The Sustainable Certified Coconut Oil project (SCNO) is a public-private-partnership initiative which aims at increasing the quantity of sustainably produced and certified coconut oil and at increasing smallholder coconut farmers’ incomes in the Philippines and in Indonesia. At the same time SCNO is focusing on establishing a certified chain of custody for sustainable certified coconut oil.
In the Philippines about 3.4 million farmers and their families depend directly on coconut production. They are mostly smallholders or tenants, working on a weak resource base with limited access to know-how and means of financing. With typically less than 4 hectares of land, these farmers are on the margin of the Philippine society. The coconut growing regions belong to the least developed areas and host the largest number of rural poor.
Some of the reasons for this socio-economic situation are:
- Low yields due to poor agricultural practices (limited fertilization and replanting of tree stocks, etc.)
- Unorganized farms and prevalence of a smallholder structures that impede economies of scale
- High cost of logistics due to small production lots and high transport costs
- Complex supply chain structure with various middlemen
SCNO wants to address these challenges. SCNO will train smallholder farmers to comply with internationally recognized sustainability standards, support the certification of their farms, which will enable them to receive a premium price for their produce. Furthermore the project will train farmers on farm-business skills and on enhanced farm management practices through the application of Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) and enhanced intercropping techniques. This will allow farmers to achieve higher farm productivity levels, diversification of income sources and higher incomes. In the Philippines, SCNO activities will be carried out in the Islands of Mindanao and Southern Leyte, while focusing on Amurang, North Sulawesi in Indonesia.
The project will focus on 5 intervention areas:
- Component 1: Strengthening Smallholder Farmer Organizations
- Component 2: Good Agricultural Practices, Diversification and Replanting
- Component 3: Introduction of a Sustainability Standard and Business Case Verification
- Component 4: Setting up a Chain of Custody for the Coconut Oil Supply Chain
- Component 5: Dissemination of Results, Monitoring and Evaluation
SCNO builds on the experiences from the “Nucleus of Change” project, carried out in General Santos, Mindanao from September 2011 to February 2015. This partnershipwas implemented jointly by GIZ and private sector partners (BASF, Cargill. The NoC-project trained smallholder coconut farmers on certification and produced the worlds’ first Rainforest Alliance certified copra (dried coconut meat) in accordance with the Sustainable Agricultural Network (SAN) standard. 300 smallholder farmers have been certified by the project. Farmers reached an income increase of about 15%.
SCNO aims at reaching out to more than 3000 farmers in the Philippines and Indonesia. To achieve its goals, SCNO is working together with a large number public and private stakeholders such as Cargill, BASF, Procter&Gamble, the Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA), the Agricultural Training Institute (ATI) and local NGOs and communities and farmers groups.