The San Miguel Corporation (SMC) has teamed up with the Department of Agriculture (DA) to turn more Petron gas stations into “Kadiwa ni Ani at Kita” rolling farmers’ stores in Metro Manila.
Such initiative is aimed at provide sustainable business to the agricultural industry by sourcing fresh fruits and vegetables straight from local farms despite the effects of COVID-19 hounding the country.
SMC president and chief operating officer Ramon Ang said that the forged partnership with the DA has benefited quite a volume farmers that are losing critical markets and income following the necessary imposition of enhanced community quarantine.
“We‘ve heard some reports of farmers who had difficulty shipping their produce or worse, were left with no choice but to let their produce rot or spoil, or were forced to sell at below market prices,” Ang said.
“Farmers are the backbone of our food supply chain and are essential to our food security, that is why from the very start, we tried to think of programs to help them even more,” he added.
The new “Kadiwa” stores are located at the following Petron gas stations:
Bel-Air Gil Puyat Cor. Makati Ave;
EDSA – Sierra Madre; Dasmarinas, EDSA;
Katipunan Ave. (La Vista), QC; Shaw Blvd corner Wack Wack;
C5-Diego Silang, Taguig; EDSA corner Main Ave. Cubao;
188 E. Rodriguez Jr. QC; Marcos Highway, Pasig;
Connecticut, San Juan;
Ninoy Aquino Ave. Sucat, Paranaque;
Doña Soledad Ave. Better Living, Paranaque; and
Dr. A Santos Ave., Sucat Rd., Paranaque.
“Although we are glad to see more traditional markets opening up and catering to more people, there is still a need for the Kadiwa stores, especially for those who live nearby looking for a convenient way to buy fresh fruits and vegetables. Anytime they stop by to fill up on fuel, or even if they’re just walking from home, we hope they will buy fresh produce to help our local farmers,” he said.
The Kadiwa stores have boosted the SMC’s efforts to increase food accessibility throughout the quarantine.
Fresh poultry, meat, and ready-to-eat products more easily accessible to consumers through the deployment of reefer vans/rolling stores also at Petron gas stations.
Aside from that, the initiative gave birth to an online ordering platform, www.order.sanmiguelfoods.com, where orders are fulfilled by, and picked up at, nearby Petron Treats outlets.
Apart from the “Kadiwa ni Ani at Kita” rolling store program, SMC has also utilized the DA’s network of farmer cooperatives to get agricultural products like corn and cassava for its various food products.
The long-term agreement with the DA, resulted to purchase of 69 million kilos of corn from local farmers with payments released immediately.
Just recently, the SMC sourced 92,000 kilos of corn from farmer-cooperatives in Central Luzon and Pangasinan and 50,000 kilos of corn from Camarines Sur. The Maymatan Farmers Multi-Purpose Cooperative in Camarines Sur will provide another 100,000 kilos of corn during the period of May 26 until June 15.
But it does not stop there.
SMC also revealed that they will soon be buying excess supply of carabao milk from farmer-cooperatives for donation to poor communities and feeding centers in Bulacan, Navotas and various areas in Metro Manila.
Petron alone already dished out a lot of initiatives since the start of the lockdown due to COVID-19.
For starters, it has provided fuel subsidy to the Free Ride for Health Workers Program of the Department of Transportation (DOTr).
Photos from San Miguel Corporation