliers on eight islands. It employs a team of 21 members of staff.
KPSI has also helped the oil producers to form their own Association, VCOPA (Virgin Coconut Oil Producers’ Association). These producers get together every two years for a week of learning, sharing stories, and being encouraged in their endeavours. These conferences are well attended by more than 70 members from many of the outlying villages. It’s an exciting time for everyone.
KPSI worked closely with the Niulife Foundation in establishing the Coconut Technology Centre Foundation Project.
The Crawford Fund recognises the work of Kokonut Pacific and has supported a number of projects prior to the establishment of the Niulife Foundation. In 1999 the NSW Australia committee funded our Founder, Dr Dan Etherington, and an artisan from Samoa, to run a DME® training course in Tuvalu, an independent island nation in the South Pacific. The Tuvalu Government, who had requested the course, provided local support. Sixteen local participants constructed a drier and learned about the many aspects of producing and marketing Virgin Coconut Oil (VCO). Tuvalu hoped to establish a VCO services centre that would support all stages of a local industry. By reducing labour and increasing the value of the product, this initiative could raise living standards and encourage the people of Tuvalu to protect their fragile environment.
In 2001, the Crawford Fund helped another Pacific island nation, the Republic of Kiribati, to benefit from the DME® process, by supporting Dr Dan Etherington and Chris Maina to provide training for members of a women’s VCO project on Abaiang Island.