On October 3-6 2022, the Sugar Industry Foundation, Inc. (SIFI) and its Responsible Sourcing from Smallholders (RSS) special project partners – Nestlé, ASR (American Sugar Refining Group), and Proforest – conducted site visits and attended series of activities to get first-hand appreciation of the impact of its special project in Negros Occidental.
For four (4) days, the special project partners were toured and immersed to SIFI’s program sites in different parts of the province. They were introduced to representatives, ARBOs, and workers who help in implementing effective farm practices and anti-child labor campaigns. The impact of climate change and daily challenges to sugarcane farmers were shared to the project partners as well.
A round-table discussion was also held at the Green Building, CHMSU-Talisay to assess Project PEACE and the PPE (personal protective equipment) research. The international partners were pleased with the collaboration and have expressed commitment in giving more support to strengthen the partnership and expanding the current programs for the benefit of the sugar industry and the sugar farm workers and farmers of Negros Occidental.
During the debriefing, challenges and opportunities were identified in the implementation of the use of PPEs. The program partners then presented their organizational structure and program sustainability targets by 2035. Moreover, a reevaluation of the program challenges was discussed to further improve practices and activities.
With the international special project partners’ visit, SIFI-RSS expects to grow potentially to new ARBOs and scale up in the level of organization in the next crop year.