Beating the pandemic the online way

The effect of COVID-19 pandemic to the economic activity of the country is staggering. Twenty-six percent of businesses closed down based on the survey of the Department of Trade and Industry last July, resulting in more than seven million unemployed workers according to the Philippine Statistics Authority.

Despite these alarming figures, one social enterprise is thriving. PEF partner Global Organic and Wellness Corporation (GlowCorp) registered a 25% rise in sales since the lockdown was imposed on 16 March 2020. According to its manager Bernie Berondo, “Mga PHP 9 million worth of orders ang nadeliver namin. It could have been PHP 12 million kung nakarating ang ibang mga products sa amin galing isa iba’t ibang probinsya. Nakatulong din na maraming tao ang naging health conscious. There are campaigns everywhere to boost our immune system. May mga products kami like calamansi concentrate na mataas ang vitamin C and organic rice na mas nutritious compared with other products,” he said.

According to Bernie, the shipment of products from Easter Visayas such as calamansi concentrate and banana chips from Mindanao suffered delays due to travel restrictions in Luzon. But they have stocks of Filipino staples like rice and sugar in their Laguna warehouse.

In a report by Encovia Intelligence, a consulting & training firm that focuses on global ethical product industries, retailers that sell organic food are having 25% to 40% increase in sales across the globe.

Going digital

Recognizing the power of online marketing, Glowcorp began promoting their products on Facebook and selling them through Lazada. Products such as muscovado sugar, coconut sugar and organic rice are currently their most popular products. 

“Since the first week of September, we have been selling everyday. We are projecting higher profits in the coming months” Bernie said.

He added that their company has started selling in another online shopping platform, Shopee.

Glowcorp products can be found in groceries and malls such as Puregold, Rustans, Shopwise, all Metro Gaisano stores across Luzon and Visayas, Pioneer Centre, Royal Duty Free, Bora Budget Marts (Boracay), KCC Malls in Koronadal, Gensan and Zamboanga, Fooda Supermarts in Cebu, Prince Warehouse (Visayas), Lopues Bacolod, Jumbo Jenra in Pampanga.

From 400 farming households supplying organic produce in 2010, GlowCorp now has a network of 6,500 farming households and small-scale producers.

GlowCorp was started by  farmer cooperatives, associations and non government organizations. is a marketing arm fully owned and managed by farmers.

Photo: Glowcorp Facebook page