Updated: November 5, 2010
Last week, I was able to visit the DAHON Community in Nagcarlan, Laguna.
This community is home to the DAHON Program or the Dangal At Hanapbuhay para sa Nayon, which is Binalot’s CSR Program.
Yes, that’s Binalot Fiesta Foods, Inc – the popular fast food restaurant in the country that offers Filipino food wrapped in banana leaves.
And this is their CSR program – CSR means Corporate Social Responsibility, which in simple definition, is a sustainable program that aims to benefit both the company and the community.
How? Well, we all know that Binalot uses banana leaves as their main food packaging – which means they need a lot of banana leaves for their restaurants.
And through the DAHON program, they are ensured a constant supply of quality banana leaves AND at the same time – they are able to provide livelihood income for banana farmers and their community.
Under the program, the farmers harvest the leaves and with their families, clean and cut them. Binalot then buys the leaves from the farmers per piece.
Beforehand, the farmers were trained in processing and the sustainable harvesting of the leaves. They were provided a suitable workplace and the tools and materials for their work.
The DAHON community has come a long way since its beginnings two years ago. They now have a Day Care Center where children can learn while their parents work.
Moreover, they are now also supplying banana leaves to other restaurants in the country and have also developed new products such as banana chips.
And the good news is, Binalot, together with other organizations and individuals, is hoping to build more communities like this in other parts of the country.
The success story of Binalot is not foreign to me, having learned about their history when I attended a GoNegosyo forum last year.
And being part of the DAHON community, even just for a day, showed me that indeed, being an entrepreneur means finding solutions and opportunities that you can share with others.
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