SM, Robinsons, Rustans, Jollibee pledge support to local farmers
The top fastfood restaurant and supermarket chains have agreed to buy onion and garlic straight from local farmers as part of efforts to help increase the productivity of their land and improve their livelihoods, Agriculture Secretary Manny Pinol said.
“The country’s onion and garlic farmers, who have long been oppressed by cartels and smugglers, may finally be seeing the start of their liberation as more giant food firms have pledged to buy directly from them,” Pinol said.
Others that have pledged support to the country’s onion and garlic farmers are Shakeys, Shopwise, Savemore and Mindanao-based NCCC Malls.
Pinol said farmers were complaining about the low price for their produce given the continued presence of the powerful cartels of the garlic and onion industry.
“Cartels and smugglers bring in huge volumes of alliums and flood the market with the commodities during peak harvest season of onion and garlic to bring down prices.
They then buy the farmers’ produce at very low prices and then jack up the prices during off-harvest season thus creating a total monopoly of the onion and garlic market,” Pinol said.