The coconut supply chain

coconut-husk-tractor curtesy misshelenCoconut oil is a source of lauric fats, used in a variety of food ingredients, such as ice cream. More and more food manufacturers implement a policy of responsible sourcing. Unfortunately, certified sustainable coconut oil (CNO) is not available. labor cocos 1The global coconut industry has not yet been able to launch a sustainability certification scheme. Some small scale initiatives exist for organic CNO, for instance in Sri Lanka, but a global scheme for bulk CNO is still impossible. On an inspection tour in the Philippines, Hidde found out why. Plantations and small holder farmers sell their production to traders, who stock their supplies in large warehouses, without any registration of its origin. The few big traders sit on their stocks and only sell to the mills when the market price is right. The sustainability initiative by BASF, GIZ, RF and Cargill only stands a chance if it can circumnavigate the powerfull position of these traders.