Philippines Department of Agriculture online platform

SM Supermalls has partnered with the Philippines Department of Agriculture and restaurants to support fresh produce growers and businesses affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Farmers’ Produce project will see SM malls across the Philippines sell fruits, vegetables, herbs seedlings and other local produce at weekend markets to help jumpstart the country’s agriculture industry.

Steven Tan, president of SM Supermalls, said the project will help connect the community with local producers.

“Many individuals and businesses have felt the economic impact of the current pandemic. This project will allow our shoppers to enjoy fresh and organic products, while helping farmers, small communities, and local restaurants get back on their feet as the country adapts to the new normal,” Tan said.

Resto PH, an association of restaurant owners, is coordinating restaurant participation in the project, which will see restaurants use local produce to create and sell special menu items.

Eric Teng, president of Resto PH, said restaurants are usually a big buying block of local produce and local farmers have been unable to sell their harvests during the past few months due to the closure of numerous food establishments.

“The farms have the produce and the restaurants are reopening – we just wanted to connect the two,” Teng said.

“The malls provide the venue because they have the most space. When you have the space, the farms and the restaurants can work together to help each other out.”

The Farmers’ Produce project is part of the government’s Kadiwaprogramme and events are set to be held in SM malls throughout the year.

The restaurants participating include Mango Tree Bistro, Icebergs, Mamou, Genki Sushi, King Chef, Scouts Honor, Pizza Express and Monga.