Altertrade partners with a total of 3,171 farmers nationwide of which 2,778 are balangon growers of 12 balangon growers’ organizations and 377 are sugarcane producers of 10 sugarcane producers’ organizations (as of July 2017).
Form farm workers to farm owners. The 377 sugarcane producers are marginalized agrarian reform beneficiaries in Negros who have struggled to acquire the land they now till. Partnering with Altertrade enabled former sugarcane workers to organize into (now) 10 Producer’s Organizations (POs) and collectively manage their diversified farms and organic sugarcane production. They have a total farm area of 401.39 hectares. 267.99 hectares of which planted with sugarcane, 21.57 hectares certified organic, 184.52 hectares fair trade certified and 61.90 hectares in-conversion.
Organic and Fair Trade certified production areas entitle the POs to receive Fair Trade premium of US$0.08 for every kilo of MascobadoTM sugar sold to Fair Trade markets.
Harvested sugarcanes are milled and processed into MascobadoTM sugar by Alter Trade Manufacturing Corporation (ATMC). ATMC acquired Halal Certification since October 2015 until present. Halal Development Institute of the Philippines does the yearly evaluation for Halal certification.
The 2,778 individual Balangon growers are smallholder farmers are mostly growing balangon in their backyards. Negros balangon growers are organized into 12 People’s Organizations.
When started in 1989, the initial source of Balangon was in the foothill mountain villages around Kanlaon Volcano in Negros Occidental. The bananas came from Barangay Guintodan, La Carlota from clusters of 17 villages, later collectively became known as La Granja. Today, Balangon is spread nationwide with 8 Balangon production locations sites: Negros, Panay, Northern Luzon, Bohol, Northern Mindanao, Tupi, Lake Sebu and Makilala; and 10 Balangon packing centers.
Altertrade partners with 5 Non-Government Organizations nationwide: Partners for Rural Appliftment and Sustainable Farming Inc. (PARTNER) in Panay; People’s Fair Trade Assistance Center (PFTAC) in Bohol; TUBAGA Producers' Cooperative (TUBAGA) in Tupi, South Cotabato; Allah Valley Development Foundation Inc. (AVDFI) and Upper Allah Valley Farmers Inc. (UAVFI) in Lake Sebu, South Cotabato; and Don Bosco Foundation for Sustainable Development (DBFSD) in Makilala, Cotabato.
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