Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Is Dr. Bronner's Stealing Kenya's Coconut Oil?!

Gotta love a sensationalist headline. 

There has been a recent shortage of coconut oil on our shelves. The good stuff, that you can cook with and all. That's because the main oil we used to buy suddenly vanished. The news trickled out from suppliers that they were fulfilling a major international order but that it would once again be available locally from December. 

Fat chance!

Last year, on a visit to the factory, I was informed by one of the staff that Coast Coconut Farms, which was never run by Kenyans in the first place (shame on us!), was being sold to SerendiKenya. Well, it transpires that SerendiKenya falls under the umbrella of SerendiWorld, which is owned by Dr. Bronner's to source ingredients for their products. It turns out the demand for their coconut oil outstripped the supply from their Sri Lanka farms, owned by Serendipol, so guess where they turned to. Yup. 

Now Dr. Bronner's prides itself on being fair trade, providing local employment, giving back to the local community through farming projects yadda yadda but how about they actually leave us some of our own damn coconut oil. Rather than taking it away, packaging it up and selling it back to us at an 1000% mark up! That's right, Dr. Bronner's products are now available locally. Averaging at about 1200/-; with one soap I saw going for about 2,400! That's almost $30! Luckily I didn't see them selling straight up Dr. Bronners coconut oil or I'd be locked up right now quite miffed. 

Here comes my oh-the-injustice-of-it-all rant: 
Until we as Africans learn to take charge of our own resources, for the greater good, not just to line politicians' pockets, we will continue to be shafted by anyone flashing us some beads and mirrors. #China 

1 comment:

  1. I heard earlier this year that Coast Coconut was up for sale for around $600,000/=... now unless the likes of Transcentury swooped in, we'd have to be many chamas coming together to get a piece of that pie. Trials and tribulations of 3rd World countries