Farmers and small businesses are some of the most vulnerable sectors during the pandemic as prolonged lockdowns and limited mobility transportation have affected their business operations, hence, the negative impact on their sales and daily profit.
With this, SM Supermalls, in partnership with the Department of Agriculture and Resto PH, an organization of homegrown restaurants and food brands, launched a 3-day market caravan titled “Farmers’ Produce, which aims to support local farmers and MSMEs.
The caravan stopped at SM City North EDSA (North Bridgeway Level 2) from Friday, July 31 to Sunday, August 2, from 10AM to 8PM. The caravan market features farm-fresh produce and other food products like black rice, pickled vegetables, bottled juice, local wine, and food favorites from different restaurant pop-ups.
“During these times when many people are experiencing hardships with their livelihood, we wanted to do our part by providing safe venues for farmers to earn a living in a more sustainable manner, while offering our shoppers a healthy farm-to-table experience,” SM Supermalls president Steven Tan.
Among the farms that had a stall at one of the legs of the Farmers’ Produce event was the Munting Paraiso ni Yoly Farm from Bulacan which sold organically grown products such as rice, wild honey, and fruits.
“At first, it was a bit difficult because we are new here. But eventually, Farmers’ Produce has provided us with the right exposure and we get to bring our products to different places. None of our products are wasted because we get to sell them to a lot of shoppers,” said Ma. Joyce C. Villota, sales officer of Munting Paraiso ni Yoly Farm.
Likewise, the Garantisadong Organikong Samahan sa Quezon (Go Sa Quezon) and its farmers are slowly getting back on their feet with Farmers’ Produce after the pandemic greatly affected their production and sales.
“First off, many restaurants had to cut back on expenses and bought less produce from us. We had to look for new places where we can sell them. Also, tracking and transporting is another problem,” shared Juan Sebastian Hizon, Go Sa Quezon secretary. “But with Farmers’ Produce, our products get dispatched faster as we get to sell the goods directly to the market,” he added.
In addition, Mamre Farms and Dairy, which sells freshly produced milk and yoghurt drinks, added that this project has also helped their business grow. “We have connected with a lot of resellers. That is the biggest help this project has given us – it is helping us move forward,” said Mamre Farms and Dairy tenant Ria Joyce Ramiscan.
Through Farmers’ Produce, SM continues to serve as an enabling environment for local workers, entrepreneurs, and small businesses by helping them recover and prosper even amid an unprecedented crisis.
Farmers’ Produce will continue to bring and sell fresh produce at affordable prices in these SM malls on the following dates: SM Mall of Asia (August 7 to 9 and August 14 to 16), SM Megamall from (August 21 to 23 and August 28 to 30), and SM Southmall from (September 4 to 6 and September 11 to 13). To know more, visit www.smsupermalls.com.