Can a can of coconut water help save the world? The husband and wife behind a new business venture hope so.
Nelson couple Max and Nishkama Jones, originally from California, have started a new organic coconut water business from their home.
The drink - Da' Maha, a mixture of Hawaiian and Sanskrit meaning ‘Thee Great' - is organic, fair trade and sold in a steel can which is relatively easy to recycle.
Instead of keeping the profit, they planned to give it away to local and international charities and other causes.
The couple were organic market gardeners in North California, and moved to New Zealand 2 years ago.
Mr Jones said they had loved coconut water when they were in the United States, but were surprised there was none available when they arrived in Nelson.
While he eventually tracked down a few existing brands, he realised there was a window of opportunity for an organic, fair trade product made in recyclable packaging.
Searching online, he found a supplier in the Philippines which offered the perfect product - pure coconut water - packaged in steel cans, one of the most recycled packaging materials in the world.
"The only better product we could offer is a coconut."
Working with a boutique Auckland design team, the couple came up with the name and branding for the drink.
The label depicts a Manaia - a Maori mythological creature which is half bird and half fish.
Mrs Jones said the couple had put a lot of themselves into the product. "People want that, they want something that was created for life."
Part of their business' ethos was around sharing the profits with local and international charities and groups.
Mr Jones said they had no aspirations to be "crazily wealthy", and wanted to use the money to help the needy.
"We've found something to sell people that's high-quality and good for them and in turn to create this abundance that filters back to the community."
Eventually the company would set up a foundation to organise such donations, with a transparent process so people could see where their money went.
- © Fairfax NZ News