Jollibee Foundation: Developing Farmers as Entrepreneurs

Prior to 2008, a group of farmers from San Jose City, Nueva Ecija engaged in traditional farming, where they sowed, plowed and reaped. While they were blessed with the vast fields to produce food for sustenance, they did not have access to knowledge and resources to gain sustainable livelihood from it. Today, their farming tale is to be considered a success story. 

Known as the Kalasag Farmers Cooperative, these San Jose farmers were among the first beneficiaries of the Bridging Farmers to the JFC Supply Chain Program initiated in 2008 by Jollibee Foundation (JF) and other partners, which provides farmers the needed resources to obtain a stable source of revenue through a sustainable farming system.

At the stakeholders meeting held in March 2011 and attended by other project partners, including the Catholic Relief Services (CRS), the National Livelihood Development Corporation (NLDC), and Mayor Marivic Belena, representing the local government of San Jose City, the farmers revealed how the program has transformed them to becoming entrepreneurs and suppliers to institutional markets, such as the Jollibee Foods Corporation (JFC).

They acknowledged the support given them in the form of effective farming technologies and methods for agro-enterprise development, access to formal financing, and to sustainable market demand.

As of early March, the farmers have already accomplished 25% of their delivery commitment of fresh onions to Jollibee. Soon, they will deliver peeled onions that would create jobs for other barangay members

But this success story does not have to end with the Kalasag farmers. To create a much bigger impact, the small farmers need more companies to open their supply chains.

According to Ysmael Baysa, Chief Finance Officer of JFC and Treasurer of JF, what the Foundation offered in the Bridging Farmers program model is that it could work and that it could be an example for others. “Work with us, work with the farmers, and this could become a big development in the agricultural sector,” he said.

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