BuyANI fresh produce market lets consumers buy straight from farmers

The pandemic has highlighted the importance of food security.


Not only is it essential that all Filipinos have access to fresh meat and produce, it’s also important that our farmers have a direct line to the consumers. These unprecedented times have called for ingenious solutions.

The Ayala Malls, the Ayala Foundation, RestoPH, and the Department of Agriculture take a trusted and proven approach with BuyANI Fresh Produce Market, where buyers can purchase goods directly from the farmers themselves.

Now on its third year, this sustainable farmers’ fair continues to support local farmers and agribusiness owners by showcasing their fresh and homegrown produce.

“This was started by Secretary Berna when she was in the Department of Agriculture. And we are very thankful for that initial offering that we are strengthening. And hopefully our partnership will become long term, looking into other aspects of agriculture, not only in the selling and retail, but also working with a data foundation so that we can help our farmers in different ways,” DA Asec. Kristine Evangelista said.

“This is something that's very important in the agriculture sector now that we are facing a pandemic. I think it is a chance also for people to see agriculture and its role in our economy,” she added.

Using spending power to boost farmers This year's fair, called BuyANI, is a play on “buy” and “ani,” the Tagalog word for harvest.

Apart, they mean “buy the harvest” but together, they spell out bayani, or hero.

The name was inspired by the farmer beneficiaries of Ayala Foundation, Inc in Calauan who are trying to rise above the odds during this pandemic.

Buyers have access to naturally grown vegetables and fruits, fresh dairy products, herbs, wines, coffee and other locally cultivated items in well-curated stalls at DA-controlled prices.

“Guided by our vision in Ayala Land of enhancing life and enriching the lives of fellow Filipinos, and our shared values for the Department of Agriculture, which center on sustainable development, it's only natural for Ayala Malls to open up venues to ensure that farmers' produce would be made available to consumers directly in a safe and comfortable environment,” Ayala Malls President Jennylle Tupaz said in her opening speech.

The opening ceremony was graced by Agribusiness and Marketing of the Department of Agriculture Kristine Evangelista on behalf of Secretary of Agriculture William Dar, Ayala Corporation President and COO Fernando Zobel de Ayala, Ayala Corporation Chairman and CEO Jaime Augusto Zobel de Ayala, Ayala Malls President Jennylle Tupaz, RestoPH President Eric Teng, Ayala Foundation President Ruel Maranan, Ayala Land President and CEO Bobby Dy, and of course, the participating farmers and small agribusiness owners.

“The pandemic has slowed down commerce and particularly vulnerable farmer groups. But of course, we all need their products we need to eat. To be able to create a venue like this where they can almost directly sell their products and have buyers come in and use the comfort of a mall, as well to attract people to be able to come back in again and shop. It's a way of getting the economy going again… so we're delighted,” Jaime Augusto Zobel de Ayala said.

Stronger connections between fields and cities What makes this year's event even more special is the agreement with the RestoPH group of restaurants, whose members have committed to buy produce from participating farmers, link them to other restaurants, and purchase unsold produce at the end of each BuyANI selling day.

“This is a tough time for everyone, and so we really appreciate the fact that the restaurant owners are going out of their way to help the farmers in our country. It's a direct way to get their produce to the restaurants and to the consumers, so we're delighted to help out with projects like that at the Ayala Center,” Fernando Zobel de Ayala said.

“We all know the meaning of the word bayani. So we're delighted that it's been used to represent really what we're doing here.” As the world is still in the grip of a global pandemic, all Ayala Malls have rigid safety protocols in place so that customers can enjoy safe shopping for the freshest produce and regional food favorites.

“As we endeavor to survive this very trying time with strength and grace and persistence, we are committed to help our Filipino farmers rebuild their business, to support them as they steadily get back on their feet and move forward. We understand the struggles of the heroes of our agriculture industry and the food business, so bringing all of us together and closer to the consumers in this project, we hope that we're able to somehow alleviate the difficulties that they go through and contribute positively to these industries and the communities that we serve,” Tupaz concluded.

BuyANI will be at Glorietta from Sept. 11-13, Alabang Town Center from Sept. 18-20, UP Town Center from Sept. 25-27, Ayala Malls The 30th from Oct. 2-4, TriNoma from Oct. 9-11, Market Market from Oct. 16-18, and Bonifacio High Street from Oct. 23-25.