The economic, social, and environmental benefits of the use of coconut and its value-added products have prompted efforts to sustain this sector and its market. Coconut has tremendous versatility and capacity to provide functional food sources and essential nutrients that support food security and public health, sources of pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, play role in carbon sequestration, source of bioenergy that contribute to global endeavors in reducing green gas emissions and preventing deforestation. 

Despite the benefits of coconuts to millions of farmers and the community worldwide, the industry must build innovative strategies during the tough macroeconomic landscapes and the tightening of fiscal and monetary conditions in some countries, disruption to supply and demand and export flows due to long-term impacts of potential COVID-19 pandemic and geopolitical instability. Other challenges to consider include but are not limited to the extreme climate events, natural disasters, major pests and diseases, slow replanting of unproductive coconut palms and insufficient required planting materials, severely elevated production costs, unstable price of coconut products, narrow product line and low farmer’s income. 

Given these challenges, the strategic partnerships become an imperative. ICC must harness the power of strategic partnerships because the multiplying power of collaboration networks have helped ICC in its efforts in implementing program and strategic plan. It is time now to expand and strengthen global collaboration and multilateral coordination, and provide the necessary technical and policy supports. Such collaboration should be sustained with active participations of government institutions, coconut industries and associations, international and local institutions. 

Substantial easing of COVID-19 restrictions would shift the outlook across many industries. Some key trends that could drive the industry to survive include the increased awareness of the positive nutritional, health and eco-friendly properties of coconut and its high value-added products; increased consumer preference for eco-friendly and organic products; quality, organic and fair trade certification especially for big markets like the US and European Union, traceability down to farm and production practices, and the growing concern for the environment and the quality life of our future generation, especially the campaign for a plastic waste free world, stop cutting down trees and carbon neutral. 

To reduce the heavy reliance on the highly globalized supply chains, increasing the domestic consumptions, is one of the key areas that the coconut industry and governments can start and continue to promote in 2023 and beyond. The market could continue to offer incentives to encourage local consumptions and increase local coverage in markets. Human resources play a significant role in producing quality products, and service, in developing positive business culture and improving efficiency of mass production, competitiveness of traditional and non-traditional coconut products that are more acceptable locally and globally. Therefore, some of ICC’s key programs for our member countries include but are not limited to providing capacity building to scientists and relevant stakeholders, facilitating the transfer of advanced technology, providing a platform for sharing the international technical information, publication, viable idea and proven concept to fulfill market opportunity, and expand the local and global reach. This is done through substantial and fruitful collaboration with national and international partners.

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