Improved Decision-Making


The Global Coconut Market

The report entitled “Connecting to the World Market through Regional Value Chains: Partnership Opportunities in Coconut Value Chain for the Small  Caribbean Economies” was completed in July 2016. The report was prepared on behalf of the International Trade Center and draws on primary information from field interviews in the Dominican Republic, Jamaica, and Guyana and phone interviews with stakeholders in Belize, Suriname, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and Trinidad and Tobago from July-November 2015. The study found that the global demand in 2014 for major coconut products was approximately US$4 billion dollars, led by the U.S.A (25%), Netherlands (11%), Germany (9%), China (8%) and Malaysia (4%), among the top five importers (UN Comtrade, 2015). The market for packaged coconut water was estimated at US$2.2 bn and projected to grow by 25% over the 2017-23 period.

Income and Resilience

Farm surveys were conducted in the DR, Guyana and Jamaica. It was found that the main sources of income were from the sale of coconuts, ranging from 70 – 90%. From the income received from coconuts, Guyana and Jamaica re-invested about 40% back into the business while the DR was 20%. Savings represented less than 10% of income.

Territorial productive and commercial alliances were established for targeted capacity building training programmes for producers and agro-processors.

Quality Assurance

In preparation for growing the processing business to be “Ready-to-Export, development work required development of an "investment prospectus". This was launched by the Smallholder and Agri-food SME Finance and Investment Network (SAFIN), to which ITC and Jamaican institutions are partners. The process was repeated in Dominican Republic and Guyana. Both the implications of the ‘Investment Prospectus’ report and Cost-Benefit-Analysis conducted were used to help stakeholders decide and better define the finance, support, partnership and business models in the context of their work in coconuts and associated crops.

Conversations on buyer requirements and the importance of forming productive and commercial alliances have continued with important lead firms interested in the coconut business such as Grace Kennedy; Jamaica Producers; Blue Waters; Demerara Distilleries Limited (Pepsi and El Dorado Rum); Precision Group; Citricos Rica CCD; Fundacion Tropicalia; Banelino, Max Havelaar; Sunray and Solo Cocos.

Guyana, ITC’s national consultant Raymond Trotz lead a five-day workshop (August 13-17, 2018) at GSA as part of the training for members of the Alliance for Action. The Value Added and Food Safety workshop training modules covered food quality, personal hygiene, plant sanitation, product development, food safety and hazards. Training included the manufacture of virgin coconut oil, coconut drink, coconut flour and coconut vinegar. About 30 persons participated (20 trainees, 10 GSA staff).

Hope Estate coconut nursery hosted 60 farmers and 8 schools (150 students) on experiential learning visits.

Impact

An evaluation of the impact of the programme was also undertaken at the market level to understand changes that took place. The behaviour of the consumers are highlighted:

Impact Analysis: The Coconut Development of the Caribbean programme had several initiatives improve the conditions under which the various coconut products are produced and presented to consumers. The impact of the coconut development project was enumerated through a survey, the results are as follow:

Analysis of Decision-Making by Consumers of coconut Products in CARIFORUM

Consumers were asked to assign weights as an indicator of the importance for each criterion they assign to each product. The consumers then assigned weights to the importance the criteria against the respective products.

Point Score Analysis (Ilbery 1977, 69[1]) was used to compute the overall ranking of decision-making factors in order of its importance. Despite the relative subjectivity of the method, the main advantage of categorizing the degree of importance of each factor is that the answers can be coded into one of a number of groups, enabling further statistical analysis. The importance of these carefully selected factors can be analysed in conjunction with each other and a ranking of their importance can be obtained.

Numerical values, or point scores, were allocated to the various categories of importance (Table 1) with 5 having the greatest impact and 1 the least impact.

Table 1: Likert Scale ranking used in the study

Label (level of importance)

Value used for analysis

Very important

5

Important

4

Slight to neutral

3

Of little importance

2

Not at all important

1

 

The overall importance of each factor was measured by totalling the point scores for all respondents interviewed for the factor in question. An alternative approach would be to ask the respondents to allocate a score to each factor. Nonetheless, the qualitative factors can still be ranked in order of importance to the decision-making process with the assigned scores.

The point score of each variable is calculated by the sum of the values selected by the number of respondents that choose the respective value. This formula given as Eq (1).

Point score = Ʃ (i*wi)          …………………………………………………………………………..(1)

Where,

i = value from chosen level of impact…………………i = 1, 2, 3, 4 or 5

w = Number of respondents that chose the respective ‘i’

The score in each cell represents the number of respondents multiplied by the respective weights assigned to the criteria for each product (Table 2 and Figures 1-7). 

Table 2: Point Score of each factor’s importance: number of respondents x weight

(1 = not at all important, 2, = of little importance, 3= slight to neutral, 4=important,5 = very important)

Factors

Price

Food Safety

Quality

Health benefits

Influence of others

Other (please specify)

Coconut water in shell

2387

2733

2803

2845

1440

705

Coconut water -bottled

1213

1315

1348

1324

792

344

Coconut oil

949

1010

1048

1058

496

148

Grated coconut

648

748

775

774

391

114

Virgin coconut oil

610

633

696

704

334

144

Coconut milk

1388

1536

1587

1605

771

244

Coconut cream

322

350

354

351

165

52