AgriNurture expands exports of coco water products in US

Iris Gonzales - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — AgriNurture Inc. (ANI), a listed agribusiness company, is expanding its water exports business following the successful entry of its product in Walmart stores.

Walmart, the US retailing giant, is carrying ANI’s products through a partnership with Cocojoy USA, which is distributing ANI’s new innovation, the sparkling coconut water.

ANI president and CEO Antonio Tiu said the product is now available in all Walmart stores and is receiving positive reception from customers of various nationalities and not just Filipinos in the US.

The sparkling coconut water has rosy prospects in the US amid strong reception after its initial foray in the North American market, Cocojoy USA CEO Karl Farnsworth said.

Utah-headquartered Cocojoy sources its products from the Philippines.

These coconut water products are processed at their peak in their country of origin such as Philippines and Vietnam to ensure that the products are packed with all the goodness and flavor but without preservatives or unnecessary added sugars, the company said in its website.

Specifically, the coconut water is processed within hours from harvest to preserve its natural taste.

Tiu welcomed the company’s successful foray in the US market and vowed to tap other markets using its existing channels of distribution in Asia Pacific.

ANI, which pioneered the product more than 20 years ago, exports coconut water from the Philippines using its own canning and tetra pak lines.

It also provides toll manufacturing for several other brands in the world.

The goal is to help coconut farmers improve their output by pushing for higher value output by integrating the process, Tiu said.

“As a country, we produce an average of 15 billion coconuts a year. Every four or five coconuts can produce one liter of water. That’s about three million liters of water but more than 90 percent are just thrown away because there is no cold storage facilities in copra stations. You have to process the water immediately to avoid fermentation” Tiu said.

ANI, chaired by Tiu, is one of the Philippines’ major exporters to the world market. At present, ANI supplies home-grown fruits such as mango, banana and pineapple to customers in Hong Kong, Mainland China, the Middle East and to different European regions.

In 2015, it has aggressively expanded rice trading and was importing rice from Vietnam in line with the government’s rice tariffication program.

In 2018, it inked a landmark deal with SinoChem, the Beijing-based conglomerate engaged in the production of trading chemicals and fertilizer.

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