By SUCHEERA PINIJPARAKARN
Chairman Nopporn Khemmanan said the company had seen it as essential to increase capacity because it had other product lines apart from pure coconut water, making the current capacity of 1.2 million cans per month overloaded.
To support the new factory, Mega Solution & Consult will increase registered capital to between Bt20 million and Bt25 million by the end of this year, from Bt1 million currently.
Nopporn founded the company last year with the objective of having his own product and brand to help manage the supply of coconuts through contract farming.
Thailand is well known for its coconuts, and coconut water is in high demand from foreigners, which is something he noticed while working as a consumer-products trader for five years.
The company has signed contract-farming agreements with 13 coconut farms, and it plans to ink deals with an additional 25 farms to support the extra capacity made available through the new factory, construction of which is expected to take 12 months.
Sales revenue is expected to grow 30 to 40 per cent after the new facility is up and running, he said.
Currently, his company generates more than Bt10 million in revenue from the export market.
Normally, there is a seasonal coconut shortage during April and May, but having sufficient contract farmers supplying the company will guarantee there is no disruption of exports to Europe – the first market to which his canned pure coconut water was sold.
With the European market located so far from Thailand, it has been crucial to devise product packaging that ensures that the pure coconut water has a shelf life of 12 months, he explained.
Mega Solution & Consult has expanded its export market to Liaoning province and Xishuangbanna autonomous region in China over the past 10 months, as Chinese consumers like drinking coconut water.
Nopporn believes his canned pure coconut water has received a good welcome not least because it is easier to access the drink than by cracking open a coconut shell.
Buyers in these two parts of China now contribute 70 per cent of the company’s overall sales revenue.
The chairman said his company had also been contacted by hotels and tourist attractions in Thailand about supplying Co-O-Fresh canned pure coconut water, which he sees a welcome development as he wants Thais to consume the product too, and not just foreign customers.
Co-O-Fresh will start to be sold in some Thai hotels and tourist attractions early next year. “If we have more markets, it means we can help increase revenue for several coconut farmers. Even though at first we had no plan to sell our product within Thailand, if Thai people like our product, then we are happy,” he said.
However, he has no plan to sell Co-O-Fresh in modern trade outlets or convenience stores in Thailand.