Indonesian exotic-produce grower-shipper Java Fresh is working on developing exports of its young coconut brand Cocolove to Europe.
The Jakarta-headquartered firm, set up in 2014, has this year trialled the produce locally, with promising results, reveals company export manager Sophie Garre.
“We believe that Indonesian coconuts have good prospects in Europe due to their sweet taste and year-round availability,” she says. “Thailand is very well-known for exporting diamond-shaped coconuts to Europe, so we are optimistic we can also make Indonesia an important supplier of young coconuts.”
This year Java Fresh, which specialises in supplying mangosteen, snake fruit and kaffir lime, is also applying for GlobalGAP certification in a bid to boost its exotic fruit exports to Scandinavia.
“It is very challenging to supply the Nordic European countries without this certification,” explains Garre. “And since we believe there is demand for exotics there, we took the decision to invest in this certification.”
Founded and funded by four young friends, Java Fresh’s stated aim is to make Indonesia a world-leading exotic produce supplier, ranking up there with Thailand and Malaysia. The company currently sources its produce from over 1,000 farmers across the Indonesian archipelago, and employs 50 permanent staff at its West Java packhouse.
Sustainability – both environmental and social – forms Java Fresh’s very core. Fruit is grown using nothing but soil, water and the occasional bit of (organic) cow dung to flourish. And the firm empowers vulnerable women in West Java by employing them at its Tasikmalaya packhouse.
Java Fresh currently airfreights its fruit within four days of harvest to France and the Netherlands, where it works with SNDE Rungis, NETA SAS, and Bud Holland. The company is looking to find new import partners for its premium products in Switzerland, Spain, Germany and Denmark, among other European destinations.
Java Fresh also supplies the domestic Indonesian market, and notes rising demand for healthy food, particularly among urban, middle class consumers.
“Indonesians are buying more organic products, nutrition-rich foods, and eating more fruits and vegetables,” says Garre. “They also increasingly like nicely-packaged produce with a premium feel. This is why we decide to introduce our Cocolove young coconuts to the market, as we feel that the market is now ready for this product.”