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Going strictly organic turned a dying coconut field into a fruitful, eco-friendly business

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Peerachote Charanwong, general manager of Merit Food Products, the producer of Thailand's first and only organic coconut milk brand Merit O, said it all began with one unlit match. 

"My family had had a coconut field for around four decades, and we had a coconut oil factory. Everything was going well until the economic crisis in 1996, which caused our cash flow to be disrupted. We couldn't afford the chemical fertilisers and pesticides like before, so our coconut trees were suffering from serious pest attacks," said Peerachote.

He described the trees as suffering from "chemical withdrawal" like a drug addict would. They were not growing properly _ even the grass was doing better.

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