The Van der Knaap Group produces potting soil and compost all over the world. In Mexico, the company uses coconut as a raw material for compost. The coconut husk is a waste product. But not anymore. Van der Knaap has transformed the husk into a valuable end product: high-quality compost.
Coconut is a sustainable raw material
Coconut makes an ideal raw material for compost. It offers many advantages: it is more sustainable, more efficient and cleaner. Jan de Smet, Director of Knaap Substrates Mexico, says: "Our goal is to supply high-quality, sustainable products that make it easier for roots to develop and crops to grow." Compost made from coconut husk makes vegetables, fruit, flowers and plants bloom.
The process on camera
Coconuts are plentiful in Mexico, and the market is promising. Van der Knaap turns the fibres on the outside of the coconut into raw materials for its compost. Local partners process the liquid and flesh from the coconuts for use in the food industry.
Gustavo Gallo works for the coconut grower El Médano Guerrero. Mr Gallo explains: "Before Van der Knaap arrived, we used only the flesh of the coconut and not the water or the husk. Now that the whole coconut is being used, I can sell my coconuts for a better price. It is good for people in this region as well, because now they can find jobs here."
Watch the interview with Mr Van der Knaap.
The Dutch government encourages companies that want to invest in or export. The Dutch Trade and Investment Fund (DTIF) supports Dutch entrepreneurs with international plans who are having trouble securing financing. The fund can help them with loans, guarantees and export financing. The Netherlands Enterprise Agency carries out DTIF on behalf of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
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