eroen Martono Janssens first experienced coconut charcoal in 2013. He was celebrating his honeymoon in his country of birth Indonesia. He noticed they did not use the well-known charcoal for the barbeque, but coconut bark. This has many benefits. The coconut charcoals briquettes burn a lot longer, more constant and produce less smoke and flame than traditional charcoal. Another important benefit is the fact that the bark of a coconut is considered waste which can be used as a raw material. In contrast to charcoal from Africa, for which many trees need to be cut down.
Social and environmental goals
Returning to the Netherlands Jeroen decides to pick this up. It turns out that coconuts are hardly used outside of Indonesia. Time to make a change! Jeroen wants to accomplish a social goal besides the environmental one. Jeroen works with local entrepreneurs to allow them to make an income. The coconut charcoals are locally burned and packaged. The year 2014 was used to research laws and rulings, finding suppliers and finding his first clients. In 2015 Jeroen decides to make a gamble and ship his first sea container to the Netherlands. Potential clients are researched and this way his clientele grew from 5 to 65 in the Netherlands. Much is sold in retail, but also the catering industry is a big user of coconut charcoal.
The first export came to be through a friend who was closely involved with Fair Trade Australia. He got interested in the product so much that he became a trade agent for BAST barbecue in Melbourne. At this time tens of resale points have been established there. This success tastes like more and so Jeroen also wants to start export to Belgium, Germany and Scandinavia. He is looking for distributors at the moment.
World to gain
Current sales account for 25.000 kilos of coconut charcoal per year. For comparison: 12 million kilos of charcoal is being sold in the Netherlands yearly. So also in our small country there is a lot to be gained! The ambition is to become the biggest distributor of coconut coal, starting in Europe and followed by the rest of the world.
Export country: Australia