Mr. Justin Garrido, a social entrepreneur and co-founder of Social Project PH was instrumental in providing the opportunity to Philippines to export organic black rice to the US. He is also the cooperative’s distribution partner in the United States. “The additional 10 MT organic rice shipment is the product of the Dubai Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW) Reintegration Program,” said Mr. Romano Laurilla, general manager of Don Bosco MPC. Under this program, OFWs adopt organic rice farmers and provide financing to organic rice cultivators in M’lang, North Cotabato.
National Organic program of the US Department of Agriculture has approved Don Bosco’s MPC’s organic black, red and brown rice that are cultivated in the towns of M’lang, Tulunan, Midsayap and Kidapawan City in North Cotabato. Don Bosco’s operations currently cover 500 hectares and there are plans to expand to Sultan Kudarat. Don Bosco holds a certificate from the Organic Certifying Center of the Philippines (OCCP) as well as is the first cooperative to be awarded a Certification of Environmental Standards (Ceres). “Through this program, we offer our OFWs a potential opportunity to invest here in the Philippines while they are earning abroad,” disclosed regional director of Department of Labor and Employment Region 9, Mr. Ofelia Domingo.