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Davao’s Sun Made rice evaluating capacity, demand for ASEAN exports

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Carlo C. Lorenzana
Mindanao Agri Network Corp. Vice-President Carlo C. Lorenzana -- LEAN S. DAVAL, JR.

DAVAO CITY — The Mindanao Agri Network Corp. (MANCOR), distributor of rice brand Sun Made, is preparing to expand via exports to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

Carlo C. Lorenzana, MANCOR vice-president, said the company has filed an application for an export/import license and is working on its supply and demand projections.

“Once we finish that, we are hoping also to explore the ASEAN market… We want to give it a shot so that we will be able to expand outside and it also means a bigger social enterprise,” Mr. Lorenzana said in an interview.

Sun Made is currently distributed in the main cities nationwide through major supermarket chains and specialty stores.

MANCOR, through its MANCOR Assisted Farm (MAF) program, sources the rice from Davao City farmers, currently numbering 50, who are also trained in organic farming.

The MAF program hopes to expand its network of growers alongside product and market development.

“This is a social enterprise as we buy the rice from Davao farmers, and then we hire their daughters, wives, and relatives to pack so that is additional income for the household. Social enterprise is making money while helping to make it sustainable,” Mr. Lorenzana said.

The planned foray in the ASEAN market, he said, is boosted by “very good” sales volume on the domestic market.

The Sun Made brand was launched in 2010 and was initially available only in Davao City supermarkets. — Maya M. Padillo