Indonesia coconut sugar supply chain enterprise

Indonesia coconut sugar supply chain enterprise

Round 2 Indonesia Agriculture Completed



Partner contribution

$ 1,000,320

DFAT contribution

$ 500,000

Icon Total Funds

Total Value

$ 1,500,320

Start: November 2017 - End: April 2019



Elevate implements innovative approaches to poverty alleviation by creating social businesses that address market gaps in distribution or supply chains. They aim to catalyse market opportunities that provide both financial and social returns, supporting new local supply chains and last mile distribution (i.e. the movement of people and goods from a transportation hub to a final destination), while addressing the market requirements of major multinational or regional corporations.

About this partnership

This partnership aims to improve market access through alleviating supply chain issues in order to supply finished coconut and palm sugar to large scale buyers in new, high value domestic and international markets, and to improve the earning potential of coconut and palm sugar climbers and cooks while creating a sustainable coconut sugar supply in Indonesia.

Demand for quality coconut sugar is strong and growing. However, growth in the Indonesian coconut sugar supply has slowed due to a range of challenges in the supply chain, such as lack of productive trees.

This partnership establishes sustainable social enterprises that help smallholder farmers to improve working conditions, livelihoods and job opportunities. Elevate has developed a social business to strengthen and grow sustainable supply, improving the livelihoods of up to 2,000 producers. Elevate provides training on best practice in producing coconut sugar, provides smallholder financing, improves standards and production in processing kitchens, and develops dwarf tree plantations to improve productivity and reduce the risk to climbers.

Elevate is managing most aspects of this initiative. DFAT provides critical co-investment and advocacy support, and assistance with accessing local and regional agricultural expertise.

This partnership creates shared value by redefining productivity in the value chain. Elevate will sell its coconut sugar supply primarily to Unilever as a key ingredient in their popular sweet soy sauce product. Despite sourcing from multiple locations, Unilever is currently unable to source an adequate supply of coconut sugar in order to meet market demand for its product.

Investment in this supply chain benefits the incomes of nearly 2,000 coconut climbers and communal kitchen cooks (potentially doubling their incomes). There will be health benefits to 200 (mostly female) sugar cooks through kitchen upgrades, and safety benefits to climbers through the introduction of dwarf palms.


This initiative promotes women’s economic empowerment through providing new employment opportunities for women, increased income from family enterprises, and improved health and reduced care burden through the introduction of improved cookstoves, replacing firewood.

New communal kitchens in high coconut and palm sap production areas will create up to 20 part and full time jobs per kitchen for women. These will be supervised by women and regular training will be provided through this initiative. Household sugar production will improve with better sanitary practices and improved cookstoves, replacing traditional wood stoves that create smoke and require more time for cooking and wood collection. Incomes from family-based coconut enterprises will increase and be more secure as a result of the partnership. Payments will continue to be made through women to facilitate their management of family finances.


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