The Kerala Kerakarshaka Sahakarna Federation Ltd (Kerafed), the apex co-operative federation of coconut farmers in Kerala and the largest producer of coconut oil in India, is currently focusing to extend its market to North India along with successful entry overseas market.
Kera brand of coconut oil, produced by Kerafed from copra of the finest quality, is directly procured from coconut growers in Kerala through 900 Primary Agricultural Co-operative Societies (PACS). The copra thus procured is processed using modern technology and the federation is strict in quality control measures in selection and processing of copra to ensure product superiority and purity, according to the officials. The federation uses a unique two stage filtering process to retain the original aroma and flavour of coconut oil for a long period.
The federation currently caters around five lakh consumers in the state through 14,000 retail outlets. Kera is now available in HDPE bottles of 100 ml, 200 ml and 500 ml; PET bottles of 1000 ml and polythene pouches of 500 ml and 1000 ml. The raw materials used for these packings are of virgin/food grade, approved by CFTRI, Mysore/ other Government approved agencies. Secondary packing is done using 3/5 ply-corrugated cartons, as per specifications, maintain the officials.
Kerafed, with its two expeller oil extraction facilities at Kollam and Kozhikode, is planning to set up its third factory and refinery for solvent extraction at Ernakulam, though the details are yet to be finalized. The oil complex at Kollam houses state-of the art facilities for extraction as the largest coconut oil mill in the sub-continent with an installed capacity of 200 TPD. The facility at Kozhikode provides a production of 90 TPD, to sum up the total production to 8000 metric tonnes per annum.
Further, the federation has gained a good momentum in its export operations commenced nearly eight months ago at United Arab Emirates has hit Rs 1 crore business within the short period enhancing the enthusiasm of the team to move more towards expansion, according to V M Radhakrishnan, marketing manager, Kerafed.
"We are planning to enter into the North Indian market with 100 ml, 200 ml and 500 ml packets highlighting the product more as a cosmetic oil rather than cooking oil. The efforts were commenced as we have introduced our products in New Delhi, Banglore and Bombay recently," said Radhakrishnan. There are also plans to develop more herbal oil products from coconut, as the federation has recently introduced 'Kerajam Kesamrudam' herbal oil in the state.
Kera, the branded oil from Kerafed, apart from being delivered in packages of 100 ml, 200 ml, 500 ml bottles, half and one litre pouches, 8 ml sachets, one litre pet bottles, 5 kg cans and 15 kg tins, is also marketed in bulk. The product range under Kera includes Kera Agmark, Kera Popular and Kera gold. Kerafed, the single largest procurer of coconut/copra, produced in Kerala takes a massive daily effort to co-ordinate the farmers and the primary agricultural co-operative societies, spread all over the state.