KENYA – DOB Equity, a Dutch family-backed impact investor in East Africa, has invested in Coconut Holdings Limited, producer and owner of Kentaste range of coconut based products, to help it expand on the fast growing demand for health conscious coconut products.
Kyle Denning, CEO of Coconut Holdings said that the investment will allow the company to expand its processing facilities, launch new products and further develop its sales across the wider East Africa region.
“We are very pleased and looking forward to working with DOB Equity on the expansion of our business.
We have an ambitious growth trajectory and to unlock the full potential throughout the value chain, we need a financing partner that understands what it takes to secure sourcing, improve the process and enter new markets,” he said.
Brigitvan Dijk van de Reijt, CEO of DOB Equity, also said that coconut firm is expected to benefit from the growing coconut industry.
“As the largest coconut processor in Kenya, Kentaste is well-positioned to benefit from the fast-growth demand for healthy products.”
Coconut Holdings is Kenya’s largest producer of coconut oil, milk and cream which owns and operates two coconut processing facilities at the country’s coast.
The business sells its products through the Kentaste brand targeting both the food and personal care market.
The firm purchases coconuts from small-holder farmers of which 1,500 are organic and fair trade certified.
On its side, the Kenyan Government has acknowledged the potential of the coconut farming and processing sector as a ‘sleeping giant’ of the economy with projected annual revenue generation amounting to US$244 million.
Consequently, the government has embarked on operations geared towards rejuvenating the coconut industry through partnering farmers to improve the output from farms.
The government seeks to ensure planting of more coconut seedlings in order to improve local livelihoods and boost economic development.
DOB Equity said that other than the nutritious and healthy benefits of the product, the coconut business has a significant social impact as it provided small-scale coastal farmers with additional income, offers more employment opportunities.
“Coconut processing is a zero-waste business, and along with the substantial social impact it has on farmers, the investment fits perfectly in DOB Equity’s portfolio.”
“The coconut tree is one of the most useful trees in the world due to its versatility, providing both nutritional and functional uses. It can provide food and drink as well as a livelihood,” said Hayo Afman, Portfolio Director of DOB Equity.
“Furthermore, coconut processing results in multiple by-products that can be used as input for other value chains, such as natural fibres for ropes, brushes or mats, cocopeat for nurseries and charcoal for filters or fuel.”
The investment in Coconut Holdings adds to DOB Equity’s health conscious agri-portfolio, following their recent investment in Ten Senses Africa, the organic macadamia nut producer and processing company.