The company entered the APAC market 15 years ago with an office in Singapore. It also ran a plant in the Philippines from 2009 through 2012 under a lease agreement.
The company announced last year it was opening a new facility in Jose Panganiban, Philippines and has plans to open up operations in neighbouring ASEAN countries.
“We expect to offer our refined coconut oil into many different countries within ASEAN and have plans to open up operations in Thailand and Vietnam. These countries are not only growing their production, but the people in these regions are increasing their consumption of products,” said Rob Kronenthal, VP of marketing, Magnakron.
Kronenthal told CosmeticsDesign-Asia sustainability is no longer a trend, but a ‘mandate’ for personal care companies today.
“We believe that responsible production, carbon footprint reduction, and healthier products are going to be imperative. Because coconut oil provides a variety of products for us, we will be able to promote these core values to current and newly developed product lines.”
The company believes coconut is the key to the future of personal care because of its sustainability.
“The coconut is a fully sustainable crop. Coconut trees have a life span of approximately 70 years and can have new trees planted once their lifecycle is complete,” he said.
“Additionally, the coconut oil that is extracted has ideal properties for many raw materials utilised in personal care, pharma, and food industries. Coconut is one of the two – the other being palm – main sources of oleochemicals product but it has similar properties to palm with the added nutritional value.”
The firm has set a 7-year development plan to work with major partners in various industries to develop new products that can be manufactured using fully sustainable coconut oil and other coconut products.
For this purpose, it placed an innovation and R&D lab on-site that is responsible for developing new coconut-derived products. It will also allow them to work directly with their customers.
With the new site in the Philippines, hopes to play a key role in developing the region.
The complex has 11 sites for current and future plants and has the potential to create thousands of jobs for local community.
It is also working with the Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA) to provide the farmers with better education and training in the planting and harvesting the coconuts.
“The main thing that Magnakron is doing is changing the way that the coconut farmers operate. The current method of harvesting, collecting and crushing coconuts are inefficient and do not allow the farmers to earn enough money,” he said.
Kronenthal noted that this is important as more and more consumers are beginning to expect complete transparency from companies.
“As consumers become more aware of the origin of their products, transparency will be the standard for all raw material producers.”
Additionally, the firm has set up social programs to improve the lives of the local communities.
“There are feeding programs that have been ongoing since last year for the indigenous people, especially the children. We will be improving the urgent care centres, setting up vocational training, and having our engineers teach classes amongst many other outreach programs,” explained Kronenthal.