URC enhances support to sustainable farming
Madelaine B. Miraflor
Universal Robina Corp. (URC) has ramped up its community support specifically in the areas of livelihood, sustainable farming, food availability, and security.
URC Senior Vice President for Corporate Development & External Affairs Laurent Levan said the company is building its sustainability roadmap alongside the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.
“This [move involves] responsible sourcing, production, consumption, and developing the capabilities of communities for better livelihood,” Levan said.
As part of these efforts, URC’s Agro-Industrial Group has rolled out its Kabalikat Village Hub, wherein anyone can start their own business by running a “hub” that a neighborhood can turn to for their food needs.
URC supplies these hubs with its wide range of premium-quality products, including fresh meats and eggs, processed meats, and even pet care needs. These hubs, in turn, become a source of livelihood for households. They likewise provide communities around their access to products that can be ordered online and delivered quickly.
Then late last year, the company said its Flour Division partnered with GMA Kapuso Foundation for its Bike for Good campaign. Bicycles, as well as Baker John bread business start-up packages, were awarded to several families who were nominated to be new community sellers.
This, while URC’s Sugar and Renewables Division (SURE) started the Project Salig, which aims to help address the needs and challenges faced by sugarcane farmers in Negros Occidental, Negros Oriental, Batangas, Iloilo, and Cagayan Valley.
The program offers farming assistance and support to planters – from land preparation, to planting, to harvesting. This move includes providing fertilizer assistance, cane hauling trucks, tractor services, and other farm equipment needs; conducting seminars on good farming practices; distributing high-yield variety cane point in the Dispersal Program; and setting up sugar cane nurseries in mill sites.
Meanwhile, in partnership with the government, URC also provides potato farmers with quality seeds, training, and research access to increase their yields. That has helped tide them over amid disruptions in food supply chains and guaranteed a stable supply of potatoes for consumers.
In addition, URC has been supporting initiatives that promote health and conservation. For this, the company had repurposed parts of its production line to manufacture some 100,000 reusable face shields, which the Gokongwei Brothers Foundation (GBF) donated to frontline health workers.
URC’s community efforts extend to Thailand, where its subsidiary donated more than 3.4 million baht (P5 million) in medical supplies, basic necessities, and snacks, and distributed Covid-19 survival first-aid boxes to communities across the country.
“We believe that these initiatives are beneficial to everyone as one of our values is putting people first,” said Levan. “Consistent as well with URC’s goals as we work towards being a sustainable global enterprise.”