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Friday, December 29, 2023

Jollibee Group Foundation Supports Farmers from Ilocos Sur

The Jollibee Group Foundation is not just supporting scholars, it is also empowering farmers and local farming communities such as partnering with Sacred Heart Savings Cooperative in Galimuyod, Ilocos Sur. 

Since 2013, the JGF has enabled SHSC members and groups through scholarships and trainings. The Tagudin Agroentrepreneurs Association Inc, was the first farmer group organized by SHSC through the agro-enterprise clustering approach introduced by JGF. SHSC has been assisting TAA in marketing their products, agri-financing and agri technologies, among others. 

"Dati kasi wala naman kaming kakayahan na magkaroon ng capital dahil nakatutok lang kami sa pagtatanim. Pero dahil sa tulong ng coop at ng JGF ay natulungan kaming makapag-umpisa at magkaroon ng magandang variety ng binhi. Naturuan din kami ng iba pang kaalaman tungkol sa pagsasaka at pagnenegosyo," said TAA General Manager, Michael Lorica. "Bukod pa dito, syempre malaking bagay rin sa amin na meron kaming sure buyer para sa aming mga produkto."

FEP centers on developing smallholder farmers' leadership and technical skills by helping them become direct suppliers of high-quality vegetables to corporate buyers such as the Jollibee Group and ensure their sustainable profitability. 

With a huge pool of farmers under their cooperative, SHSC members have become part of the Jollibee Group's growing roster of produce suppliers. They started supplying green bell peppers, tomatoes, and hot peppers in 2018. Aside from vegetables, SHSC has expanded its products for the restaurant company by supplying white onions in 2022. As of date, they have delivered a total of 170 tons of vegetables to Jollibee Group.

TAA farmers, meanwhile have been supplying white onions to the Jollibee Group since 2015, and has provided almost 600 tons of their products since their first delivery. 

"Dahil iba-iba ang covered ng seminar ng JGF, marami sa mga nakagawiang pamamaraan namin ang nabago. Kasama na rito ang paggamit ng consolidation area to promote food safety at mga training tulad ng AE Clustering Approach, soil testing, at livelihood recovery program. Tinulungan din nila kami na makakuha ng mga sapat na accreditation gaya ng Good Agricultural Practices," said Lorica. "Ngunit para sa akin, ang isa pang malaking pinagpasalamat namin sa JGF ay ang pagbigay nila ng training para sa farming para sa mga kabataan dahil patuloy nang tumatanda ang edad ng magsasaka."

Aside from providing opportunities to improved the economic situation of the farmers, JGF through its Access, Curriculum and Employability (ACE) Scholarship program, partners with technical-vocational training institutions to provide indigent youth with the opportunity to stay in school by developing their agro-entrepreneurship skills.

The ACE Scholarship Program aligns with the UNs' transformative Sustainable Development Goals aimed at bringing peace and prosperity to the world, particularly its Quality Education, Decent Work and Economic Growth, and Reduced Inequalities pillars. 

JGF has long been committed to developing relevant, effective, and sustainable programs. With the support of its partner communities and institutions, JGF continues to leverage its expertise and resources to create valuable interventions that help uplift the lives of many Filipino farmers. 

"We believe that by fostering a sustainable collaboration between the JGF and FEP partners like SHSC, we help strengthen the future of the country's agricultural sector. Together with our partners, we will continue to develop FEP into a more inclusive and expansive program that would help address the urgent needs of various farming communities and expose them to new and innovative farming practices," said JGF President Gisela Tiongson. 

Since 2009, the FEP has capacitated 25 farmer groups of more than 3,000 farmers. To date, these farmers have supplied a combined 10.7 million kilos worth of assorted vegetables to Jollibee Group, which amounts to P477 million in sales. 


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