Samoa’s copra farmers boosted by new joint venture

THE future of Samoa’s copra industry is looking brighter after the signing of a deal with a multinational US soap company to service markets in the US and Europe.

The company Pacific Oil’s joint venture is to supply premium coconut oil to Dr Bronners under the new brand SerendiCoco Samoa.

It has committed to exporting 3000 tonnes of premium coconut oil annually.

Its managing director Fanene Sefo said it was a big deal for the company, the coconut oil industry and the local economy.

He said it was also beneficial for its copra farmers, who had to become certified as organic and fairtrade.

“The coconut industry has been in decline for many years, but now coconut seems to have been taken on as a product to become a lot more high profile and there’s a bigger demand for coconut which is good.”

Mr Sefo says farmers can expect to be paid about $US600 ($F1219) per tonne under the deal.

The first shipment is due to leave Samoa at the end of the month.