When it comes to natural health and beauty, virgin coconut oil (VCO) is not only best for you and your family but also for your customers. In other words, this wonderful, pure and natural oil from coconut is not only great to buy but also great to sell.
In our previous articles, we discussed the amazing things you can do with virgin coconut oil and how to enjoy its many health and beauty benefits. This wonderful product from nature is loaded with powerful antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal and antiprotozoal compounds as well as antioxidants that boost the immune system, fight diseases, and nourish the body to maintain total wellness and beauty from inside and out.
Due to the facts above, virgin coconut oil is continuously gaining popularity in the market. Consumers are looking for them on the grocery shelves while distributors, wholesalers and retailers are looking for manufacturers they can trust to supply them.
But what type of virgin coconut should consumers buy and what type should entrepreneurs sell? If you’re into virgin coconut oil wholesale or retail business, here’s how to identify the best type of VCO to sell to your valued customers.
The real virgin coconut oil
Coconut oil can be refined or unrefined. Refined coconut oil is made from dried copra and undergoes processes such as being bleached, deodorized and hydrogenated. This type of coconut oil is cheaper but exposed to chemicals which may not be good for our health. On the other hand, unrefined or virgin coconut oil is made from freshly harvested matured coconuts without undergoing the processes above. Since they don’t undergo any refining process, the coconut oil retains it fresh coconut scent and taste.
In the Philippines, the Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA) defines virgin coconut oil as the purest form of coconut oil produced using a process which does not lead to the alteration of the nature of the oil. Without complying with high quality standards set out by the PCA, coconut oil cannot be called or labeled as virgin coconut oil in the country.
Some marketers may claim that their coconut oil is “extra virgin coconut oil”. However, there’s no governing authority in any part of the world right now which certifies that a certain VCO is extra virgin or not. Thus, extra virgin coconut oil and virgin coconut oil is basically just the same.
The processing method
Not all virgin coconut oils are made the same. Their quality, performance and shelf life may differ depending on the processing method used by their manufacturers. VCO can be produced using two basic methods, namely fresh-dry process and fresh-wet process. The fresh-dry process involves extracting the oil from fresh coconut meat after drying it, while the fresh-wet process extracts the oil from fresh coconut milk without involving any process of drying. To completely extract the virgin coconut oil using the fresh-wet process, producers use further processes such as traditional kitchen method, modified fermentation method and centrifuge process.
If you want to sell virgin coconut oil to retailers or consumers, the ideal choice is the VCO which is produced using a process that doesn’t involved drying, boiling or heating. This process is popularly known as cold pressed since there is no heat involved in the process. The fresh-dry process involves drying while the traditional kitchen and modified fermentation methods may involve boiling and controlled heating, respectively.
The cold pressed process or fresh-wet process using a centrifuge doesn’t involved drying, boiling or heating, thereby ensuring that the coconut oil remains its raw and purest form retaining all the antioxidants and other powerful antimicrobial properties which provide nutraceutical and aesthetic benefits to users.
The cost of organic certification
In tropical countries like the Philippines, coconut farming has been naturally and organically practiced for centuries. However, some markets such as the first world countries are increasingly requiring third party organic certifications which involve costly visits to each farm by the certification agencies. For small virgin coconut oil manufacturers, this leads to spending a big chunk of their capital in processing those certifications.
Instead of investing in costly certifications, some VCO producers decide to give up on them and just focus their investment on the quality of their products while offering them in a reasonable price.
Organic certification verifies that the facilities and processes used in VCO production meet the agency’s standards. However, organic certification doesn’t guarantee that the product is 100% natural and pesticide free, as certain pesticides may be allowed. Thus, an organic certification doesn’t necessarily make a VCO product 100% organic or inorganic, as there are some manufacturers who actually produce 100% organic virgin coconut oil without certification.
If you want to offer the best virgin coconut oil to your business partners and consumers, the best way is to personally verify if your manufacturing partner or suppler is making VCO in a natural and organic way. If you are looking for a long-term business partnership, it would be practical to personally visit and check your VCO partner.
Fair trade and social responsibility
Fairtrade is a business and development approach based on dialogue, transparency and respect that seeks to create greater equity in the international trading system. It supports farmers in developing countries who are socially and economically marginalized (source). When consumers shop for fairtrade labeled products, which are priced higher, they can be considered helping the development and sustainability of the marginalized farmers and workers involved in the production of such products.
However, farmers, workers and producers have to organize themselves first to become Fairtrade-certified so they could avail themselves of the benefits. Fairtrade inspection and certification are carried out for a fee. Thus, farmers, producers and traders may be left behind, especially if the fairtrade system in that country is newly launched. In the Philippines, fairtrade has just been formally launched in 2015 and still aiming to improve awareness and certification in the country, particularly with the coconut farmers.
Selling certified fairtrade virgin coconut oil, though with a higher price, is great. However, you should also consider other manufacturers who, though not fairtrade certified, are actually and directly helping the development and sustainability of coconut farmers in their community.
So what type of virgin coconut oil is best to sell to your customers?
To give the best value to customers, sell them 100% organically grown raw virgin coconut oil which are produced using the cold pressed processing method. This method of processing ensures that no heat is used during the process and that all of the oil’s natural health, nutrition and beauty benefits are preserved. To give consumers confidence, aside from tags and certifications, show them substantial proof that the VCO you are selling were made organically, produced by empowering workers and improving the lives of the coconut farmers, and processed while protecting the environment. You can do it by personally verifying and documenting your VCO manufacturing partner or supplier rather than letting other parties, whom you don’t know, do it.
Where to buy virgin coconut oil for your wholesale or retail business?
If you are looking for a bulk producer, exporter and supplier of high quality virgin coconut oil, contact us at Koko Oil. Leyte Koko Oil, Inc. or Koko Oil is a dedicated manufacturer of organically grown pure and raw virgin coconut oil from the Philippines. Our virgin coconut oil is produced using the cold pressed centrifuged method, which ensures that the oil is packed with all of its natural health and wellness benefits. Our business office and manufacturing plant is built in a clean and green environment in a small and quite barangay of Maanda in Leyte, Leyte, Philippines, where we also constantly strive to help improve the lives of the people and develop our community.
If you are planning to meet us and start a long-term VCO business partnership, you are always welcome to visit our place, document our processes, and experience the quality of our VCO product and services.