Staple Food Crop Products
Due to its extremely fertile farming land and its warm climate, the Philippines is predominantly an agricultural country. Similar to most Asian countries, rice, known as palay in the Philippines, is the main staple food of its people. The region where Plentex operates has ample production of coconuts, rice and cassava in particular but the farm areas are not homogeneous, being composed of a multitude of tiny farms. Plentex has identified a significant opening to value-add to these abundant local crops by producing virgin coconut oil, coconut flour, coconut water and other valuable by-products as well as milled rice, rice bran and tapioca.
Food prices in Asia are projected to remain high and volatile. (Source: ADB - The Quiet Revolution in Staple Food Value Chains, Dec 2012.) For example, coconut oil prices have soared to around US$1500 per tonne in the first quarter of 2016. This price rise is largely attributed to the growing popularity of speciality products like coconut water whose global consumption jumped 13% from 2014 to 2015. In the Philippines, coconut water exports more than doubled to 66 million litres and virgin coconut oil was up 61% to more than 34,000 tonnes in 2015 (Source: United Coconut Association of The Philippines) with an export market price currently averaging around US$4.00 per litre