SMDC partners with farmers to deliver fresh produce
It has been said that companies will be judged by their efforts while at the height of this deadly COVID-19 pandemic.
During this difficult time when governments globally are imposing their respective lockdowns and companies are already feeling the pinch of having slower to no business at all, employees, customers and the general public are likely to lean to those who show genuine concern, who have gone beyond their commitments to be of service, and who have rolled out their own measures to help alleviate the unfortunate plight of those in need.
In the Philippines, large corporations have been lending a hand to the government in its fight against this new coronavirus despite the fact that their own businesses have taken a hit from the enhanced community quarantine. The lockdown in Luzon has ground to a halt all non-essential activities and has temporarily shuttered malls, schools, along with other establishments and institutions that do not deliver or provide essential goods and services.
The SM Group, for one, has made significant donations in cash and in kind (medical supplies, test kits and relief packs) while its subsidiaries and affiliates implemented their own measures to help tide their employees, partners, tenants and residents over during the ECQ. One example is SM Development Corp. (SMDC), which recently rolled out The Good Guys Market—an empowering initiative meant to not only help ensure food security of residents but also provide livelihood to local farmers during this challenging time.
Integrated, healthy lifestyle
Starting this week, SMDC communities in Sea, Shell, and Shore Residences in the Mall of Asia (MOA) complex can now safely and conveniently order and purchase fresh vegetables and fruits through The Good Guys Market. Orders are taken weekly and delivered every Sunday straight to the residents’ doorsteps, with no delivery charges.
This community grocer initiative sources the fresh produce from farmers in Benguet and Pampanga who are part of SM Foundation’s Kabalikat Sa Kabuhayan (KSK) program. More than 26,000 farmers from partner cities and municipalities have undergone the KSK on Sustainable Agriculture Program, which was championed in 2006 by SM Group founder Henry Sy Sr. This holistic program was designed to prepare them in becoming productive and effective farmer-entrepreneurs and now, through The Good Guys Market initiative, hundreds of farmers displaced by the COVID-19 outbreak and the subsequent declaration of an ECQ are provided with a means to continue selling and earning from their produce.
Fortunately for those living in Sea, Shell, and Shore Residences, they do not only benefit from the integrated lifestyle, strategic location and well thought-out amenities that SMDC communities have long been known for. Residents are now able to source safely and conveniently freshly harvested produce at affordable prices, without having to go out of their homes and risk contracting the deadly virus. Here, SMDC brings the market closer to its residents, who also get to help hundreds of farmers at risk of losing income while Luzon is placed under ECQ.
Residents buying produce through The Good Guys Market can be assured that proactive measures were taken to ensure that social distancing and sanitation are observed in every step of the process, all while helping small farmers thrive amid this pandemic.
“Farmers are frontliners, too—they provide food security. Through their hard work and dedication, our communities continue to have access to fresh and nutritious produce even during this challenging time. With this program, we aim to link small farmers directly with customers who need fresh fruits and vegetables in a safe and convenient manner,” said Cristina Angeles, SM Foundation assistant vice president for livelihood and outreach.
“This project not only helps SMDC residents, but it also uplifts and gives hope to small farmers who have been affected by everything that’s happening right now. Through The Good Guys Market, we are directly helping farmers by giving them an avenue to bring their produce straight to customers,” Angeles concluded.
In the coming weeks, other SMDC communities will also have The Good Guys Market, enabling them to lead a comfortable, convenient and healthy lifestyle amid the quarantine.
Caring for communities
These new efforts add to the many existing programs that SMDC has long been implementing even before this deadly pandemic had hit the country.
From its residents, partners, tenants to employees across all projects, SMDC’s care for the communities it builds is innate and well-ingrained in its core—as evident in the way it creates and operates all of its developments across the country. For instance, SMDC conducts wellness and emergency preparedness trainings for the safety of residents and tenants; rolls out various programs for the elderly and PWD; and ensures that its professional property management team is well equipped to cater to the evolving needs of all stakeholders.
Through its award-winning “Happynings” series, SMDC is also able to roll out fun and exciting activities that foster camaraderie among residents and promote happy, healthy communities.
And despite the lockdown implemented by the government since mid-March, SMDC continues to find ways to live up to its promise of being “The Good Guys” and to be more responsive to the needs of its residents and those in surrounding communities—the latest showcase of which is The Good Guys Market, wherein its efforts extended even beyond the confines of its projects. This weekly market initiative did not only address residents’ need for affordable but healthy, fresh produce during the lockdown, it also provided farmers a new source of income and more importantly, direct access to a new market sans the need for the middlemen.
No doubt, SMDC has clearly gone beyond providing an integrated lifestyle that puts to the fore a kind of convenience afforded only by a community that has everything you need within reach. It also went beyond fostering camaraderie and promoting happy communities.
This time, SMDC is also helping build healthier communities, while providing a much needed boost to the local farming industry which was badly hit by this crisis—a necessary step in the country’s fight against this deadly COVID-19 pandemic.
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