Sunday, July 11, 2010

'Bagsakan' opens in Mandaue

'Bagsakan' opens in Mandaue
By Rebelander S. Basilan
Sun.Star Cebu

July 11, 2010

THE desire to promote a healthy lifestyle among Cebuanos and uplift the lives of local farmers has led a young investor to organize an innovative community store in Mandaue City.

Jon Ramos opened last May what he claimed to be the “first community market in the Visayas and Mindanao that provides products at `merkado’ prices and freshness.”

The Kumprahan SuperMerkado at the Bridges Town Square in Barangay Alang-Alang seeks to offer local farmers the opportunity to enjoy higher profit and the public the opportunity to “buy directly from farmers.”

Ramos said the store will be a place where consumers can buy organic fruits and vegetables. 

Going organic
“We are inviting people to adopt a healthy lifestyle and go organic,” he said.

“Kumprahan SuperMerkado is a community market or a ‘bagsakan’ for organically-grown produce in Cebu. Our profit here is only incidental. We want this to spur economic development in the province,” he said.

The store also offers consumers a community membership card, so they can enjoy discounts.

Ramos said he aims to provide a 200-square meter area, or equivalent to 10 stalls, in the store where farmers can directly sell their products to buyers.

He said he is working on a partnership with the Department of Trade and Industry and the Department of Tourism to promote the One Town One Product program.

Ramos and the Philippine Business for Social Progress (PBSP), a non-profit foundation, toured the media yesterday to the farms in Sudlon II and Tabunan, Cebu City.

Nonencio Arcayan, who grows eggplants and flowers in Tabunan, lamented they don’t make enough profit selling in Carbon because of middlemen.

Ramos said the community market seeks to eliminate middlemen, who control the prices for the farmers’ produce.

Reggie Marie Barrientos, PBSP communications officer, said the foundation is committed to uplift the lives of farmers.