The Davao Association USA (DAUSA) and Filipino-American Community of Los Angeles (FACLA), in partnership with the Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) and Mindanao suppliers, are firming tup the proposed “MinDA tienda in America.”
In a statement, MinDA Chairman Secretary Emmanuel Piñol said expanding the Tienda program to the US would be a big business opportunity for the agri producers and beneficial to the Filipino-American community as well.
Piñol said MinDA TienDA is set to be launched at the consular office in the USA by the end of March 2020. Secretary Piñol will head a coordination meeting with the Filipino-American communities in February prior to the event.
“Let’s start with basic Filipino staples such as boneless bangus, saba bananas, coconut products, turmeric tea, sikwate, and organic rice,“ he said.
“All products to be shipped will be pre-ordered through the MinDA tienda,” he added.
Piñol said he also noted that a consolidator will distribute the products to their consumers.
Upon seeing the demand for organic rice in the US and MinDA’s support, Don Bosco Foundation for Sustainable Development which specializes in organic products, expressed willingness to participate through export of their vacuum-packed organic rice.
“We are open for this partnership with MinDA’s facilitation and assistance. We will be calculating and finalizing pricing and work on product packaging,” Don Bosco Foundation Executive Director Maria Helenita Gamela said.
The Fil-Am group during their Philippine visit has linked up with private sectors, government officials and various Mindanao suppliers to discuss marketing and export processing of Mindanao products to the US.
“We will be inviting Filipinos to come, sample the products, and place orders initially. Then we are hoping to sustain this partnership through a business investment expansion after,” DAUSA and FACLA incoming president Fernandico Gonong Jr. said.
MinDA Tienda was first introduced to address price surge of commodities after the recent earthquakes in certain parts of Mindanao, through the help of farmers, fisherfolks and private groups selling basic goods at reasonable costs.
The bulk suppliers and producers of key products are gathered together to bring products to the disaster-stricken areas, yet the MinDA tienda in America will be an online platform where the Fil-American buyers can place their orders.