Coir for décor and more

To hit domestic market in September

July 15, 2014 10:25 am | Updated 10:25 am IST - COIMBATORE:

Eco-friendly Christmas tree hangings made with coir by the Pollachi-based Sunco Exports. Photo: K. Ananthan

Eco-friendly Christmas tree hangings made with coir by the Pollachi-based Sunco Exports. Photo: K. Ananthan

With thousands of coconut farms in and around Pollachi, it is no surprise that export of coir products from Coimbatore District crossed Rs. 650 crore last financial year.

While most of these are coir fibre and coir pith, value added products from the district have started tapping opportunities in the international market.

For instance, Sunco Exporters marketed hangings made of coir for Christmas tree decoration and have developed a similar product for Chinese New Year.

According to S. Mahesh Kumar and Deepak Mahesh of Sunco Exporters, an international brand wanted new product ideas for Christmas last year and the Pollachi-based company had developed star and Christmas-tree shaped hangings (with fragrance) from coir mats.

It is an eco-friendly product and was approved by the overseas buyer.

“We are focusing more on value-added products,” Mr. Mahesh Kumar said.

And, the acceptance of these products in the international market is also encouraging.

Further, since eco-friendly products are trending on e-commerce platforms and domestic and overseas markets, the company has ventured into development of coir-based products for these markets.

It is producing coir footwear and plans to apply for patent for these.

It plans to launch these in the domestic market in September.

Sunco has been supplying coir soles to an international company. Now, it has developed 100 per cent coir, coir and rubber, and coir and PU (polyurethane) footwear. “We have tested the durability of the product and the initial response is good,” says Mr. Mahesh Kumar.

Sunco will also invest in machinery and start production with an initial capacity of 5,000 pairs a day.

With about Rs. 10 crore to Rs. 15 crore worth exports even a decade ago, production of value added products in the district and marketing these to overseas buyers has increased multi-fold, he says. Though husk availability was hit last year because of decline in rainfall and coir production had declined 30 per cent, export opportunities seem to be encouraging.

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