In 1990, Debra and Dennis Hill moved to Kar Kar Island just off the PNG mainland. Dennis managed the coffee, cocoa and copra plantation whilst Debra was busy with their two new daughters. During their time at Kar Kar they experimented with handmade coconut oil for home use which developed into a small local operation.
Dennis, an Agricultural Scientist, was fascinated by the concept of small-scale oil production and it intrigued him as to whether it could be commercially viable and maybe hold the key to making the coconut crop profitable once more for village farmers around the coastal areas of Papua New Guinea.
Four years later in 1994, we took the plunge, investing our savings to establish Tropic Frond Oils Limited with the vision to develop opportunities for the processing of coconuts into finished products. A small shed was leased in the beautiful harbour-side town of Rabaul. But just 9 months later, the twin volcanic eruptions of Mt Tavuvur and Vulcan occurred, all but wiping out iconic Rabaul. Eventually escaping the ensuing chaos by boat we returned a couple of weeks later and secured title to our current premises at Keravat.
Now with 1,150 square metres under factory floor, modern soap and coconut oil production lines and a well equipped lab, Tropic Frond Oils is now a major employer in the Keravat township and the primary source of income for many local villagers, who wild harvest their organic coconuts from their own land.
Since 2008, we have exported our virgin coconut oil and soaps to Australia and New Zealand under our Niugini Organics brand.