A farm requires a lot of working parts to function productively and generate profit. Silent Integrated Farm, a farm-tourism destination in Lliw, Laguna, is successful in this aspect by utilizing a mix of business-to-business (B2B) and business-to-consumer (B2C) channels.
Don Cedrix Valois, the agribusiness officer of Silent Integrated Farm, shared with Agriculture Online how their farm does this.
B2B (business-to-business) is a business model wherein a business offers their products or services to another business. In the case of farms, an example of this is when farmers sell their produce to market stall vendors or secure deals with restaurants to supply a certain ingredient.
For Silent Integrated Farm, they partner with restaurants like a samgyupsal restaurant in Victoria, Laguna to supply them with lettuce.
Don explained that farms hoping to go this route need to learn how their crops are being used in the market and then identify local businesses that need those crops. Don added that for Silent Integrated Farm, selling to restaurants is better than selling to market stall vendors as their revenue will depend on the fluctuating price of crops if they chose to sell to the latter.
Meanwhile, B2C (business-to-consumer), sometimes called direct-to-customer, is a business model wherein businesses sell their products or services directly to their consumers.
Silent Integrated Farm has a farm-to-table restaurant to offer dishes made from their own farm products, as well as a farm store to directly sell the crops they produce. They also offer a pick-and-pay option wherein visitors may harvest the crop themselves and pay them according to weight. Lettuce is the main crop for their pick-and-pay service but they visitors can also harvest siling haba (Capsicum annuum), okra (Abelmoschus esculentus), pechay (Brassica rapa), and sitaw (Vigna unguiculata).
But selling crops can only do so much. This is why they also process their produce to sell value-added products. They sell vinegar made from kaong (Arenga pinnata), tea with stevia added as sweetener, chili garlic oil, and powder made from malunggay, ginger, and turmeric that may be used to craft capsules or instant tea. A food processing center is currently being constructed on the farm so they could offer more products.
Don said that it would be better for Silent Integrated Farm to be able to generate profit through the products and services they offer on the farm itself. There is a lot of competition for farms hoping to supply restaurants, so farms have to bid for the lowest price when securing a deal with restaurants. But still, a balance between B2B and B2C channels is required as the former helps keep the farm afloat. If they are going to depend on customers buying products from the farm, they will not be able to sell their entire supply and just lead to the spoilage of their produce.
As their farm generates profit, they are able to hire more local residents to fulfill the expandings needs of the farm. They are able to train more non-farmers to get into agriculture and support their employees to pursue their ambitions. By earning more, they become better-equipped to help their community while promoting their advocacy to recognize the strength and ability of persons with disabilities (PWD), senior citizens, and community-based farmers.
Photos by Jerome Sagcal.
For inquiries, contact Silent Integrated Farm through their Facebook page.