Ilocos garlic farmers eye Jollibee, Splash as buyers

MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED/CORRECTED on April 28) - Homegrown food giant Jollibee Foods Corp. and diversifying business group Splash Corp. are being eyed by local garlic farmers based in Ilocos Sur as target buyers. 

In a statement on Thursday, April 25, the Sinait Garlic Center of the North Producers Cooperative (SGC-NPC) in Ilocos Sur, a farmers cooperative in the garlic-growing region north of Luzon, said they expect to be part of the supply chain of Jollibee and Splash Foods Corp. starting June.

"Jollibee is conducting a leadership and entrepreneurial skills session for us. It just opened an opportunity for us to sell them 8 tons of garlic a month,” said Reginald I. Yadao, SGC-NPC project coordinator. (Editors' note: We earlier reported that Jollibee will be buying 8 metric tons of peeled garlic a month, while Splash Foods will be buying 4 MT of peeled garlic and 1.5 MT of powdered garlic from the the SGC-NPC garlic farmers. This was based on the statement released by the Bureau of Agricultural Research (BAR).)  


However, being part of the supply chain of the two food companes is still being studied, according to Nueva Segovia Consortium of Cooperatives, the lead institution for a farmer entrepreneurship program that includes the the farmer cooperative SGC-NPC. 

"As to the volume of deliveries of garlic to the Jollibee Foods Corp, the said institutional market and the farmers coop has no agreement nor negotiations made. Regarding the Splash Foods Corp, the negotiation is still on going, its still on the submission of samples to Splash Foods Corp. There were still no final negotiation," the consortium of cooperatives told Rappler in a statement on April 28. 

"Part of this [farmer entrepreneurship] program is for the farmers to look into possible buyers/markets of their produce like the Jollibee Foods Corp. for white onions and the Splash Foods Corp. for garlic," said Divina C. Quemi, chief executive officer of NSCC. 

Jollibee operates the largest food service network in the Philippines. Part of its portfolio are other famous food establishments including Chowking, Greenwich, Red Ribbon and Mang Inasal.

Splash Corp, which started as a personal care manufacturer, has expanded into the foods business. It has a stake in Barrio Fiesta Manufacturing Corp. and Moondish Foods Corp, the manufacturer of canned ready-to-eat Filipino products, including laing, Bicol express, ginataang ampalaya and ginataang puso ng sagging.

This ongoing program complements the support the garlic farmers receive from the Bureau of Agricultural Research (BAR), which provides a P3 million garlic technology commercialization program aimed at reviving garlic production in Ilocos. 

BAR's program provides training and technology assistance to garlic growers to enable them to create value-added garlic products such as flakes, chips and powder. -