By Adrian H. Halili, Reporter
JOLLIBEE Foods Corp. (JFC) is pushing to expand sourcing from smallholder farmers via partnership programs, its social responsibility arm said.
“Right now, we are planning to reach more smallholder farmers,” Jollibee Group Foundation (JGF) Senior Program Officer Jan Paolo Vicente said over the weekend.
“The company’s directive is to increase the amount of produce that we get from them,” Mr. Vicente added.
JGF has signed up 25 farmers’ groups to its Farmer Entrepreneurship Program. The partners have delivered more than 10,000 metric tons of crops to JFC commissaries for processing.
He said that this year, the foundation has partnered with five groups to deliver crops to Jollibee commissaries.
The company seeks out clusters of 10 to 15 farmers to partner with.
One of JGF’s partners in Galimuyod, Ilocos Sur — Sacred Heart Savings Cooperative (SHSC) — aims to deliver 160 metric tons of white onions for the 2024 cropping season.
Business Development Center Head for SHSC Stephanie Labcaen told reporters that the group delivers about seven to 10 tons of onion per week.
Ms. Labcaen added that onions delivered to the Jollibee commissary in Calamba, Laguna are subjected to quality control tests.
The group’s Consultancy and Marketing Specialist Mario Collado said purchasers have adjusted the farmers’ onion quota to about 2,000 kilos from the 2,500 kilos originally, in anticipation of the effects of El Niño.
The government weather service projects the peak of the El Niño at late 2023 and early 2024.
“Cropping season (for onions) is usually from October to March,” Mr. Collado added. “But if farmers want to plant in the off-season, they can sell their product in local markets.”
About 80% of crops harvested go to company commissaries, while the remaining off-sized produce are sold locally.