Asian farmers aren’t reaping the benefits of the coconut boom
What’s your favorite food made with coconuts? Is it vegan ice cream, yogurt, or cheese? Impossible Burgers—those meatless patties made with the creamy, fatty oil? Or just plain old coconut water? For the last decade, demand for the tropical fruit has exploded in the United States and Europe, but an Ozy investigation reveals that the 8 million small-scale farmers growing it in the Philippines and Indonesia aren’t reaping those benefits. Those farmers can earn less than $2 a day, down from $4 in 2015. Who’s to blame? It’s big companies, including the American agriculture giant Cargill.