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Coconut, calamansi touted for market potential in Europe

THE Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) said Monday that it will help producers interested in exporting coconut, calamansi, carrageenan, and moringa to Europe, where they are expected to sell well.

“A market study found that coconut, calamansi, carrageenan, and moringa have big potential in European markets. Other Philippine agricultural products cited were ube, turmeric, butterfly pea flower — from which tea is made — and the elemi tree — a source of resin and medicine. The demand is driven by healthy lifestyle choices and using natural ingredients in manufacturing cosmetics and medicines,” the Trade department said in an e-mail.

Trade Undersecretary Abdulgani M. Macatoman said: “We invite all Philippine producers of the mentioned natural ingredients to take the leap and start exporting.”

“If you have apprehensions, the DTI-Export Marketing Bureau (EMB) will help you become export-ready and connect you with foreign buyers,” he added.

The Swiss Import Promotion Program, in partnership with DTI-EMB and the Embassy of Switzerland in Manila, conducted the market study last year.

Citing the study, the DTI noted that there has been a growing demand for virgin coconut oil (VCO) in Europe.

“The Philippines is the world’s main producer of VCO and the second-largest producer of coconut products after Indonesia,” it noted.

The DTI said annual exports of VCO as of November 2020 amounted to $74 million.

Calamansi is another emerging export product, the DTI said. The country exports only at $60,000 as of November last year.

There is also strong demand for carrageenan in Europe.

“The Philippines is the largest producer of carrageenan, accounting for around 77% of the global supply. Global export of carrageenan amounted to $147 million in January to November 2020,” the department said.

As for moringa, potential markets are Germany, the UK, France, the Netherlands, Italy, and Spain. — Arjay L. Balinbin

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