Century Pacific Food Inc. (CNPF), one of the leading branded food companies in the Philippines, through its nonprofit affiliate RSPo Foundation, Inc. signed an agreement with the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) to participate in its livelihood program, Project Hope Adopt-a-Farm.
Project Hope aims to address the lack of sustainable sources of livelihood among workers in the marine industry during the closed fishing season in Zamboanga, a manufacturing epicenter of marine products in Mindanao.
Through the Adopt-a-Farm Program, DOLE, together with participating companies, builds agricultural farming villages, creating employment opportunities for seasonally displaced workers and their families. Manufacturing companies can “adopt” a farm and transform it into productive agricultural land. In turn, harvested produce will be bought and used as raw materials by these companies to manufacture their own products, creating a sustainable ecosystem.
CNPF is the first company to enroll in DOLE’s program, adopting three greenhouse farms that make use of indigenous materials for construction. Through these greenhouses, CNPF is able to generate jobs during the off-fishing season for displaced workers and for their families who can continue farming for the rest of the year.
“We see this as a win-win-win situation. These workers have a sustainable source of income through the farm, their families sell their produce to a ready buyer – us, and we have convenient and reliable access to much needed raw materials for our sardines business,” said Kamille Corpuz, the Program Manager of RSPo Foundation, Inc.
“We stand firm in our commitment to alleviate poverty,” she added, “and we believe that it is only when we teach these men and women how to fish – in this case to farm – can we make this happen sustainably.”