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All You Need to Know About Buying Coconut Coir in Bulk

If you want to sell wholesale coconut coir or coir products, then there are several elements that you need to know about. These include how to source the coir, which suppliers to consider, how to find green options, and how to choose between the different types.

Growing up in India, you could find items made from coconut coir everywhere – really, we took it for granted. However, at a young age, I learned the difference between good and bad quality. It is a skill that I have and use to this day.

Now, there has been an uptick in global interest in this particular material as more and more people look for natural material based goods. The issue, though, is that since most people don’t know too much about coconut coir, they make a lot of mistakes when sourcing the material or the products.

Well, this post is here to help you out. I will break down how to find sources, the processes and types you need to know about, eco-friendly options, and more. Let’s begin!

Know Your Sources

First things first, you should know where to get coconut coir from. Or, at the very least, you need to check that your manufacturers or suppliers are selecting coconut coir that has been sourced from the top producing regions.

Coconuts may be grown in countries all over the world, but that doesn’t mean that coconut coir is produced or processed in these regions. Remember, this industry is only just beginning to grow and expand. Due to this, most of the coconut coir is either produced in India or Sri Lanka.

Now, Thailand, Vietnam, the Philippines, and Indonesia do export coconut coir. However, these countries do it on a far smaller scale. Furthermore, the type and quality of the fiber may not be on par with the coir that is produced in other countries. 

Coconut Coir In the Hands

Selecting the Right Type of Coconut Coir

Coconut coir tends to be referred to as a single product. In reality, though, there are two types of coir. Since each type is used for different purposes, it is important to distinguish between each form. What's more, you should always double-check what kind your manufacturer or supplier is providing you with.

The two kinds of coconut coir are brown and white coir. Brown coir is dark brown in color and is recovered from fully ripened coconuts. It is traditionally used in upholstery padding, mats, and brushes. It is known for its abrasion and UV-resistant qualities.

White coir is recovered from the husks of coconuts that are harvested just before they ripen. This coir can be light brown or white in color. It can be used in mats, rope, yarn, and more.

In some instances, coir can also be categorized according to fiber length. Fibers that are less than 8 inches in length are known as mattress fiber. Bristle fiber is longer than this. 

Selecting Coir Based on Processing Methods

As mentioned, coir can have a wide range of uses. The most common uses for coir, though, are either as a growing medium or as a textile. Needless to say, each of these industries has very different requirements when it comes to the coir. As such, you do need to pay attention to the processing methods.

If you are selling to individuals who will be using coconut coir as a growing medium, then you should check that the coir is moderately processed. In particular, look for coir that is soaked in fresh water rather than saltwater so that it will more suitable for plants.

At the same time, check whether certain chemicals or components have been used to process the coir. If many of the organic components of the coir have been removed, it may not work as a growing medium. However, if you are looking for textile, then additional processing may not matter as much.

Choosing a Greener Coir

Traditional methods of coir processing can have a negative impact on the surrounding environment. The processes can pollute surface waters and result in large pith dumps that can take quite a while to decompose.

Mechanical processes, on the other hand, are able to process and create the fibers at a faster rate, using less water resources. Not to mention, they result in less waste material as well. The only issue is that mechanical processes do result in lower quality fibers.

The good news is that some manufacturers are investigating and utilizing newer greener methods that maintain the quality of the fibers. As such, it is worth it to you to determine which methods your manufacturers are using and what the resulting quality is like.

Now, this may not seem all that important upfront, but you should think about the modern consumer. These days, consumers are greatly focused on buying greener products. And, they will often pay more for eco-friendly fibers as well.

Person Holding Coconut Coir

Which Type of Packaging is Right for You?

Coconut coir can be packaged in three different ways – bricks, blocks, and bags. Bricks and blocks are more tightly packed together, allowing you to ship more for less. Bricks are smaller quantities, while blocks are considerably larger.

On average, buying and shipping blocks and bricks will be a cheaper option for you. The loose bags tend to cost more. The catch, though, is that with blocks and bricks, you often have to expand the coir before you can use it. With the loose bags, however, you can skip this step.

These days, coconut coir can be reproduced as growing mats, pots, discs, etc. Thus, if your target market is interested in such products, it can be helpful to purchase the coir in this form. Bear in mind, coir in this form can often drive up the prices.

Negotiating the Cost

As with any product, the price of coconut coir is driven is demand by demand, market growth, environmental conditions, etc. Naturally, you will also have to pay more for better quality coir, particularly ones that have been processed via more natural or eco-friendly methods.

Still, it is important to always do your research before paying the asking price. Check that the cost is equivalent to the quality that you are paying. If you find that the current markets are too expensive, consider emerging ones. As demand for coconut coir grows, you may find that it is cheaper to source the coir from African or other Asian countries.

Despite this, always check on the quality of the coconuts that are grown as well as the processing methods that they go through.

Commercial vs. Independent Manufacturers – Selecting Your Suppliers

When looking for manufacturers or suppliers, you may want to choose a larger agency that has an efficient operation. And, for the most part, these are the most common suppliers for coconut coir. However, you may want to consider another option as well – independent suppliers.

There are small-scale operations that produce coconut coir and there are various advantages to signing up with them. To begin with, these operations tend to offer more consistent quality and results. In some instances (based on their processing practices), these operations can also be more eco-friendly.

Investing in smaller operations can also help to boost the local economy in those areas while netting your products for lower prices. Not to mention, this can often be a selling point to consumers. There is a greater interest in helping smaller businesses and communities thrive.

Labeling Rights

Last, but not least, you have to consider your labeling rights. These can change from one manufacturer to the next. Not to mention, you have to think about your own plans. Do you want to sell coir under your own brand name or are you fine with simply being another supplier in the chain?

If you do want to sell under your own brand name, then look for a company that will sell you private labels. You should bear in mind that this will probably cost you more. However, you will have greater control over how you sell the coconut coir products.

Now, if you are dealing with an independent supplier, particularly a smaller one, then you will have to make separate arrangements. Here, you will need to check if they have any specific requirements about the name under which the coir is sold.

Even if there isn't, it is a good idea to draw up a legal document for both parties to sign, taking the labeling rights into consideration. This way, you can guarantee that your profits aren't going to be impacted in the future.

Related Reading
A Guide to Wholesale Coconut Oil

These are the top things that you need to know about buying coconut coir in bulk. This is an extensive list, but it does cover all the important points. As such, with this knowledge, you put yourself in a far better buying position.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Riya Borah
Nutritionist Educator | Riya Borah is a nutritionist educator and her job involves guiding people towards a healthier lifestyle. Growing up in India, Riya was aware of just how much coconut was used on a daily basis. This encouraged her to research the properties of this versatile drupe. It opened her eyes to both the limitation and possibilities of coconut. Her aim is to now educate as many people as possible about the best ways to utilize coconut in their own lives.
An Important Disclaimer
The information on this page should not be used as a substitute for professional medical advice. Consult a doctor if you wish to consume any kind of tea regularly for the purpose of treating any condition or illness.
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