BUTUAN City, PH, January 22 — A GIZ-COSERAM Program-assisted medium-sized enterprise in Misamis Oriental has made history by becoming the first Filipino-operated company that was shortlisted by the prestigious Lush Spring Prize 2018.
If selected winner in the Established Projects Category of this year’s competition, Salay Handmade Products Industries, Inc. will receive £25,000, which the company’s general manager, Neil Rafisura, said will help in the wider promotion of abaca in the Municipality of Salay as well as help support their foundation’s scholarship program.
The Lush Spring Prize is an international prize fund given to organizations, businesses or projects that are engaged in generating renewable resources, restoring ecosystems, nurturing solidarity and building health, wholeness and resilience.
The Prize was established in 2016 by Ethical Consumer Magazine and Lush Fresh Handmade Cosmetics, both UK-based companies that are in the forefront of making global businesses sustainable through ethical practices. Both companies strongly believed that they can help increase access to resources, information and skills to build alternatives to the dominant culture of degeneration by raising awareness of regeneration and its potentials through the Prize.
The annual £200,000 prize fund is open to communities, organizations and businesses that are working to revive damaged social and natural environments and want to share what they are doing to inspire and inform others.
Salay Handmade Products Industries, Inc., commonly known as Salay Handmade or SHAPII, a medium-sized enterprise that is currently being assisted by the COSERAM-IP4Biodiv Project, is a manufacturer and converter of handmade paper products made of indigenous materials like abaca.
The enterprise was established in 1987 by 10 civic-minded people led by Dr. Reynaldo Rafisura and Loreta Rafisura to address the unemployment and poverty brought about by the insurgency that affected the community.
Since then Salay Handmade has given opportunities to 400 disadvantaged producers to pursue decent livelihood in paper making, greeting cards designing and production of novelty items using pressed local flowers while relying on local talents to create its own art.
GIZ-COSERAM assisted Salay Handmade to obtain World Fair Trade Certification and to expand and diversify its markets.