DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/09 January) – A big South Korean cosmetic company is negotiating with a local virgin coconut oil producer for a possible joint venture.
Davao Investor Association president Virgilio Sangutan told a press conference yesterday that the company is willing to link up with VCO producers to supply it with four to six tons of VCO monthly.
Sangutan, owner of MI Herbal, declined to reveal the South Korean company for now but said it was inclined to push through with the project that it even proposed to put up a VCO manufacturing plant in Carmen, Davao del Norte this year.
Executives of the South Korean company visited the Davao Region just over the weekend to firm up plans, he said.
He added they will send VCO samples to the company within 15 to 20 days.
He said there is a growing demand for VCO from the country in South Korea as the world’s largest manufacturer of beauty products.
“The cosmetic is one of the largest income-generating industries in South Korea, supplying to Europe and US, and one of the key important ingredients of all these beauty products is virgin coconut oil,” he said.
He said VCO can even compete with olive oil
He said this favors Davao Region being the largest coconut producer in the country with around 300,000 hectares planted to the crop.
But Sangutan expressed concern about the diminishing production of coconut trees as more farmers now want to engage in oil palm production..
“If the coconut industry will be gone, it will affect several other industries like poultry, piggery, and aquaculture that depend on coconut for feeds,” he said while noting that 60 percent of the feeds in the market is made of copra mill.
The food industry will be severely affected, most especially the bakeries that use coconut by-products to produce pastries and cakes, he said.
If the production of coconut further dwindles, Sangutan said VCO producers that use young coconuts will have to compete with coconut cooking oil producers utilizing matured coconuts.
He urged government to intervene to address the looming problem.
He suggested the planting of dwarf coconut varieties as these are more typhoon-resistant and more productive. (Antonio L. Colina IV/MindaNews)