With current pressures on both the international and local economic landscape, the Philippines is challenged with raising long-term growth and improving the citizens’ standard of living. The inflationary effects of the global money market take a toll on Filipinos’ purchasing power with the constant increase in prices of basic commodities, especially food and other agricultural products. If not controlled, the bigger picture shows that a weakened ability to buy may lead to empty wallets and growling stomachs.
This October, the world celebrates Food Day and International Day for the Eradication of Poverty on the 16th and 17th, respectively. These events serve as reminders of the top two Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) on Zero Poverty and Zero Hunger. The SDGs are an urgent call to action for a more manageable present and a better future for the people and the planet. Sustainable development are two big words. For sustainable development to be achieved, implemented strategies must be ecologically sound, economically viable, socially just, humane, and adaptable. In a simpler context, this refers to the triple bottom line: People, Planet, and Profit. Recognition and appropriate action toward the SDGs are ways for long-term growth and increased welfare. And one practical approach is through grassroots development.
Grassroots approach for sustainable development simply refers to the acknowledgment of the voices of the foundation of society through organizing the locals to improve economic, social, and cultural aspects of living. Since 2010, GlowCorp has committed to sustainable development as one of its core values. The organization carries on marketing strategies that are ecologically sound in terms of its care for the environment and advocacy for organic agriculture. Also, strategies are economically viable, socially just, humane, and adaptable in such a way that GlowCorp provides economic freedom and technical transfer to its partner small farmers and farmers’ organizations in an inclusive manner. By creating a link with our local farmers through an inclusive agricultural food system, GlowCorp, in many ways, is able to adopt a grassroots approach to sustainability. Last September, GlowCorp was recognized by the Peace and Equity Foundation (PEF) as a social enterprise that is an integral part of the agricultural value chain. This means that GlowCorp, through its sustainable strategies, provides space and opportunity for fair trade between the farmer producers and consumers–a piece of evidence that inclusivity is viable for social growth. PEF is a non-government organization driving the social enterprise movement to help rural communities achieve income sustainability and asset productivity.