Village for Life.
Village for Life is helping coconut farmers by providing:
Socially and environmentally responsible solutions to poverty and urban drift
Commitment to fair trade, organic production processes and social justice
Secure trade that encourages development of micro economies
Education that empowers people to build a business (trade, not aid)
Partnerships of funding and resources to help village-based coconut farmers
In developing countries, one thing on its own doesn’t work. Poverty is complicated. Raising people from poverty requires many solutions that work together in harmony with the culture and situations that can change. This necessitates the ability to adapt, be flexible and robust. Kokonut Pacific wants these solutions to be driven by the people themselves, in other words, to be empowering.
What is it?
Village for life is our approach to fulfilling the company mission inspired by the example of Jesus.
Kokonut Pacific Pty Ltd (Australia) works to raise the well-being of coconut communities through the production of premium grade extra virgin coconut oil and other coconut products.
Socially & Environmentally Responsible
The DME® process is zero waste and is gender neutral. It uses existing resources to reduce rural poverty. It slows the flow of young people from village to city (urban drift) by providing local employment. It is flexible and culturally adaptable to local communities who are the custodians of language, culture, reefs and rain forests.
Certified Fair Trade
Commitment to fair trade, (certified by the Fair Trade Sustainability Alliance), organic production processes (certified by the National Association of Sustainable Agriculture Australia - NASAA) and a philosophy of business being a force for good. Village for Life™ encapsulates ideas around social justice and social enterprise. Kokonut Pacific set up these certifications in 2004 because it believed that people do care that their food is ethically and organically produced.
Value Chain from
Palm to Pantry
A co-operative value chain from palm to pantry with the focus on the coconut farmer. [i] It protects the poorest, usually the coconut grower, and helps get them out of poverty. It does this by providing small, remote, rural farmers with a fair priced market for their coconuts from their local Direct Micro Expelling (DME®) oil producer. [ii] The DME® oil producer gets a fair price for the locally produced and value-added extra virgin coconut oil from the local company [iii] that buys and prepares the oil for export. The international buyer [iv] works hard to achieve a premium price globally for the high quality, village-produced oil.
i We estimate as at 2019 about 10-20 farmers supply coconuts to each DME® VCO producer.
ii There are over 70 DME® producers in the Solomon Island villages. That’s over 1,000 farmers who are getting a fair price for their coconuts and cashflow into the family. Each farm supports about 15 people x 1000 = 15,000 people who are getting ahead, not a handout. Because each DME® Unit is an individual business, numbers can vary.
iii The local company buying the oil is Kokonut Pacific Solomon Islands (KPSI). It is a public company with 50% local shareholders.
iv The main buyer of KPSI’s oil since 2004 is Kokonut Pacific (Australia) which owns shares in KPSI. Kokonut Pacific sells extra virgin coconut oil to export destinations around the globe, like Canada, Belgium & New Zealand, and a large amount is sold in Australia under the retail product brand, Niulife.
A Secure Future
It aims for a secure future. When farmers know they will have a market for the export quality oil they produce, they can make plans with certainty. DME® allows people to take out loans and build other businesses, in turn creating an economic environment that helps everyone in the village. Typically, truck, timber, accommodation, soap making, pig and chicken enterprises, (just to name a few), grow around DME® technology.
The Kokonut Pacific-funded ‘Coconut Technology Centre’ (CTC) offers training, research, development and support to all the coconut farmers and oil producers. Courses are offered in Book-keeping, running a business, soap making, livestock management (chickens and pigs) to encourage people to create diverse income streams around their DME® business.
Partnership with local people; growers’ associations; governments; the Niulife Foundation, which leverages funding opportunities; the Coconut Technology Centre (CTC) and Kokonut Pacific Solomon Islands (KPSI). For example, the CTC partnered with the United Nations Development Program on their ”Farm to Market” initiative that trained 100 youths in rural entrepreneurship. It also helps farmers to establish nurseries and replant their old coconut groves with healthy young coconut palms to provide a sustainable supply of organic coconuts for the next generation.