Considerations When Sourcing Coco Coir Substrates

Legacy Supply Chains

Commodity markets of southeast and central Asia produce the majority of the worlds coco coir substrate supply. These are large, disjointed operations. Typically western buyers deal with coir companies who actually act as brokers. These dealers pull supply from any number of oft-changing coir producers and processors. These brokers sell to western coco coir companies. The buyers outsource further processing and packaging, then bring it to market at significant markup. Before the coco coir reaches the grower it changes hands at every step of the supply chain. With each moving part, and every intermediary, the quality and consistency of the coco – and its supply – drops.

Maintaining Margins  

Many growers are seeing an increase in the overall dust content of the end product. This can be quantified as time is lost to slower dry-backs. Yield diminishes from pests and disease – common results of an oxygen-deprived root zone. Stateside soil manufacturers and industrial-scale cultivators usually purchase their containers 6-12 months in advancese. These  arrive sporadically. This can be quantified by delays in production and the requisite revenue lost to other producers. While the initial price point may be lower, it comes at a cost.

Industry Consolidation

In the last couple years once reputable high-profile coco brands are being purchased by nationwide distributors, who themselves are being purchased by multinational conglomerates. Growers source their usual brand of coco from their preferred distributor, run it with their proven SOPs, and are seeing unexpected, sub-optimal results. The industry is seeing legacy brands and wholesale companies take advantage of their loyal customer base by using the name recognition of private-labeled branding to push substandard coco. RIOCOCO has brought on many new clients – especially over the past year – who have been burned in this way. 

The RIOCOCO Difference

Shan Halamba, RIOCOCO CEO, ensures we maintain control and ownership of every step in our coco coir substrate supply chain. We source coconut husks from our network of palm plantations throughout central Sri Lanka. These are transferred on our vehicles to RIOCOCO processing facilities. RIOCOCO employees wash, dry, grade, compress, and package our product using proven methods. We then ship either directly to your facility or to our distribution center in Dallas, TX. Here our core group of stateside employees work directly with our clients to understand their time frames and tailor a dispatch schedule to their unique needs.