3 global firms assist coconut oil supply chain in Philippines
Three big names in the global household consumer goods industry have teamed up to boost the coconut oil market through initiatives focused on southern Mindanao and southern Leyte as well as North Sulawesi in Indonesia.
Cargill, Procter & Gamble and BASF would be working with the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) through a program dubbed develoPPP.de.
Cargill, which owns and operates copra-buying stations and crushing plants, is providing training to smallholder farmers and setting up the structures for certification.
The crude and refined oil produced by Cargill is then further processed by BASF and P&G for ingredients in the home and personal care and in the nutrition and health markets.
BMZ, the commissioning arm of the German development agency (GIZ), contributes to the project through its expertise in capacity building as well as in implementing good agricultural practices (GAP) and sustainability standards.
The German agency also steers the project and manages its implementation on the ground, working closely with government agencies including the Philippine Coconut Authority and the Agricultural Training Institute.
Through the collaboration, the partners intend to create a sustainable, transparent and certified supply chain of coconut oil in the Philippines and Indonesia—the two largest producers of coconuts and both exporters of coconut-based products.
“By working with the smallholder farmers and teaching them better practices, the main goal of the development partnership is to increase their incomes and economic self-sufficiency by improving the productivity of their farms,” they said in a joint statement.
“This will be achieved through trainings on GAP, intercropping and enhanced farm management skills, and the strengthening of farmer groups,” they added.
About 3,000 smallholder farmers in the Philippines and 300 in Indonesia are seen to benefit from the program.
In a related development, the United Coconut Association of the Philippines (Ucap) called out the American Heart Association (AHA) for reviving a “smear campaign” against coconut oil.
“The 2017 AHA Presidential Advisory selectively cited old research that is supportive of their intent to correlate saturated fats with cardiovascular disease,” Ucap said in a statement.
“It failed to distinguish medium-chain saturated fats and long-chain saturated fats,” the group said. “Coconut oil is mostly medium-chain saturated fats, which is the healthy type of fat.”
Ucap said “(t)he smear campaign against coconut oil is a rehash of the anti-tropical oils campaign waged by the American Soybean Association in the 1980s.”
“There is a motive behind the AHA Presidential Advisory and it is being used to misinform the general public,” Ucap said.