Twice a year, our team at The Coconut Cooperative travels across Southeast Asia to visit our partner farmers. Along with performing the regular quality audits, we like to observe best new practices, and see what is working and not working so well.
This year, we visited the coconut capital of Vietnam and Sri Lanka, known as Ben Tre and Katana, respectively. (Unfortunately it was rainy season in Indonesia and we couldn't make it out there).
As we have discussed previously, Philippines, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, and Vietnam are all major producers of coconut products. However, each country is at a different level of development and each country specializes on a couple of different products.
Historically, the Filipino market is the most mature. Companies such as Franklin Baker, Primex, Peter Paul are major players who produce a full line of coconut products, including, but not limited to coconut sugar, desiccated coconut, coconut flour, and coconut milk. Despite having all of the most current certificates and manufacturing capabilities, it is our humble opinion that the quality of products does leave something to be desired.
On the other hand, countries such as Indonesia, Sri Lanka and Vietnam specialize in individual product categories. For example, Indonesia is famous for its coconut sugar, while Sri Lanka specializes in oil, desiccated, flour, milk, and cream, but does very little coconut sugar product.
In Vietnam, there is a similar diamond-in-the-rough feeling with its coconut products. Though Vietnamese farmers are just starting convert their conventional land to organic, the quality of its coconut is second to none. The quality, color, and aroma of its coconut milk powder, and coconut oil in particular are exceptional.
For more information on our trip, or our coconut milk powder, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.