Many farmers and their families find themselves struggling to get back on their feet and make enough to get by amid the pandemic. To help, SM Supermalls formally launched Farmers’ Produce, a first-of-its-kind joint project with the Department of Agriculture (DA) and Resto PH, an association of restaurant owners, with a first leg, a weekend market at SM Aura, Taguig.
During the launch of Farmers Produce which was held July 3-5, 2o2o at the open air SM Aura Skypark, guests had a great time shopping for fresh and organic produce and other local products at low prices. The event also offered a farm-to-table experience to all guests with the help of Resto PH restaurants which served special menu items using the various produce from the local farmers.
Due to public clamor and to continue to help the farmers, Farm Produce will have its second run from July 10 to 12, at SM Aura Skypark Lawn, from 10am to 8pm.
According to DA Secretary William Dar, because of the pandemic, the livelihood of farmers have been affected. They have their produce, but they are not earning much profit due to lack of buyers. “During the past months in quarantine, we have come up with solutions that will directly connect farmers to the consumers,” he said. “This will help farmers sell their produce to the consuming public, and give shoppers the chance to buy fresh, nutritious items at a lower cost.”
Fresh fruits are also available at the Farmers’ Produce market at SM Aura Premier. Some of these include bananas, papaya, dragonfruit.
SM shoppers can benefit from the partnership which will be implemented in many SM malls nationwide. “Through this project, SM malls across the country will be selling fresh and organic produce to help our farmers. This is only the beginning and we look forward to implementing more initiatives that will support local farmers and small businesses, to help boost the country’s economy during this time,” said SM Supermalls president Steven Tan.
Farmers’ Produce is part of the government’s Kadiwa ni Ani at Kita Program, the flagship market development program of the DA, and aims to support local farmers and restaurants that have been affected by the COVID-19 crisis. Through this project, they will be able to sell their produce directly to restaurant owners and those who want to be of help to MSMEs.
Also available at the Farmers’ Produce Market are celery, pechay baguio, zucchini, raddish, eggplant, and red cabbage.
“When restaurants close, farmers suffer because we are such a big buying block for their produce. It will take a long time for restaurants to recover. On top of that, farmers also deal with other factors like growing seasons and the uncertainty of the situation. We hope this project will do a lot of good for our farmers by bringing their produce to our table,” added Eric Teng, president of Resto PH and Mango Tree Bistro.
Together with the top government officials and SM executives, public personalities and celebrities including Margie Moran, Tessa Prieto-Valdes, Ariella Arida, and Hideo Muraoka, among others, also attended the launch.