Philippines takes step towards sustainable coconut oil


Country makes first Rainforest Alliance copra

Small farmers in the Philippines are celebrating a milestone in their mission to create sustainable coconut oil – a popular ingredient in a number of cosmetic products.

Deutsche Gesellschaft fur Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH, BASF and Cargill have been working together to promote sustainable coconut oil and improve the lives of coconut farmers on the Philippine island of Mindanao since 2011. The project has seen more than 1,000 farmers trained in good agricultural practices, including the correct use of fertilisers. The group also received training on the standards of the Sustainable Agricultural Network and access to a new drying technique for copra – the dried coconut flesh needed to process coconut oil.

Since then, 300 small farmers in the Philippines have begun production of the world's first Rainforest Alliance certified copra. The certification will help them improve social and environmental standards and increase their revenue. Companies, including BASF and Cargill, will pay a premium for higher quality and certified copra.

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Harald Sauthoff, Vice President of Global Procurement Natural Oils and Oleochemicals at BASF, commented: "Together with our partners, we were able to show that it is possible to specifically promote the sustainable production of high quality coconut oil and improve the living conditions of the coconut farmers. This success allows us to look to the future with optimism."

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