We love spotlighting our members. This week’s CCA Member spotlight features Josh Dewaard, CFO for Klassic Coconut!

Please provide an overview of your company’s role within the coconut industry and the key products or services it offers.

For the past forty years, Klassic Coconut has been a leading supplier and manufacturer of coconut products.  The company began with a focus on reliable supply of desiccated coconut, and customized manufacturing of sweetened and toasted coconut products. To this day, that remains a focus.

Over the years, of course, we have grown our product offering to include all things coconut, from milks & creams to oils & flours to sugars & butters.  If it can be made from coconut, Klassic offers it. But really, the role we play in our industry is not just one of reliability in supply, but reliability in service.  Being a North American manufacturer, Klassic can offer a dynamic and flexible path for our customer’s R&D teams, as they look to customize their coconut ingredient to meet the demands of product development.   Our customers are always looking for variations of moisture and sugar and color in their sweetened and toasted coconut, and we are able give that to them immediately.

What are some current trends or challenges facing the coconut industry, and how is your company adapting to or addressing them?

 There are, of course, always a number of challenges at any given time, but I believe one of the most important challenges over the next couple of years is this:

In the 2000s, coconut consumption grew rapidly due to the increased awareness of the healthy impacts of MCT’s.  This growth was primarily in coconut oils but was felt throughout all categories. This was a period of great opportunity for coconut processors, and it brought with it new items and new supply from different regions and different countries of origin.  Now with its’ health benefits begun to be realized, coconut has returned to more sustainable, regular growth pattern, and this has brought with it new challenges.

The increase in consumption in the 2000s brought with it new opportunities.  The increase in opportunity brought about increased competition.   Increased competition brought about efficiencies that may lower costs, but the increase in competition brought with it those that may only think about lowered costs.

Now as the world moves out of the COVID era and demand returns to sustainable levels, It is the new challenge for Klassic Coconut, and all of us at the CCA, to promote the benefits of choosing suppliers like us.  And to not let those that may make compromises to lower costs, undo twenty-plus years of growth.

So what are we doing to address this?:

Well, first is the promotion of safe, reliable, and sustainable suppliers in our industry.  This promotion is handled at the company level but also through this organization and others like it.  We need to share information and be unified as a community that will not compromise when it comes to these issues.

What specific initiatives or strategies has your company implemented to ensure sustainability and ethical sourcing practices within the coconut supply chain?

Providing evidence of corporate and sociological ethics and sustainability is included in Klassic Coconut’s supplier approval program.  Part of our supply chain portfolio includes companies that have been innovators in water recycling programs and have developed socio-economic programs for local farmers to promote the financial well-being of the industry.  Klassic has worked with their vendor partners to account for and reduce their carbon footprints and we offer a long list of items that are fair trade USA.