Local company, Kokonut Pacific Solomon Islands, is now expecting to export more than 100 tonnes of virgin coconut oil by year end.Last year, the company exported 70 tonnes of virgin coconut oil, valued at SBD$2.5 million dollars.
Kokonut Pacific Managing Director, Bob Pollard revealed that the company is expecting to hit over 100 tonnes this year exceeding what has previously exported.
Meanwhile, in September the country's first commercial loan funded virgin coconut oil mill was launched at Pisei in West Guadalcanal.
For 40 years the Chotu family has been involved in the copra trade, but with minimal returns Jack Chotu the owner of Chotu's Coconut Products says it was time to diversify and find a new industry that could utilize the family's coconut plantations.
The operation now joins a network of producers from Malaita, Guadalcanal and Choiseul to supply virgin coconut oil to Kokonut Pacific Solomon Islands for export overseas.
It was a milestone for the burgeoning industry with Chotu's Coconut Products the first coconut oil mill to get commercial funding from the ANZ Bank, in addition to a grant from the Rural Development Programme's, Component Two.