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Pacific coconut oil begins to flow

A successful project to market coconut oil produced by Samoa's small holder farmers is being extended to other Pacific Islands. (Ben Chutaro: AFP)

A successful project to market coconut oil produced by Samoa's small holder farmers is being extended to other Pacific Islands.

Samoa's Women in Business Incorporated has been negotiating with the Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement.

Women in Business started marketing coconut oil produced by Samoa's small farmers in 1996 and in 2008 beauty product chain The Body Shop became involved.

But other Pacific Island farmers have not had as much success and Women in Business Executive Director, Adi Tafuna'i, says by joining forces they will be able to supply the larger market.

"Coconuts in most parts of the Pacific are our most abundant crop, it was at one time the main export," Ms Tafuna'i told Radio Australia's Pacific Beat program.

"Now we're just producing a much better value coconut oil and hoping that value-adding in terms of the organic certification and the fair trade certification will give the farmer...something to really be able to get a good return for."

Ms Tafuna'i says she wants to include Tonga, Kiribati, Solomon Islands, Fiji and especially Hawaii in the partnership.



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