Big names join forces to drive sustainable coconut oil production in South East Asia

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A quartet of key industry players have come together to drive the production of sustainable coconut oil in the Philippines and Indonesia.

BASF, Cargill, Procter & Gamble (P&G) and the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH are collaborating on the project which will create a sustainable, transparent and certified supply chain of coconut oil.

The project is in collaboration with the 'develoPPP.de' programme launched by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).

The develoPPP.de programme aims to provide training for local employees, promote the use of climate-friendly technologies and to improve social standards at production facilities.

It works alongside companies with projects in developing countries to ensure sustainable international business commitments are met.

The collaboration will focus on Southern Mindanao and Southern Leyte in the Philippines and Amurang in North Sulawesi, a province in Indonesia, as these countries are the two largest producers of coconuts and exporters of coconut-based products.

In the Philippines and Indonesia, most farmers are smallholders with less than four hectares of land, meaning there are little or no economies of scale, a lack of financing and training resources, as well as a rigid supply chain.

BASF, Cargill, P&G and GIZ are hoping to work alongside farmers and to train them in hopes they will be able to increase their incomes and self-sufficiency due to having more productive farms.

Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) and management training will be included and will be available for around 3,000 smallholder farmers in the Philippines and 300 in Indonesia.

Further training on Sustainable Agriculture Network (SAN) standards will also be provided to 800 of these farmers.

The project follows on from 'Nucleus of Change', a project which was implemented in General Santos in the Philippines by Cargill, BASF and GIZ, running from 2011 to 2015.

'Nucleus of Change' trained more than 1,000 smallholder farmers, with one of the farmers saying the project enabled him to earn "additional income from premiums" meaning "more food on the plate and ensuring education to our children.”

"These initiatives show that there is high commitment by all partners to further promote the production of certified, sustainable coconut oil. The results that have been achieved in the project 'Nucleus of Change' in General Santos in the Philippines until today now lay the foundation for this extended cooperation with Procter & Gamble as a new partner," said Harald Sauthoff, vice president of Global Procurement Natural Oils and Oleochemicals at BASF.

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