Demand for coconut oil is on the rise: the product has become a popular alternative to palm oil used in chocolates, pastries and desserts. Due to its monoculture cultivation and displacement of valuable forest ecosystems, palm oil is an enormous sustainability risk. To avoid transposing this risk to coconuts, HALBA will be opting for certified organic, Fairtrade coconut oil and support agroforestry cultivation. Ivory Coast has the clear advantage of shorter transport routes over Asia, making it an ideal source country for HALBA.
With its project in Ivory Coast, HALBA supports in close corporation with its local partner Plantations Modernes de la Côte d’Ivoire (PMCI) and the Swiss Research Institute for organic Agriculture (FiBL) local coconut farmers to obtain Fairtrade and organic certifications. Thanks to the Fairtrade Minimum Price, this allows them to charge more for their coconuts, and they also profit from Fairtrade and organic premiums. HALBA will also establish a transparent supply chain spanning the entire process from the cultivation of the coconuts to their processing into coconut oil. In a pilot phase, the project also encourages the cultivation of coconuts in a dynamic agroforestry system. The project is financially supported by the Coop sustainability fund.