Founded in 1946, Peter Paul Philippine Corporation is a producer of coconut products based in Sorsogon, Philippines. They source coconuts from 1,500 farmers working 10,000 hectares of land throughout the southern tip of Luzon, the Philippines main island. Since 2016 they have been collaborating with FairTSA
on yearly community development and infrastructure projects.
Coconut Farming in the Philippines
Over a third of the of Philippines working population is in some way involved in the coconut industry which produces on average 15.344 billion nuts per year. Despite this nearly ubiquitous involvement, it is still difficult for many farmers to earn a steady living growing coconut, with around 60% living below or around the poverty line.* This problem stems from expensive transportation costs, unpredictable market price fluctuations, and many layers of middlemen which create situations where exploitation can occur. FairTSA Fair Trade certification aims to alleviate these problems with a standard, above market level price, paid to farmers for their coconuts. FairTSAʼs certification also includes mandatory infrastructure projects aimed at providing farmers more economic power and independence, as well as a wider safety net against potentially debilitating natural disasters and price drops.
* Numbers according to 2015 report conducted by Philippine Partnership for the Development of Human
Resources in Rural Areas (PhilDHRRA)
2016-17 Seedling Project
One project of high priority for the Sorsogon farmers has been the replanting of coconut seedlings to better ensure future generations will have the means of producing organic, high quality coconuts. For this project, seed nuts were selected from the best mother trees in certiﬁed organic coconut farms, with approximately
11,000 seedlings on close to 70 hectares being replanted. To secure the success of the replanting program, the seedlings are checked every third month until their viability is secured after about a year. The farmers who successfully care for their plants are rewarded with small incentives.
ABOVE coconut replanting in process
School Tuition Project
A second project consists of granting deserving students of the farmer group financial subsidies to attend high school. It was based on a needs assessment among the farmers and expresses their strong desire for a thorough education for their children. A competitive exam was given to determine the qualifiers. So far, 62 students have been selected and supported. A third project has been to establish a “calamity
fund” to support members that are hit by natural calamities. The part of Luzon where Sorgoson is
located is frequently hit by typhoons and setting aside 5% of the annual Fair Trade premium for such scenarios will allow for emergency relief. There are currently about 280,000 Philippine Pesos in the fund ̶ approximately USD 5,500.
Below: Students participating in entrance exam
Planning for 2018
For 2018, a project to improve the farmersʼ ﬁnancial know-how and to enable them to secure their long-term ﬁnancial health is in the planning phase. It will consist of training facilitators and at least two workshops for about 100 farmers each, including the leasing of a game designed to achieve ﬁnancial competence in a playful way. Additional projects are in the planning phase and will be documented in July 2018.