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Pilipino Muna! Agri Secretary inks a deal: Big food companies commit to buy direct from farmers

Filipinos are fortunate to have a hard-working Agri Secretary, one who truly cares for Filipino farmers.

In a historic development, Agriculture Secretary Manny Piñol has sealed a deal with the country's big food companies to make them have a direct access to the goods that our local farmers produce.
dave luchansky

In a Facebook post, Sec. Piñol detailed how this development came about and the reason why the Nueva Ecija farmers shed tears.

Here's his full post:
By Manny Piñol

Leaders of Nueva Ecija onion farmers shed tears last night after officials of the country's biggest supermarkets and food companies committed to directly buy from them and no longer rely on imported onions.

The event marked the end of the suffering of the onion farmers who have been looking for buyers for their produce which is already in danger of rotting in cold storage facilities which they rent.

It could also be the start of a new era in Philippine agriculture where the big institutional buyers are linked up with the farmers by the Dept. of Agriculture to ensure that they are not exploited by traders and middlemen.

In last night's event, SM Supermarket represented by Joey Mendoza, Rustan's and Shopwise Group led CEO Irwin Lee and Edgar Fernandez; Century Canning CEO Chris Po with Rex Agarrado; Shakey's President Vic Gregorio and head of procurement Jun Abad; CDO CEO Jerome Ong and his team; Max's Restaurant Group CEO Robert Rota and his team; Jollibee Group of Tony Tan represented by Gisella Tiongson, McDonald's, Metro Gaisano Group; Robinson's Group headed by general manager Jody Gadia and Fresh Dept. head Lynne de Jesus and several other food companies pledged to buy the remaining stocks of the onion farmers from Nueva Ecija.

They also asked the Dept. of Agriculture to link them up with the suppliers of other agricultural products that their supermarkets and processing companies need.

Century Packing's Rex Agarrado, for example, admitted that they are using about 6-metric tons of imported onion in their Tuna canning every year.
He said that if there is available supply, the company would be willing to source the onions locally.

Apparently touched by the gesture of the big companies, the farmer leaders cried as they thanked their prospective business partners.
They also told the big buyers that they were willing to sell their onion at a price which would be 10 percent lower than the price of the imported onions that the supermarkets and food processing companies are buying now.

During the 2-hour-long meeting at the Manila Golf Club, sponsored by former congressman Martin Romualdez, president of the club, the supermarkets and food companies also told the DA officials including Undersecretaries Evelyn Laviña for High Value Crops, Bernadette Romulo-Puyat for Administration and Marketing and Ariel Cayanan for Operations and Assistant Secretary Federico Laciste jr. for Operations, that they wanted to buy other commodities straight from the farmers aside from onions.

Among the items the supermarkets and food companies needed were organically grown rice, bangus, white shrimps, fruits, vegetables and even ube and kaong.

The DA promised the buyers that it would support the farmers in producing the commodities needed by the market through modern technology and financing support.

For the onion farmers of Nueva Ecija, the DA committed a cold storage facility, modern farming technology and bridge financing through the Agricultural Credit and Police Council represented by its head Jocelyn Badiola.

In a little over two hours, the problems which confronted the onion farmers of Nueva Ecija were addressed and the big door for a better future for other farmers was also opened.

Last night, history was made.

God is great!

#Changeishere! #PresRodyCares! #DuterteDelivers!
dave luchansky
dave luchansky
dave luchansky
dave luchansky

Photos courtesy of Manny Pinol Facebook page, taken by John Pagaduan

Pilipino Muna! Agri Secretary inks a deal: Big food companies commit to buy direct from farmers Pilipino Muna! Agri Secretary inks a deal: Big food companies commit to buy direct from farmers Reviewed by Raelyn Luchansky on 7:52:00 AM Rating: 5

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