The Local Goodness PH: Bringing Fresh, Local Produce Straight to your Table

Technology has linked the divide between manufacturers, food producers and consumers by mere clicks of a button. The quick expanding economics of delivery has made it possible for consumers to purchase goods expediently—a convenience highlighted more during this pandemic.

Ann Marie Cunanan
Nanay Teresa and her fellow turmeric tea farmers
However, as much as technology is making life easier for everyone involved in this clockwork consumer process, there is a sector that is being overlooked—the local producers. These are the farmers that don’t have access to technology due to a number of factors such as: remote localities, lack of internet connection and simply put, they just don’t have a supply chain that links them directly to consumers. To do so, they need to rely on traditional middle-men traders who—tactlessly—pockets more profit than them.

Ann Marie Cunanan

Fortunately, a few social-enterprising individuals came with the idea of putting up The Local Goodness. This social enterprise connects local farmers to consumers directly by bypassing the unnecessary obstacles hampering local traders and using social media and organic word-of-mouth to advertise their food produce.

The Idea behind the Local Goodness

Anne Marie Cunanan, who a few years ago founded Meaningful Travels PH—a social enterprise specializing in combining adventure travels with immersive cultural experiences and giving back activities—came up with the idea for the Local Goodness to follow the same mission of Meaningful Travels PH.

Meaningful Travels PH
The Local Goodness PH founder: Social Entrepreneur Ann Marie Cunanan

This is to build inclusive economies by doing business with micro and small businesses especially in the rural communities.

“The idea for The Local Goodness was a bi-product from our travels with Meaningful Travels PH. In our explorations to rural communities, we met farmers who serve us their coffee and ginger teas, freshly harvested from their farms in the highlands” Cunanan says.

Ann Marie Cunanan

Since that encounter, Meaningful Travels PH started patronizing local products as part of their tour agenda. Later, Cunanan realized that helping the local communities market their own farm produce necessitates a separate platform—thus the birth of the Local Goodness.

Ann Marie Cunanan

When asked about the feedback from the community, Cunanan adds “they were very happy, and they get excited every time we make an order. About the feedback from the consumers, we found out that a lot of people really wanted to support local farm produce. I was happy that even companies are purchasing from us apart from individuals”.

The Turmeric  Farm in Bantey,   Mountain Province

One such Local Goodness success story can be found in the highlands of the Mountain Province. It may come as a surprise to most, that in the remote barangay of Bantey in the municipality of Tadian, a small group of mothers have been planting and harvesting turmeric and ginger for several years now.

The Local Goodness PH

One of the mothers, Teresa Farnican told us that they learned about turmeric and ginger farming from a seminar conducted by DOLE (Department of Labor and Employment) in their barangay. After years of doing so, they found the farming process of planting-harvesting-selling as low-income generating because they only rely on selling their harvests within their community.

"Before, we would sell our turmeric and ginger harvest house to house in our community. It was hard that we would always stop after a year and would plant again only if there is another demand—which was always in small quantities" Nanay Theresa told us over a phone interview in Tagalog.

That changed when the Local Goodness contacted them and built a relationship with the community by offering to market their turmeric and ginger produce.

"Today, after the Local Goodness started taking orders for us, it motivated us to keep planting turmeric and ginger. Turmeric farming isn't easy because it takes almost a year to cultivate it. With the help of the Local Goodness, we cannot stop now" Farnican adds.

Since hooking up with the Local Goodness early this year, the community has already shipped more than 100 kilos of turmeric and ginger tea to consumers in Metro Manila.

"Mam Anne has already made three orders from us. Now, we just sent our produce to Bontoc, and they (The Local Goodness) will take care of everything to market it. No more going house to house for us. We will just plant and harvest" Nanay Teresa adds.

Indeed, after many years of sowing the seeds in their community, nanay Teresa and her fellow farmers are finally reaping the fruits of their labor. No more going house-to-house as their local goodness is reaching more consumers.

As of this writing, the Local Goodness PH is selling these local produce: Turmeric- Ginger Tea and Fresh Turmeric Roots from Tadian, Mountain Province, Arabica and Medium Roast Coffee from Trinidad, Benguet, Robusta and Dark Roast Coffee from Kalinga Apayao, Fresh Lemons from Benguet and Palapa from Marawi.