Coconut is a highly versatile fruit and its derivatives – especially coconut oil – are sought-after ingredients for food, drink and personal care products.
But while sustainable practices are being adopted in parts of the industry, it’s early stages and they are largely fragmented. Until now, there have been no consistent guidelines to shape and ensure sustainability across global coconut supply chains.
For instance, the output of many plantations is under threat because of ageing trees. Unless these are replaced with new, healthy seedlings and modern planting methods are used more widely, it is estimated that tree productivity in Asia – where most coconuts are grown – will decline by more than 80% by 2027.
What’s more, smallholders, who grow around 95% of the total global harvest, often lack market, finance and technical know-how. The charter aims to improve access to this kind of information and support. This, in turn, will allow them to adopt more sustainable agricultural practices and replace ageing – less productive – plantations.