The Jollibee Group Foundation (JGF), Jollibee Group’s social development arm, recognized three farmer groups from Ilocos, Tarlac, and Nueva Ecija who have completed the Agro-Enterprise Training and fulfilled their commitment to deliver white onions to Jollibee Group for the first time this year.
Sacred Heart Savings Cooperative from Ilocos Sur; Pagbiagan Multi-Purpose Cooperative from Tarlac; and Ungab Farmers Association from Nueva Ecija received the training on Agro-Enterprise Clustering Approach from October 2022 to January 2023 as part of JGF’s Farmer Entrepreneurship Program (FEP). First launched in 2008, the FEP hones smallholder farmers’ leadership and business skills to collectively supply high-quality vegetables that meet corporate buyers’ standards and ensure sustainable profitability. Onions is the largest volume that farmer groups directly supply the Jollibee Group through this program.
During the Agro-Enterprise Express Training Graduation and Onion Season Kick-Off event held on August 31, JGF honored these farmer groups for their dedication and perseverance.
As the agricultural market became more competitive, and with the visible signs of global warming, the need to capacitate farmers with the latest business knowledge and skill set to weather them has never been more imminent.
“Malaking tulong po sa aming farmers ang mabigyan ng kaalaman sa pagnenegosyo. Natutuhan po naming kung paano i-market ang aming mga pananim. Masasabi ko na naging mas competitive po kami sa merkado pagdating sa agri-business. Dito rin po namin nalaman ang mga makabagong techniques at mga posibleng solusyon patungo po sa realidad ng global warming or climate change,” (Gaining knowledge on business is really a great help to farmers. We learned how to market our produce. I can say that we became more competitive in the agri-business market. We also learned about modern techniques and potential solutions in dealing with the reality of global warming or climate change) said Felipe Roy Cuizon, Cluster Leader of Sacred Heart Savings Cooperative.
Aside from modern farming and marketing techniques, the Agro-Enterprise Training also equips farmers with financing and crop insurance knowledge.
Sacred Heart Savings Cooperative, Pagbiagan Multi-Purpose Cooperative, and Ungab Farmers Association are part of the seven farmer groups that supplied white onions to various Jollibee Group brands in the 2022 to 2023 October to May Onion Season.
JGF president Gisela Tiongson looks forward to nurturing new partnerships and upskilling new farmer groups for the upcoming 2024 Onion Season. JGF will continue to help improve the skills and capabilities of more smallholder farmers and empower them to create positive changes that will benefit their families and communities.
“Hangga’t ang mga magsasaka ay nananatiling nakatuon sa layunin na mas paangatin pa ang kanilang kakayahan at kabuhayan, kami sa JGF ay magpapatuloy din sa adhikain ng FEP at magsusumikap na maghanap ng mga bagong paraan upang suportahan ang kanilang mga pangarap na maging farmer entrepreneurs,” (As long as the farmers remain committed to the goal their aspiration of improving their skills and their livelihoods, we at JGF will also continue FEP’s mission and we will work harder to look for new ways to support their dreams of becoming farmer entrepreneurs) Tiongson added.
This sustainable collaboration between FEP farmers and institutions like JGF signifies growth and a promising future for the country’s agricultural community at a time when it is needed the most.