Pasifika next stop in Solomons farmer’s long coconut journey

Virgin Coconut Oil (VCO) producer, Pacific Farm Holding Limited attended the Pacific Trade Invest (PTI) New Zealand Path to Market workshop in Honiara, Solomon Islands in July/August 2017. Rudolf Dora, the project co-ordinator and administrator for the company, was positive about last year’s workshop. And as the next stage in the Path to Market programme, his company will be at this weekend’s PTI NZ Pasifika Business Market at the Pasifika Festival in Auckland.

Pacific Farm Holding currently exports mature coconuts and virgin coconut oil to Australia. Their main point of difference is the organic nature of their business and the help it provides to women and children in rural villages.

Speaking of his journey in the coconut business Mr Dora says, “Our coconut love story started way back as a village boy in the rural Solomon Islands growing up in a culture where coconut is part of daily diet — from coconut cream that we add in our yam, taro or fresh fish soups to coconut oil for cooking and fresh drinking nuts — coconut is part of our everyday life.

“In 1999 my late father challenged me to find a way to empower my own rural people to find ways to improve their own livelihoods. I was convinced that the most effective way to bring positive change to my rural people is to re-engage them back into their own cash crop, the coconut tree.

“In 2011 that vision was put to the test and as a result my company Pacific Farm Holdings Ltd was formed and started trading exporting mature coconut fruits to Sydney fruit markets. The success of these trials led us to start the production of Virgin Coconut oil in 2014.

“Today our company is bringing our production factories to the rural areas expecting to employ over 60 rural women and 20 men. These numbers will increase as we open new processing centres in other remote areas.”

Mr Dora is looking forward to being in Auckland at the PTI NZ Pasifika Business Market.

“My coming to attend the Path to Market programme represents a great leap forward in not only promoting our coconut products but also to share our coconut story with potential buyers,” he says.

Mr Dora’s main focus is to secure a loyal distributor for coconut virgin oil and their special new “100% coconut cream paste.” He hopes to meet up with some serious buyers and distributors.

Pacific Farm Holding is attending the Pasifika Business Market as part of the PTI NZ Path to Market programme which builds export capacity in Pacific export-ready companies to help find markets in New Zealand. Part of the seven-stage process is to attend a trade show in New Zealand such as the one that is being held this weekend at the Pasifika Festival at Western Springs in Auckland.

For more information email PTI NZ Trade Development Manager Ian Furlong at ian.f@pacifictradeinvest.co.nz

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