Kings of Coco: An Interview With Royal Gold
At Left Coast Wholesale, we have spent years building relationships with manufacturers who believe in providing the highest-quality cultivation products and making a positive impact on the growing industry. One of our longest standing partners is Royal Gold, a company based in Humboldt County, California that created the first nationally distributed coconut fiber-based soil.
Coco fiber is becoming widely recognized as a more sustainable alternative to traditional growing mediums and an appealing solution for large-scale agricultural operations. Royal Gold uses the highest-quality input ingredients and prioritizes extensive research, development, and testing in a community that demands unparalleled results and service.
As part of our ongoing series of industry interviews, we wanted to highlight our friends at Royal Gold, the makers of our very first distributed product. To that end, we spoke with Michael Beck, Royal Gold’s Director of Sales and Marketing, to learn more about their efforts to develop a sustainable, coco-fiber-based growing media, as well as what they might be planning for the future.
Left Coast Wholesale: How would you describe Royal Gold to someone who may be hearing about it for the first time?
Michael Beck: As I often do for first-timers, I would describe Royal Gold as a premium quality Coco Fiber-based growing medium manufacturer with an emphasis on producing high quality, consistent, performance-focused soils and soilless mediums.
What was the inspiration and process behind the development of a coco fiber-based growing medium back in 2007?
The original inspiration behind Royal Gold’s creation was a desire to elevate the quality and consistency of coco-based mediums and create traditional soils and planting mediums with a coco fiber base. The concept of creating a more sustainable, versatile, and higher performance line of products made for the way people want to cultivate continues to motivate the creation of functional and innovative garden products.
What has been the response to your products from growers and retail partners over the years?
Over the years, the response to our products has varied wildly! As with any growing company with a focus on innovation, we have had successes and failures. The most important aspect of interpreting the response of customers, positive or negative, is to internalize this feedback to inform forward progress and improvements.
We stand behind the work we do, and we respect and encourage feedback from customers large and small. That eagerness to interact and to be accountable for issues with the product, whether due to our processes or not, has elicited the most flattering response we could hope for: Brand Loyalty.
What are some of the benefits of growing in coco fiber, and why should growers consider it over peat-based soils?
There are many reasons to consider utilizing coco fiber in your cultivation program and many qualities that we feel are superior to peat-based products. First of all, sustainability is an important factor. At Royal Gold, we do our best to utilize products considered to be the waste of other industries or processes. Before the explosion of coco-based growing mediums, the pith fiber our products are based on was seen as just that: the underappreciated waste of large industrial food, fiber, and textile industries.
What makes Royal Gold stand out from other manufacturers of coco mediums?
Royal Gold stands out from other manufacturers of coco mediums largely because we were the first singularly focused coco-based soil company to achieve widespread success and national distribution. Also, our complete control and in-house buffering allow our attention to detail and QC practices to outshine most competitors. We are the only ones that do what we do the way we do it, and are proud to stand apart from the crowd.
How should growers choose between Royal Gold’s various product offerings?
Growers will be best served by identifying their cultivation goals and choosing the methods that fit their circumstances, such as climate, intended growth environment, and the means to control irrigation and nutrient management. This will provide the road map to the most ideal growing method for those circumstances.
There are so many ways to cultivate, and Royal Gold has a mix that will perform well in almost any scenario. We recommend assessing those needs and choosing a medium that fits your ability to manage your crop and space with the tools at your disposal. We are always happy to discuss these things with clients and offer our advice in that decision-making process based on the success and failures of the many gardens we have worked with throughout the last decade.
What makes coco-based growing mediums more sustainable for the environment?
The sustainability of coco mediums stems from the renewability of the primary resource, the fact that it is waste from the other industries that utilize it, and from the comparison to the alternatives it replaces. While we do offer peat moss in our Kings Mix, we do our best to minimize the consumption of that product. As coco’s primary alternative, it is far less renewable due to the fact that it takes hundreds of years to accumulate in harvestable quantities, and it is harvested through the draining of sensitive wetland areas and widespread destruction of the environment in which it forms.
I feel it is important to note that- There have been significant improvements in the management and remediation of peat lands in the past decade and there are companies working towards improving the impact to past harvest sites and lessening the negative impact on current and future resources.
Anything new from Royal Gold planned in 2021 that we can look forward to?
Royal Gold is excited for all 2021 will bring! We are looking forward to introducing Royal Gold’s Crown Jewels line of fertilizers, amendments, and supplements in the coming year. Crown Jewels is the result of years of R&D, and the first releases will be certified organic, CDFA, and OMRI listed, dry fertilizers in Grow and Bloom formulations. They are traditional dry fertilizers designed for ease of use and efficiency, utilizing micronized ingredients and crafted with sustainable living soil concepts and principles in mind.We thank Michael Beck and Royal Gold for taking the time to tell us more about their high-quality products and their efforts to develop a sustainable, coco-fiber based growing media. Learn more about their products here or call a Left Coast Wholesale sales representative at (800)681-1757 to bring Royal Gold products to your store.