Starting a Coconut Business in the CNMI
The Coconut Plan 2.0
Starting a Coconut Business in the
I am starting with Coconuts as they exist but are not utilized in a commercial manner.
- WE need to develop a plan to collect/harvest the Coconuts. I assume most of the trees are on public lands.
Based on the article I read from Ghana, Coconut Dealers.
OK can we work with the Local Government to Create a Coconut Dealer License, giving them the rights to collect the Coconuts in a village or villages based on the number of trees.
One possible exception to this might be the trees that might be considered a local hazard. Those that could fall on someone or cause property damage. Do the villages even address this or do they just let it happen. So, the Insurance businesses could be an ally, am I sure they have clout with some of the Legislature.
Now, we create a Coconut Processing Cooperative or a sub-group to a larger Cooperative. Within a Coconut committee they have a representative at a Board Meeting to represent their interests. I will address cooperative structures in a later email.
How to Value the Coconuts. “Fair Trade” is between 7 and 10 cent each.
If they collect 100 coconuts per hour that is equal to $7.25 per hour +/-. In some of the research 300 to 500 is possible if it’s a family. More is possible. Need to refine the Dealer Permit to hire local seasonal help.
Now, the current price for Copra is between $550.00 to $1,100.00 that is a wide range.
Now we need to consider the time to make Copra from these Coconuts.
The 2 Harvest Season (We will need to confirm this)
Spring (Green Coconuts)
The Green Coconuts are harvested mainly for the Coconut Water.
If we can affordable package for sale to the schools as an alternative to soda or other sweet beverages. Another angle would be to use fresh fruit juice, nectar or concentrate to blend with the Coconut Water.
Possible Products from Green Coconuts
Supposedly Green Coconuts yield a high amount of Water. Not sure how much meat and the shells (fuel Source or Organic Matter).
Coconut Water (Not sure of what machine to process and package). Same machines and package to use in dairy and juice products.
Now Coconut Water could be made in several other value-added products.
Boiled down to make Jelly or Jam
Boiled down to make Coconut Honey
Can be used to Coconut Aminos (Soy Sauce Alternative) A Soy, Gluten Free Product also good for Vegan diets, maybe Paleo and Macrobiotic. All Premium niche markets.
Coconut Syrup: Alternative to Maple Syrup and premium priced.
Now can these Green Trees Sap (Toddy) be harvested to make to make a Coconut Syrup. Sugar is also a use as well.
Storage of Bulk Water and Products. (Packaging)
Fall (Brown Harvesting)
Question, how long would the coconuts last before processing. Can they be stored. (University of Hawaii) might be able to help.
- De husk: Ground for soil additive, burned as fuel source and robe-making? (Steam Power Generators)
- De shell: Ground for soil additive, burned as fuel and made into handicrafts. (Steam Power Generators)
- Now we have the Coconut Meat, deskin (animal feed), cut into 1-inch chucks (even drying) place into a Solar Dehydrator
- How long and under what conditions can the Copra be stored. So, it could be processed monthly to meet demand.
Coconut Oil Production
The highest quality, is Fresh Wet Process and Cold Pressed. I mentioned that instead of using “water”, we should use collected Coconut Water for processing. (Pure and Undiluted)
This quality is for Coconut Oil Pills and Culinary usage like high quality olive oil. WE would also explore what additional Value Added products like soap (Ground Coconut Shells) Jelly, Jam. Lotion, skincare and hair care.
The second level of quality, Copra/Expeller method. Here again use saved coconut water.
This generates a higher extraction level. This is suitable for a wide range of products including Biofuel. Biofuel was my Eureka moment related to markets and building volume.
The major by- products of Oil Production is Coconut Meal (Animal Feed), Coconut Crème and Coconut water.
Coop Oil (Unbranded)
Sold in Pint, Quart, Half Gallon and Gallon sizes. Need to think through the packaging.
Local Market: Need to evaluate prices for current cooking oil.
Objective to see our cooking oil at least 25% lower.
If there are 20,000 families on the Islands and 50% of those families are under the poverty line that is 10,000 potential buyers. If each family bought a half gallon per month, that a potential of 5,000 gallons per month or 60,000 gallons per year.
Cold Pressed Coconut Oil: 1 KG make 1 liter (Best Guesstimate)
Expeller Press: 1 KG make 1.25 Liters (Best Guesstimate)
That would require 600 Metric tons (2204) to produce 60,000 Gallons of Grade B oil.
Maybe 11,000 Coconuts to make a Metric ton of Copra.
Other Potential Products
I am going to highlight
Foods, Drinks & Personal Care Products
Marketed as a Butter alternative
Coffee Creamer not sure but would cross market with Coffee program
Additive for Smoothies
Alternative for cooking spray
Baking Potato (Signature Item in Café)
Island Chips like Cape Cod
Market as Alternative in Baked Items(Café)
Sports Drink alternative to sugary drinks
Personal Care Products
Make up Remover (ala Baby Oi)
Moisturizer (Grade A)
Salve (Grade A)
Shaving Cream (possible other ingredient would be aloe)
Sunscreen (Sunburn anointment)
Massage Oil (Grade A)
Cold Sore anoitment
Lubricant (WD 40)
This is a wide range of products to consider and each need to be evaluated for local, tourism or export markets. We will also need to consider the need for other ingredients to make these products and packaging.
Expanded Supply Chain
Compact of Free Association (Duty Free Zone) That could be big.
Extended Coconut Supplies based on Transportation
Papua New Guinea
Due to other concerns, some of the above-mentioned Products whole must be manufactured on Guam do to costs and logistics.
For the moment I would like to leave out any reference to Bio Fuels, that’s internal discussion only.
Bringing The World Together Organically