On December 11 to 13, SIFI launched its first Livelihood Expo at the Ayala Mall District North Point featuring the products proudly baked and handmade by seven of its assisted Agrarian Reform Cooperatives.
The theme of the three-day event was “From Farm to Table Fair” emphasizing that the Christmas goodies being sold were coming from small farming communities where SIFI had provided a series of trainings on food production, marketing, packaging and labeling and basic financial management.
The seven assisted groups that were able to showcase their products were: 1) Hda. Malaga Cuenca Agrarian Reform Cooperative (MACARBEN ARC) from La Castellana; 2) Hda. Estela (ESTELA ARC) from La Carlota; 3) CASA ARC from Talisay; 4) Hda. New Casal-agan (CASAL-AGAN ARC) from Pontevedra; 5) Hda. Paz-II Minuro (MINURO ARC) from Victorias City; 6) Hda. Esperanza Communal ARB Association (HECARBA) from La Carlota City; and 7) Hda. Viscaya (VISCAYA ARC) from Pontevedra.
Various assortments of breads, cookies, brownies, peanut pastries, malunggay and kalabasa breadsticks, revel bars, processed quail eggs were packaged, displayed and sold to shoppers and walk-in customers.
The Insular Health Care (I-Care) also had a booth offering free blood pressure checking and glucose testing.
SIFI also posted information on the foundation’s vision and mission, its livelihood program with details on Peanut, Quail Egg and Bread making Trainings.
Present at the Opening Ceremony of the Expo were the SIFI Board of Trustees and Officers. The Ribbon Cutting was officiated by SIFI Vice-Chair Gerard Seno, Board Secretary Atty. Jesus Barrera, and Treasurer Joseph Conrad Ledesma. President and COO Edith Villanueva introduced and welcomed the participants, giving special recognition to Cristina Poblador, SIFI Livelihood Officer who conducted the trainings and successfully orchestrated the event.
SIFI Chairman Bernard Trebol followed with a brief inspirational message, challenging the agrarian reform communities to continue upgrading and improving their products in order to compete with the prevailing market demands.
The three days were successful gauging from the amount of products sold, allowing the groups to reflect on how they can move forward and sustain their hopes and dreams of a robust and profitable enterprise.