Coconut products — along with mango, banana, coffee, pineapple, and cacao — took on the global stage at the Gulf Food Hotel and Equipment Exhibition and Salon Culinaire (Gulfood) at Dubai World Trade Centre, UAE recently.

Bannered as “FOODPhilippines”, coconut products on the spotlight include coconut milk, premium coconut oil, fresh coconut water, organic shredded coconut, coconut crispies, coco jam, and desiccated coconut from various small and medium enterprises across the country.

The Philippines — considered the second largest coconut producing country and the world’s leading exporter of coconut products — boasts of its globally-competitive coconut oil, virgin coconut oil, and desiccated coconut, among others.

Agriculture Secretary William Dar, in a business briefing, encouraged businessmen and companies in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries to consider investing in the Philippines’ agriculture sector, with emphasis on the billion-dollar export potentials of coconut.

“Through the years, coconut products, led by coconut oil, rank as the country’s top farm dollar-earner. Last year, exports totaled roughly $900 million, which could be doubled in succeeding years, given the much-needed investments,” Dar said.

“Our coconut farmers are among the best in Southeast Asia, leading the world in the export of coconut products.”

“Our coconut farmers are among the best in Southeast Asia, leading the world in the export of coconut products. We wish to put up more globally-competitive processing facilities to power up production and subsequently export more high-quality and innovative products,” the agriculture chief added.

Based on a forecast by the Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR), the market trend for coconut products would increase by 9.65 percent (%), from 2020 to 2025, followed by the desiccated coconut powder market at 7.45%, driven by the European market’s food processing and confectionery industries.

“The country needs more investments in coconut water processing systems and technologies.”

The agriculture head said the country needs more investments in coconut water processing systems and technologies, as well as in the establishment of more village-level coconut buying centers and copra processing facilities.

“We have vast resources of untapped natural resources, and year after year our commitment of public funds for environmental programs continue to grow. We have a skilled labor force, abundant sources of raw materials for manufacturing and processing, and a government that supports investors with favorable national policies and incentives,” he stressed.

Dar thanked Gulfood 2022 organizers for highlighting coconut, and other farm products, and providing the platform to showcase other products from the Philippines.

He also commended the Department of Trade and Industry, led by Secretary Ramon Lopez, for leading the Philippine delegation.

FOODPhilippines is spearheaded by DTI’s Center for International Trade Expositions and Missions (CITEM), Export Marketing Bureau (EMB), and Philippine Trade and Investment Center (PTIC) in Dubai and Jeddah, in partnership with the Rural Agro-enterprise Partnership for Inclusive Development (RAPID) Growth Project, and the DA-Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA).

Thirty-nine Philippine food export companies showcased their respective products to thousands of Gulfood 2022 guests, visitors, and prospective investors.



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