ProducePeace+ buys fruits and vegetables directly from farmers at justice-based prices. They sell them to solidarity markets mostly belonging to upper-middle class families. They use a big chunk of their net profit to provide nutritious food relief for the urban poor. ProducePeace+ is building a justice-based relationship between socio-economic divide through social enterprise. This opens a way towards conscientization, transformation, and healing of both the people and the land.
ProducePeace+ is basically a peacebuilding social enterprise in the urban areas through relationship-building. Bennette Grace Tenecio Mañulit leads our Peace and Reconciliation (PAR) team in Metro Manila. In her latest report, she shared with us her excitement for her new found brother and business colleague, Manong Henry. Manong means older brother. Henry Dela Vega Ramos is a farmer from Nueva Ecija, a province in Luzon Island, 130 kilometers north of Manila. He was introduced to Bennette by Dr. Doy Diamse Nacpil, a veterinarian and a PermaCulture farmer. Doy Nacpil is one of the graduates of Basic Peace and Reconciliation (PAR) Seminar Series. He also completed an Advanced PAR Facilitator’s Training in our school of leadership.
Doy has been concerned for the welfare of farmers belonging to his network who have been asking for help to sell their produce. The Enchanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) imposed by the government due to CoViD19 made it more difficult for farmers to move their products to Metro Manila.
Bennette and her partner, Maimai Lim, began doing business with Henry. Here is Bennette’s relational-building story with Henry:
“He calls me his Ading (younger sister). And that’s how our journey started. Aside from vegetables, he supplied the sweet native mangoes. He said, ‘Ading, kayo ang swerte namin!’ (You are our lucky charm!)
We found out that the Department of Agriculture (DA) is going to fund them and help their small farmers’ group. They’ve been waiting for long to be recognized and helped by the DA.
For the first batch of our order, we sold almost 5 tonnes of sweet mangoes! And yesterday he shared good news that their markets are expanding! Glad to be a connector or bridge the farmers to consumers in this challenging times.”
ProducePeace+ is blessed to have our sister Maimai Lim—a seasoned entrepreneur with a compassionate heart for our people and for our land. She is a successful business woman. She was introduced to PBCI by our Ina, Joji “Lakambini” Pantoja. They were classmates at the Master of Entrepreneurship program at the Ateneo Graduate School of Business.
A few years ago, Maimai invited a PBCI team to conduct a Basic Peace and Reconciliation (PAR) Seminar among her business staff and farm workers. That was the beginning of her involvement with PBCI.
It was Maimai who articulated the intention of ProducePeace+ on what to do with part of the proceeds of their enterprise: “We don’t just bridge farmers and consumers. We also donate the proceeds to communities who can hardly get relief assistance from the government. For every vegetable and fruit that you buy from us, you are able to help our partner farmers, riders, volunteers, frontliners and communities. Thank you for supporting our cause.”
Maimai is mainly responsible for marketing, using online advertisement, door-to-door deliveries, and market days with strict public health protocol.
ProducePeace+ was an initial response to food security concern among urban poor. As a response to the worldwide CoViD19 crisis, the Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) was implemented in mainland Luzon since March 2020.
This has resulted to restricted mobility for most people.
In the provinces, farmers have a hard time selling their produce due to limited transportation.
In the city, residents have a hard time lining up in markets to get their fresh supply of fruits and vegetables.
In order to bridge this gap, ProducePeace+ started with a small initiative to connect farmers from the provinces and help them sell their fresh produce to Metro Manila, by delivering the products straight to the doors of the consumers.
Since then, farmers in the provinces were encouraged to connect and sell their produce in spite of the limitations. People in the metro are also encouraged to buy fresh produce, knowing that their products come straight from the farmers.
Partner agencies, foundations, and individuals have also initiated distributing fruits and vegetables as relief packs for most vulnerable families.
ProducePeace+ is a demonstration of a regenerating love to help heal our people and our land. During and beyond the present public health crisis, this budding social enterprise will continue to buy fruits and vegetables directly from farmers at justice-based prices. They will continue to sell them to solidarity markets mostly belonging to upper-middle class families. They will continue to use a big chunk of their net profit to provide nutritious food relief for the urban poor.
ProducePeace+ will continue building a justice-based relationship between socio-economic divide through social enterprise. We hope to see this initiative open a way towards conscientization and social transformation.
All these efforts are energized by love for God and love for people. The operating ethical value is justice as they pursue peace and healing in our land.