"..a bardy view!"

Coconut Water (part 2)…

Coconut Followers of this blog will be aware that I have a bee in my bonnet about coconut water.

I wrote a Wizzley page about it recently, which has garnered substantial interest.

Meanwhile I was looking at my Squidoo lens on coconut harvesting and saw a Google adsense link to coconut water. I clicked on it out of curiosity and it brought me to a UK company selling the magic nectar.

"Coconutty" says in their blurb "There’s a revolution happening – from Madonna to Rihanna, from marathon runners to premier league football teams, coconut water is now becoming mainstream. More and more people are opening their minds and mouths to the incredible hydration of pure coconut water. Once the secret of the tropics, coconut water is now being embraced everywhere as the new sports drink of choice."

I have said as much, but in my case they are stated in the negative. More importantly, they are selling 12 one litre packs of Vita Coco for an astonishing £44.99.

£3.75p per litre! Now that's a mark-up! It's fruit juice for God's sake!

But my main gripe is that they also sell "fresh green coconuts" which they say are hard to find in the UK. I'd go along with that – it may have something to do with the climate. They sell these young coconuts (aka Buko in the Philippines) by the dozen for £34.99 ie nearly £3 per nut.

I urge you to read my Wizzley page to put this into perspective. But let's look at the information on this website. They say that these nuts are "harvested at around 7 months before turning brown and developing white meat".

Coconuts are harvested every 35 -40 days, and young coconut even earlier. You would have to be a real nut to eat one after seven months – in fact it would have dropped off the tree long before then.

That aside, I cannot resist remarking on their next statement: "To ensure you get the freshest we deliver your coconuts by next working-day courier on the day they arrive in to us. This can vary each week, therefore please allow 3-7 days from your order." 

Yes, it would be fresh if it was picked from the tree and used within three or four days. Consider this – air-freighting coconuts would involve an exorbitant cost, so they would be shipped and take at least four weeks to arrive. However, even allowing at best one week from harvest to port, and another for clearing customs at destination and transport to a storage unit in the UK, and then another for delivery to customer – the whole process is likely to take seven weeks at best.

However, its very possible that a newly harvested batch could be sitting around in a holding area for much longer before they are shipped. The big joke is that Coconutty tells it's prospective customers a "use by" advisory: This is a fresh fruit and is best consumed within 7 days of receipt.

Considering that they have already stated that it could take a week to deliver ("after it has been received by us"), that's two weeks gone already – so any goodness in the nut is suspect.

I emailed the company a week ago asking them to tell me how long it takes a nut to reach them from harvest. They replied that it takes two weeks from Costa Rica. I would still maintain that it takes at least four weeks from harvest.

But companies like this are not unusual. They are using the associated cult of celebrity to sell to the gullible, and if the gullible imbibe, then good luck to them. However, their claims need to be substantiated, and the ambiguity of their statements are extravagant at best.

This is yet another example of why I created the Wizzley page, and why I wish to expose the environmental and ecological issues of the commercial phenomena and exploitation of coconut water. I am not against the sale of it, but I want to push for a fair trade and sustainable production.

If you agree with me, then please register your support here.

Meanwhile, altogether now……



September 14, 2011 - Posted by | Coconut Trees, Conservation, Education, Squidoo, The Philippines, United Kingdom, Wizzley | , , , , , , ,

1 Comment »

  1. I’ve got a lovely bunch of coconuts, see them all a standing in a row?


    Comment by Spook Moor | September 14, 2011 | Reply

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