SMC stepping up direct corn buying program
MANILA -San Miguel Corp (SMC), through its food unit San Miguel Foods, has purchased more than 1.3 million metric tons of corn amounting to P23.9 billion from farmers nationwide since 2020 to date.
This is part of the company’s continuing initiative to source raw materials for its food products directly from local growers to help boost farm incomes, reduce the country’s dependence on imports, and help achieve food self-sufficiency.
The program, launched in 2020, was designed to benefit farmers from all over the country. It initially covered 13 provinces such as Batangas, Bicol, Bukidnon, Bulacan, Cagayan De Oro, Cebu, Davao, Iloilo, Isabela, Ormoc, Pangasinan, Tarlac, and Zamboanga, with plans to expand by the end of the year.
“Through this program, we are assured of local corn supply for our food business while our local farmers are guaranteed a steady market and fair prices for their crops. Buying directly from them boosts their income and keeps their livelihood sustainable,” SMC president and CEO Ramon S. Ang said.
At the height of the pandemic in 2020, San Miguel Foods purchased more than 500,000 metric tons or 500 million kilos of corn to help farmers in various provinces affected by quarantine protocols and supply chain disruptions that saw their produce going to waste.
Isabela province farmer Marjorie Gante said SMC’s local corn buying program has given her and her family a renewed sense of security.
Emity Durog, who has been farming for 20 years, says the program saves them time, effort and resources, as they no longer have to travel to different towns to sell their corn.
Violeta Develos, a generational farmer from South Cotabato, for her part, expressed gratitude to the company for coming up with such program and its consistent payment scheme.
The direct corn buying program is just among several initiatives that SMC implements to support farmers and the agricultural sector nationwide.
SMC also locally sources other raw materials used by its businesses such as cassava, through its cassava assemblers’ program, and poultry, with the help of contract growers.