1. Company History
In 2006, our family acquired an agricultural land planted with coconuts and bananas. However, the production was low because the land had long been applied with chemical inputs that eroded its natural fertility. Both crops showed signs of nutrient deficiency. We then decided to convert the land into an organic farm. All the crops were applied with organic inputs that were produced out of the materials that were available on the farm. We planted nitrogen-fixing plants as regular sources of nitrogen for the crops. We also diversified the crops, apart from bananas and coconuts we planted fruit trees, vegetables, root crops, and herbs. We integrated livestock that became our steady source of organic inputs. In less than two years, we were able to increase production and the income twofold. We generated regular earnings from coconuts and bananas and we got a steady supply of essential foods from our livestock, vegetables, and fruits. The once barren land is now covered with lush vegetation.
The onset of the financial crisis in 2008 pulled down the price of the coconut. The price of the whole nut dropped from P8.00 to P3.00 per kilo. This situation compelled us to look for viable options to make coconut farming a doable venture. The production of coconut sugar was seen as the most viable alternative because of its health benefits and income potentials.
2. The Business
Healthy Sweets was established in 2009 as a family-owned social enterprise producing fair trade and certified organic coconut sugar. It was created as a response to the fluctuating price of copra and whole nuts and to respond to the challenge of making small farming a profitable venture. The social enterprise provided green jobs to small farmers through organic coconut farm production and coconut sugar processing. From this venture, our coconut tappers were able to increase their income two-fold and even three-fold. We also employed women in the processing of coconut sugar that enabled them to earn an income of their own. Coconut farmers in the neighboring farms also sell their coconut sap to Healthy Sweets. Income derived from sap production is two to three times higher than copra production. With this business venture, the social enterprise helps uplift the living condition of coconut farmers who are considered as among the poorest of the poor in the Philippines.
We started with manual processing of coconut sugar, it was too laborious for women, then we look for appropriate tools and equipment to address this problem. Now, our production process is semi-mechanized, it is a big boost in maintaining the premium quality of our products and in making our processing method women-friendly. In 2011 we started producing cocosugar based candies and teas.
3. Vision, Mission, and Goals
Healthy Sweets envisions a healthy and vibrant society where people live in harmony with nature and are nourished with organically produced coco-based products. Our mission is to produce healthy and organic coco-based food products for local and international market while contributing to the development of sustainable and ecologically-balanced communities in the Southeastern part of Mindanao. Our goals: a) Increased the number of coconut farmers employed as tappers and women employed as processors earning a monthly income above the mandated minimum wage. b) Increased the size of the coconut farms certified as organic in Southeastern Mindanao. c) Increased the production volume of Healthy Sweets and its share in the local and export market.
Healthy Sweets Mindanao Corporation is certified organic by EU, USDA, and JAS. Also a GMP certified company by the Food and Drug Administration.
5. Plan for Expansion
We started expanding our operation in Davao Oriental where coconut trees abound to boost our raw material supply requirements, at the same time help the farmers whose income from coconut farming is very low.
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Healthy Sweets Mindanao Corporation (HSMC) offers you products from these product groups:
- Manufacturer (2551)
- Importer/exporter (1072)
- Grocery products Cooking and baking (2718)
- Grocery products Snacks and sweets (1646)
- Grocery products Drinks (1798)
- Other grocery products (1995)