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Copra Millers Hopeful For Success At This Year’s Exporter Awards

Copra Millers Hopeful For Success At This Year’s Exporter Awards
Copra Millers Fiji Manager Finance and Administration John Deo .
October 28
12:08 2015

The 2015 Westpac Prime Minister’s Exporter of the Year Awards has also attracted a State-owned enterprise to join other exporters for the prestigious title.

Copra Millers of Fiji Limited is a large manufacturer of pure coconut oil made from copra.

The Company’s Manager Finance and Administration John Deo said they had applied previously but had not been successful.

However, they see this year looking positive for the state-owned enterprise.

“We have been concentrating on turning the Company around and we hope our efforts will be recognised,” he said.

Copra Millers of Fiji focuses on buying coconut and coconut-related products like copra, whole coconut and raw copra and turns into crude coconut oil.

“The demand for crude oil is huge but the supply is the challenge,” Mr Deo said.

“That is why we are working on strengthening our partnerships with cooperatives, estate owners and copra-buying agents.

“We have been exporting a minimum of ten containers per month. But during peak season this number goes up to 15 containers or 300 tonnes per month.

“Even though we sell a single product, we rake in $6 million to $8 million annually.”

Fiji’s crude coconut oil is sold in an open market sale, meaning it is sold to whichever buyer offers Fiji the best price.”


Refinery plans

Mr Deo said they had been exporting crude coconut oil to mainly Malaysia because there was no Refinery Plant in Fiji.

“We’re hoping to have a Refinery Plant by the end of the year. That is why we have been exporting to Malaysia since 2000,” he said.

Copra Millers of Fiji buys its copra mostly from the maritime islands of Lau and Lomaiviti while also buying directly from coconut farmers in Kubulau and nearby areas once a month.

“So we have established a relationship with our farmers and because we pay them within 24 hours of receiving the coconuts, they have come to trust us,” Mr Deo said.



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