I am really passionate about finding good quality Paleo products and over the last few months I have been spending some time interviewing some of my favourite brands to bring you an insight into their products. Today is an interview with the owner and founder of Buko organic coconut water, Aled Morris.
Buko is my top choice when it comes to coconut water, not only does it have a lovely subtle taste but I love the ethos of the company who strongly believe in giving back to the community and supporting the environment.
Originally from Aberystwyth, Aled previously worked as a city trader in London but in 2004 made the life changing decision to move to the Philippines with his family. In this interview we discuss how it all started, why coconut water is so good for you and what we can expect to see from Buko over the next year.
How did you get started?
I originally started an exporting business in 2012 from the Philippines, focusing mainly on bananas and pineapples. My father owned a fruit and vegetable shop when I was growing up, and I used to help him during summer holidays, so exporting fruit seemed like an obvious step. Through my involvement in the agricultural industry I got to know the coconut farms and producers very well. Initially I was planning on exporting coconut products as a bulk commodity, supplying other brand owners. However, having found a great supply of organic coconut water I thought why not do it myself and in late 2013 I began working on the Buko project.
What is coconut water?
Coconut water is harvested from young green coconuts and is a clear, sometimes slightly cloudy, liquid with a subtle flavour. It has long been a staple in the Tropics as a fresh and accessible source of hydration. The health benefits of this naturally sourced drink have caught the eye of Western markets and there has been an explosion of growth over the past few years.
It has a fresh, clean taste with a slight hint of sweetness. It is especially refreshing served cold, or even better on ice. It can be an acquired taste but for those who are less accustomed it is great for blending into juices and smoothies. This way you can still get the full health benefits but suited to your taste.
Why should we be drinking coconut water?
We would say that the question really needs to be why are you not drinking coconut water! There are several health benefits to including it in your diet and it contains essential minerals and vitamins. It is also excellent for hydration and is particularly effective as a rehydration drink during and post-exercise. It has become an especially popular amongst professional athletes and you will find it in cafes and vending machines at gyms all over the UK.
It is recommended by personal trainers and nutritionists alike as being the preferred choice over manufactured and sugar ladened sport drinks. Coconut water provides a natural way for your body to recover with no hidden ingredients that will counteract your hard work in the gym. Taking all of this taken into account it can be considered a nutritional beverage, which can give consumers a much needed boost.
What are the health benefits of drinking coconut water?
There are many health benefits associated with drinking coconut water that you may not be aware of:
- It is full of essential vitamins and minerals.
- It is a great source of potassium, with higher content than a banana.
- Naturally isotonic, containing electrolytes and great for rehydration.
- Contains Anti-Oxidants which prevent cell damage
- Contains Cytokinins which regulate growth, development and ageing.
- It is a low calorie drink with zero fat and zero cholesterol.
- Aids digestion and cleanses the skin.
What makes Buko coconut water different?
The most important thing for me was to create a coconut water brand that was different to what was already on the market. Unlike many of the established brands, Buko is 100% pure, not from concentrate with nothing added. Our coconut water comes from organic, GMO free farms in the Philippines where we work with farmers to ensure they always get a fair price for their crop and only pick the best coconuts to go in our drinks.
“Buko” actually means a young green coconut in Filipino and we believe that this type of coconut, when grown without pesticides or fertilizers, produces the tastiest and freshest coconut water that there is. With its purer taste, organic credentials and Cuipo link (see below) I think we have created something that is really special that stands out in the market.
Tell us about your company ethos
Buko aim to deliver the highest quality organic coconut water in the most conscientious and sustainable way possible. This means that as well as working with the farmers to ensure a fair price we also want to give back to the people and forests that provide us with the coconut water.
I was introduced to Cuipo CEO, Tom Murray, through a mutual friend and we soon realised that we shared the same vision and ideals. Cuipo is a rainforest preservation brand that does some fantastic work and I am proud to say that Buko is part of the Cuipo affiliate program. This means that for every carton of Buko purchased we donate a portion of our income to Cuipo who use this to protect 1 square metre of rainforest. Through their hard work, determination and passion Cuipo have saved over 100,000,000 square metres of rainforest to date. Every carton bought will help to keep this figure rising.
You can find out more about how Buko help to preserve the rainforest by clicking here.
Where can I buy Buko?
Buko will soon be available in all of the main health food retail chains in the UK. Currently you can purchase it online via our website – www.organicbuko.com.
What does 2015 hold for Buko?
The growth in the coconut product industry has been vast, particularly in the Western world where the health benefits of coconut products has created a surge in demand. This product is poised to take advantage of the rapid growth in both the coconut water and organic foods market. We aim to grow further and introduce additional organic coconut products under the Buko brand. Look out for further news on this during 2015! I hope this time next year we’ll not only have a successful brand, but also have saved large areas of rainforest.
You can read more about Buko Organic and the work they do at www.organicbuko.com.
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