Jollibee Group Corporation helps farmers boost their livelihoods in Ilocos Sur
The largest fast food chain in the Philippines, Jollibee Group Corporation (JGC), is working to support farmers in Ilocos Sur through the Farmers Entrepreneurship Program (FEP), an initiative by its corporate social responsibility arm, Jollibee Group Foundation (JGF). This program aims to empower smallholder farmers to become agro-entrepreneurs, and supplies produce directly to corporate buyers and institutional markets such as Jollibee Food Corporation (JFC).
JGF provides production trainings, capacity-building, agri-technology funds, and assistance with certifications for farmers. The foundation is also focused on promoting food safety and good agricultural practices.
Currently, FEP has 25 farmer groups across the country supplying over 10,000 metric tons of vegetables to JFC, with plans for expansion to other regions. They are now forging further partnerships with farm groups in Ilocos Norte and Central Luzon.
In Galimuyod, Ilocos Sur, the program is being implemented by the Sacred Heart Savings Cooperative (SHSC), which aims to deliver 160 metric tons of white onions from seven clusters, comprising 70 farmers, for the next cropping season.
One of the main challenges faced by farmers in the area is the effect of El Nino, which may lead to a potential decrease in harvest due to the changing climate. Despite this, the program has allowed farmers to maintain a steady supply to JFC and earn stable prices for their produce.
The FEP also aims to raise awareness among young people about the opportunities in the agriculture sector. Many of the farmers involved in the program are members of the youth, who are looking to benefit from the stability of JFC’s fixed market and the opportunity for direct selling with buyers.
Overall, the program has been helping farmers in Ilocos Sur improve their livelihoods and find stability in the ever-changing agricultural market.