Balancing the Brew of the Chocolate Business

Once considered a luxurious delight just for wealthy people, chocolate has become a household treat as middle class families with disposable incomes have grown in numbers. Fortunately, too, more socially-conscious entrepreneurs are veering towards more sustainable production and fair trade partnerships, thus opening opportunities for small cacao farmers and processors. Looking to fill the fair […]

Big dreams for Cacao Farmers in Davao

Chocolate is one of the world’s most exciting foods. From Central America—where the earliest settlers called the drink “bitter water” and revered cacao as a gift from the gods—chocolate as a drink and food additive has gained popularity as well as exotic appeal over the centuries and across the globe. Today, one of the world’s […]

Business to Heart

Her heart was pained after a visit to a home for abandoned and street children.  The then teenaged high school girl thought deeply, as she now relates, “I was so shaken when I got home. I prayed and asked why God allowed those kids to suffer. I asked Him what I did to deserve all […]

Working Hard for the Honey

BATAKS PERFORM ‘lambai rituals’ [that honor the] spirits of honeybees with prayers, dances, songs, and instrumental music. Tagbanuas believe that a hive is a gift to the finder by the guardians of the forest, hence offer prayers and thanks to these guardians. Nagkakaisang mga Tribu ng Palawan (United Tribes of Palawan) or Natripal is an […]

Islamic Financing: A Reality

Over a couple of years ago, Bai Wahida M. Abtahi, the soft-spoken lady who was also the president of Katiyakap, was wondering if a Shariah compliant micro-financing is possible as a project that the organization can take up.  “Sa umpisa, wala kaming alam kung papaano gagawin, pero may mga taong tumulong sa amin” (We have […]

Linking Farmers to Local and Global Markets

The demand for healthy food continues to rise globally. Products like organic rice, muscovado (raw sugar from a simple evaporation of sugarcane juice) and coconut sap sugar fill the fitness bill of health-conscious consumers. In the Philippines, 30 farmers’ associations were being supported by the Philippine Development Assistance Program (PDAP), an NGO that pioneered in […]

The Negros Block Farming Project: Building ‘bigger’ farms in Negros Occidental

Travellers across the province of Negros Occidental see hectares upon hectares of land planted to sugarcane. After all, the province is the Philippines’ top sugar producer, contributing more than half of the country’s total sugarcane production. The industry is dominated by large-scale and commercial producers. But small producers are trying out new schemes to survive […]

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