Story: Colombian snacks company confirms monthly purchase of ten metric tons of Tumaco coconuts (en)
The Colombian snacks company Yupi has signed a commercial agreement with the Tumaco-based coconut producers association ‘Cooperativa Multiactiva Agropecuaria del Pacífico’ (Coagropacífico) for the monthly purchase of ten tons of coconuts from more than 250 small producers.
The achievement was possible thanks to the support of ‘Colombia PUEDE: Peace and unity through productive development and commercialization,’ a project financed by the European Union through the European Trust Fund for Colombia and implemented by the International Trade Centre (ITC).
‘We had been looking for a way to reach new markets for quite some time, but with a serious company which would be a permanent and stable customer,’ Victor Quiñones, a coconut producer and manager of Coagropacífico, said. ‘Thanks to Colombia PUEDE’s support, we are now suppliers of Yupi and are already preparing the first shipment.’
The Tumaco coconut is characterized by its thick and firm flesh, high yields, and multiple nutritious and medicinal properties. The Tumaco coconut is also well adapted for various uses, ranging from the consumption of the fresh or dehydrated product to the use in oils, creams, as a natural sweetener and as raw material for handicrafts.
With more than forty years of experience and some 140 product references, Yupi viewed Coagropacífico as a potential partner with experience, quality products and corporate social responsibility.
The association has been working with coconut farmers from the Chagüí, Mejicano, Rosario, Gualajo and Los Tablones rivers for over 30 years. Currently, they produce roughly forty tons of coconuts per month, in an approximate area of 510 hectares. The produce is distributed to a variety of different markets, now including Yupi.
‘The organization and the farmers will benefit greatly from this new collaboration. In previous years, we have had problems with marketing, and now by means of the collaboration with the large company Yupi, our product will be bought throughout the whole year and in the quantities that we are able to harvest,’ said Mr. Quiñones.
The monthly sales of ten tons of coconuts will be shipped from Tumaco to Yupi’s production plant in Medellín, Colombia. From there, the coconuts are further processed into Copelia products, including the famous cocadas (coconut sweets) and panelitas dulces (small sweets made of unrefined whole cane sugar). From now on, Yupi’s customers will enjoy these products with the flavour and quality of the Tumaco coconut.
Colombia PUEDE continues to support the 2,000 small producers of cocoa, coconuts and Tahiti lime in four municipalities of the Department of Nariño, in southern Colombia: El Rosario, Leiva, Policarpa and Tumaco, all of which form part of the Areas Most Affected by the Armed Conflict (ZOMAC in Spanish) and the Territorial Development Plans (PDET in Spanish).
The project aims to improve the quality of life of the farmers in these regions by enhancing their productivity and unlocking commercialization opportunities. The ultimate goal is to support rural development and, consequently, the consolidation of peace.