Balangon started in 1989. The initial source was in the foothill mountain villages around Kanlaon Volcano in Negros Occidental. It was introduced to the Japanese consumers’ cooperatives. A relationship triggered by the visit of Japanese consumers in Negros in 1987. Balangon became the banner product of people-to-people relationship between Negros balangon growers and Japanese consumers. Balangon banana was the first and only banana produced by small-holder farmers that have successfully gained entry in the Japanese market widely dominated by bananas of multi-national corporations.
Balangon growers were among the poorest sector in the country because this is the mission of p2p trading. It is by the sweat of the brow of numerous balangon farmers from different production areas nationwide to send a container load of naturally grown balangon bananas to Japan.
In 2016, Balangon was introduced to Korean consumers’ cooperatives and Balangon importation as regular p2p commodity started in August 2017. Second to Mascobado, Balangon bananas is the second p2p fair trade product of Alter Trade with the Korean network.
The Korean market nearly failed early in 2017 when Balangon volume stability was challenged by adverse weather conditions. With people-to-people spirit, this was conquered.
Today there are 7 Balangon production locations sites (Negros, Bohol, Northern Luzon, Tupi, Lake Sebu, Makilala, Northern Mindanao) and 9 packing centers.
31 Years of Balangon Trading: 1989- 2020
Panay and Northern Mindanao Balangon operations fully-operated by PARTNERS and DOSE (Development Options and Social Entrepreneurship, Inc) respectively. Closure of Panay balangon operation with PARTNERS in March 2020.
Balangon Operation was transferred from Alter Trade Corporation (ATC) to Altertrade Philippines, Inc (ATPI).
Alternative People's Network (APNET), presently People's Fair Trade Cooperative (PTCoop) became a regular market of Balangon banana in Korea.
Start of Balangon Volume Stabilization Program (BVSP), a joint initiative of Altertrade Philippines, Inc (ATPI) and Alter Trade Japan (ATJ) in Tupi and Lake Sebu.
Trial shipments of Balangon bananas to Korea through Alternative People's Network (APNET), presently People's Fair Trade Cooperative (PTCoop).
Far North packing center was established.
Rehabilitation efforts in Panay areas in North Iloilo (Carles, Balasan, San Dionesio) with PARTNERS .
Start of Makilala bananas through Don Bosco Foundation for Sustainable Development, Inc. (DBFSD) in North Cotabato
Strong Bohol earhquake at 7.2 magnitude in October 15. Relief mission and assistance by foreign donors were facilitated by Alter Trade Corporation (ATC) to Bohol Balangon growers.
Super Typhoon Yolanda hit Philippines on November 13. Greatly affected were Eastern and Western Visayas. Relief missions and assistance by foreign donors were faciliatated by Alter Trade Corporation (ATC) in Western Visayas (Sagay and Panay).
Strong Negros earthquake 6.9 magnitude. Alter Trade Corporation (ATC) focused its relief missions in two worse affected villages: Brgy. Humay-humay and Brgy. Planas in Guihulngan, Negros Oriental.
Balangon export of Lake Sebu bananas through Allah ValleyDevelopment Foundation Inc (AVDFI) and Upper Allah Valley Farmers Inc (UAVFI)
TUBAGA (Tupi Balangon-Bulungan Growers Association) managed Tupi Balangon when MOVE was dissolved.
ATC truck was burned by communist armed group in Toboso, Negros Occidental.
Northern Mindanao balangon started
ATJ's project Balangon Balangon production experiment in Tasiman in Lake Sebu, South Cotabato.
Tupi Balangon exported through MOVE (Mindanao Organic Venture Enterprises). MOVE was a collective project of ATJ, ATC, Farm Coop & FEDCO. MOVE was dissolved in 2006.
CORDEV (Center for Organic Farming and Integrated Rural Development) started organizing NL Balangon growers. Became cooperative in 2010 and was renamed as Cooperative for Rural Development. CORDEV stopped operating in 2016.
BRP (Balangon Renewal Program) was launched in Negros, Tupi and Northern Luzon.
ATC trucks were burned by communist arm groups in Silay and Talisay, Negros Occidental. ATC operations closed for 8 weeks.
Rapid Rural Appraisal (RRA) was conducted in the 5 towns supplying Balangon in Northern Luzon.
Northern Luzon Balangon was exported as buffer.
Massive selling of farms when land prices skyrocketted resulting to sudden dwindling of Cavite Balangon volume, due to land conversion of agriculture to industrial zones in CALABARZON.
Northern Luzon was explored in late 1996.
Volume dropped due to series of typhoons and spread of BBTV in Negros Balangon communities
BBTV spread all over La Granja sources in Negros.
Start of Bohol bananas through People's Fair Trade Assiatance Center (PFTAC) started.
Banana Buchy Top virus disease was first reported in La Granja.
NCPD with JCNC launched FYDP (Five Year Development Plan) in La Granja Balangon communities.
Start of Balangon from Iloilo through Panay Fruits Trading Corporation (PFTC). Latest p2p trade partner in Panay was Partners for Rural Upliftment and Sustainable Farming, Inc (PARTNERS).
Balangon recovered in La Granja in Central Negros. Export resumed from 17 Kanlaon foothill villages. Cavite Balangon started as buffer source.
Lakatan sourced in Mindoro was subsitute for Balangon.
Typhoon Ruping, October 1990 devastated Negros Balangon communities.
Start of Balangon Trading. Balangon was introduced to the members of Green Coop Union in Fukuoka, Japan through the initiative of Mr. Masaji Kaneshige. Initial source was in the foothill mountain villages around Kanlaon Volcano in Negros Occidental.