STRENGTHEN Publication Series

Trade and value chains in employment-rich activities (TRAVERA): Study of selected non- traditional coconut products in the Philippines

Coconut remains as the Philippines’ leading agricultural export product. Three of the top ten agricultural exports are coconut-based export products, namely, coconut oil (both crude and refined), copra cake oil and desiccated coconut. Further, it is estimated that about 1 to 3 million Filipinos are either directly or indirectly employed in the coconut industry. Given the wide extent and scope of the Philippine coconut industry, this study focuses on analyzing and mapping out the export value chains of three non-traditional coconut export products: virgin coconut oil, coco sugar and coco coir. Although these coconut export products are not yet as significant as the more established and leading coconut export products of the Philippines, they have high growth potential. Moreover, the government’s anti-poverty reduction programmes in the coconut sector are centered on these products. This study looks at the threats and opportunities that these three non-traditional coconut export products present for the Philippine coconut industry and its workers.