Born and raised in the Solomon Islands, Bob Pollard, the Managing Director of Kokonut Pacific Solomon Islands (KPSI) is passionate about making sure the company’s focus on creating sustainable livelihoods for their rural communities stays true day in and day out. KPSI presently works with more than 50 village producers across the Solomon Islands and sources from over 3,500 hectares of Certified Organic plantations owned by more than 1,000 farmers across the country. And they are aiming to add more. Over 60% of oil revenue goes back to communities which provides an income to over 5,000 people.
KPSI team in the Solomon Islands.
Established in 2004, KPSI has grown to become the largest exporter of Certified Organic produce in the Solomon Islands. KPSI’s products include Certified Organic and Fair Trade Virgin Coconut Oil (VCO) and a range of coconut oil based cosmetic products like handcrafted soaps, fragrance oils, therapy oils, body scrubs and lip balms. KPSI also sells VCO in bulk and packaged in 1 litre and 500 ml bottles.
Bob Pollard, Kokonut Pacific Solomon Islands (KPSI) Managing Director.
With a background in business teaching and consultancy, Bob took on the challenge of becoming one of the owners of KPSI and managing the company in 2010. He owns another Human Resources business (Pasifiki Services Ltd) and in 2014, he hired someone else to manage this business so he can concentrate fully on building KPSI’s portfolio. Bob and his team’s dedication has definitely created an impact in the organisation which is apparent through their recent garnering of accolades, namely the 2016 Prime Minister’s Business of the Year Award, Export Business of the Year, (2015 and 2016) Business Contribution to the Community Award (SME Category) and in 2015 the SME Green Business of the Year Award and the Innovative Business Award in the Solomon Islands Business Excellence Awards.
Managing the business growth is KPSI’s main challenge and they are excited about the development of their value-added products where they need branding, marketing and sales assistance. Bob joined the PIPSO team as a Trade Pasifika delegate in the Pacific Business Forum in New Caledonia this year where he hoped to find some solutions to KPSI’s present limitations. “It was great to meet some potential customers and we are very hopeful of these introductions developing further. We also hope to work closely with many regional organisation partners that I met at the Forum,” Bob enthuses.
Community and cooperation is at the core of KPSI’s identity, and their model of working with village communities even in the remotest locations in the Solomon Islands is a model worth learning from and emulating in all parts of our region. “We have a great team and our vision is about creating village livelihoods. In our struggle, we find ways to strengthen the dignity of our people and to put money back into our villages,” Bob explains, “And this, is really what KPSI is all about.”
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Interesting fact: The Coconut Technology Centre (CTC) is based at KPSI and was established in 2014 to support the development of the coconut industry including undertaking research and development, demonstrating best practices in industry technologies, and providing a venue for training.