DTI-MisOr and GIZ-COSERAM hold Inclusive Business Forum

CAGAYAN de Oro City, PH, November 21-22 — The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) in Misamis Oriental and GIZ-COSERAM jointly conducted the Inclusive Business Forum for priority industry sectors in an effort to generate a deeper awareness and understanding about inclusive business (IB) as well as engender understanding of the opportunities and challenges in investing in the supply chain of private business companies.

Ms. Felicitas Pantoja, CEO of Coffee for Peace, sharing the story of her company’s journey in becoming inclusive. (© GIZ/Elsie Limosnero, DTI Misamis Oriental; used with permission)

Held at N Hotel, the IB Forum gathered various business companies from as diverse an industry as cacao, coffee, multi-fiber (abaca and other fibers), bamboo and coco sugar clusters, as well as from government agencies and non-government organizations (NGOs), who are enablers of supply chains.

Ms. Melanie Moleno, portfolio manager of the Inclusive Business Center of the Philippine Business for Social Progress (PBSP), presented the concept of IB and the current situation of IB in the Philippines.

Mr. Neil Rafisura of Salay Handmade Products, Inc. during a workshop identifying opportunities and challenges in investing in supply chains. (© GIZ/Judy M. Aclan, DTI Misamis Oriental; used with permission)

The Board of Investments (BOI) participated with a big delegation from its Manila, Davao and Cebu offices, headed by Assistant Secretary Felicitas A. Reyes, who also presented the policies and incentives in support of IB in the Philippines.

The sharing of the experiences and very inspiring stories of two inclusive businesses in Mindanao highlighted the conference. The first was about the Coffee for Peace (CFP), the National Winner for the Philippines in the Inclusive Business Category of the ASEAN Business Awards 2017. CFP was also chosen one of the finalists in the Small Inclusive Business Category for ASEAN during the 1st ASEAN Inclusive Business Summit 2017. The second story was that of Green Minds, Inc., a social enterprise which is partnering with various indigenous peoples groups in Northern Mindanao as well as in the Pacific island-nations of Vanuatu and Fiji for the production of organic peanuts, and medicinal and culinary herbs.

The business companies also had a chance to come together in small work groups to present their opinion as well as opportunities and challenges in investing in their respective industry’s supply chains. Their outputs were later processed by the enablers who then presented their respective agencies’ commitments in response to opportunities and challenges encountered by the private business sector.

2. Mr. Rey Lomarda of Green Minds Inc. sharing his experiences in working with IPs as suppliers of organically-grown peanuts and culinary herbs. (© GIZ/Judy M. Aclan, DTI Misamis Oriental; used with permission)

With the current administration’s priority focus on inclusive business, the forum was a small step for industry clusters and enablers to work more closely together to enable private companies and those in the base of the income pyramid (BoP) to build socially-responsible, ecologically sustainable and profitable business partnerships.

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