Cocolink 2016: Nonfood coco products get positive reviews from foreign buyers
Business Mirror
August 23, 2016

NONFOOD products made of coir materials from Bicol received good feedback from both the United States and Dubai buyers attending the  Cocolink 2016, the first International Coconut Conference (ICC) held on July 27 and 28 in Davao City.

As a result of the three-day business matching conducted by the Department of Trade and Industry’s Export Marketing Bureau (EMB), markets for products like coco peat, coco pots, pet scratchers and coir litter boxes are starting to open.

Dubai-based buyer Fakih N.P., CEO of Fakih Group of Cos., is particularly interested in garden products, such as coco peat and coco pots, from Cocotechnologies Corp.

The Philippine company owns a medium-sized, coco-coir processing plant in Bicol, which has been in operation since 1999.  It is a pioneering company in bio-engineering coconet products designed for soil-erosion control and river rehabilitation.

Cocotechnologies Corp. was also the first in making coir-pet products manually as a new addition to their long list of product lines. Fakih said he intends to include garden, agriculture and pet products, like coir scratchers and rote ball, in their on-line selling outlet in Dubai.

Nick Johnson, president and CEO of Asia Etc., a marketing company specializing in the US mainstream market, showed interest in promoting the coir litter box, locally branded as “Coco Crumble,” to pet shops in the US. He, however, stressed the importance of having the products registered under US certification agencies for pets, to avoid import issues in the future. He encouraged the local company to participate in the Global Pet Expo in 2017 in Florida.

For garden products, like coco pots and peat, including mats and logs, the company must start processing their application to the US National Gardening Association, which sets the criteria for importing garden products.

The company also received inquiries from Korea and Australia, according to Xerda Arboleda, the company’s marketing manager.□

Ma. Melvin Joves, Product Officer, Coconut Sector, Food and Agri-Marine Division, Export Marketing Bureau, Department of Trade and Industry

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