This means the coconut farmers in the nearby areas can have an assured price of Rs 5.50 per coconut. Already the company is procuring 50,000 tender-coconuts daily from nearby small-scale farmers. Kutty says the company has plans to open Elaneer parlours in the metros, apart from encouraging entrepreneurs to install coconut water vending machines as it is a promising self-employment opportunity.
Started in 1996 at Perinthalmanna in a tie-up with Germany-based Winter-Umwelttechnik, Miracle Food Processors was the first in the country to manufacture coconut water concentrate using spray evaporation and reverse osmosis technology.
Utilising the technology, the coconut water could be preserved in a concentrate form without altering its taste, colour and flavour and could be used later as tender-coconut water just by adding water into it. The company also has plans to start a joint venture manufacturing facility in Sri Lanka apart from starting new plants at Thiruvananthapuram and Kasargod.
Kutty says the recent business enquiry he got from the US soft drink giant Tropicana for manufacturing a sports drink based on tender-coconut water has been kept in abeyance due to limitations in processing capacity. "The American firm had a requirement of 6,000 tonnes of processed coconut water per year that will need 10 lakh tender coconuts, which is difficult to procure from the state."