EAST SEPIK VIRGIN COCONUT OIL TO BE STOCKED AT CPL GROUP STORES
A partnership initiated by the late Sir Michael Somare, Betha Somare, and Sir Mahesh Patel, CPL Group has borne fruit to enable the Mushu Island Virgin Coconut Oil (VCO) to be stocked at SNS AND City Pharmacy stores.
Produced out of ingenuity and a will for a better life, the cold-pressed oils are a testament to the island’s storied pre-independence history that influences the resilient nature of the island’s village communities and families. Mrs Bernadette Koiyama is an example. She operates a community SME among the coconut palm groves of her serene Sup village on the eastern tip of Mushu Island. It is great to see a woman in leadership drive this project. “I am grateful for Sir Michael in believing in the village value chain- may the Grand Chief’s soul rest in peace. It definitely takes my village to be involved to produce the coconut oil and it is all done by hand from climbing the coconut trees to processing and packaging,” said Mrs Koiyama.
Mushu is located 13km across the channel from the East Sepik township of Wewak. The island plays host to relics of the distant past such as those of the second world war between Australians and Japanese forces, and those of the recent past with replicas of carved wooden surfboards modeled after Australian surfers with their fiberglass boards who had visited the island in the 1980’s. The wooden boards are now used as children’s swimming toys.
The Island’s recent brush with history was when the father of the nation, Grand Chief Somare, along with his daughter, Betha Somare had introduced the founder of CPL Group, Sir Mahesh Patel and Lady Patel to the Mushu Island VCO in 2020, during their Sepik River Holidays. Known for its multiple uses from cooking, baking, health & beauty, and its great anti-microbial properties for cuts and burns, Sir Mahesh reached out to Mrs Koiyama’s community SME to sample the cold processed oils amongst friends in Port Moresby- and all reports came out saying that this product was amazing!
“At City Pharmacy, it is this experimentation and exposure to new products such as these that make us the leading health and beauty experts. CPL group has been a forerunner in supporting local SMEs and this is another initiative by the Group to assist a subsistence operation to transit into a semi-commercial business that will be able to assist the local economy.
Our values hold us to deliver on quality to our customers through continuous development, and we thank the late Grand Chief and his family for being there every step of the way for Mushu Island Virgin Coconut Oil,” said Sir Mahesh Patel, Founder of the CPL Group and current chairman of the CPL Foundation.
The SME is a first of its kind from the East Sepik province to partner with a leading retailer.
“My province is a proud agricultural province. And my people work the land to feed their families and partake in the formal economy through cash crops such as copra, cocoa, and the world-class vanilla,” said Mr. Allan Bird- Governor for the East Sepik Province.
The Mushu Island Virgin Coconut Oil will be stocked on the shelves of SNS and City Pharmacy stores starting Thursday 29 July 2021.