The Philippine Board of Investment has given the nod to Ahya Coco Organic Food Manufacturing Corporation’s Php391 million coconut processing plant in Barangay Gumalang, Baguio district, Davao City. The project falls under the production and manufacture of export products category of the current Investment Priorities Plan (IPP) where non-traditional products are to be exported with at least 50 percent of its output, if Filipino-owned or at least 70 percent, if foreign-owned.

Formal operations of the Filipino-owned company have already started in December 2016 with 396 employees. The facility is producing Canned Coconut Milk (7,286 metric tons per year (MTPY), Canned Coco Water (6,970 MTPY), Virgin Coconut Milk (485 MTPY) and Coconut Flour (1,061 MTPY).

Ahya sources its coconut requirements from the farmers in Davao del Norte, Compostela Valley Province and Davao del Sur. The production process for coconut water involves the de-husking of coconuts (nuts), filtration and collection, pasteurization and canning. Coconut milk comprises shelling, paring, extraction, pasteurization and canning. Virgin coconut milk and flour involve drying, extraction and packing. The firm will export 100 percent of its products to the United States, China and Europe.

“With the growing demand for coconut products abroad, the country, as one the world’s largest coconut producers, hopes to address such demand,” Trade Undersecretary and BOI Managing Head Ceferino Rodolfo said.

Exports of coconut products amounted to US$1.410 billion in 2016, a .4 percent increase from US$1.404 billion in 2015, according to the Philippine Statistics Authority. According to the Philippine Coconut Authority, the country expects revenue to increase from 10 to 20 percent over the next two years due to the growing popularity of various coconut products. PCA added there is huge export demand for coconut sugar, coconut syrup, coco fiber and health products made from coconut oil such as lotion and mouth freshener.

Ahya prides itself in having nature, people, and technology work together harmoniously together in the pursuit of giving healthier choices for consumers all over the world. The firm assures its customers of the best efficiency in the processing and packaging of high quality products with freshness as its main component. The company is concentrating in the production of high quality coconut products. Each component of the coconut, from husk and fiber to the natural extracts has an extremely valuable route to market, which contributes to increasing the value of the crop. The abundance of essential nutrients of the coconut has earned the titles, “Jewel of the Tropics’, ‘King of Trees’ and ‘The Tree of Life’.