When the going got tough – Cherie Atilano got innovative !

Check out this great story  featured by the World Economic Forum on what one woman did to bring families who had no food together with farmers who couldn’t sell their fruits and vegetables….

 

  • As COVID-19 lockdown measures affect food distribution in the Philippines, one woman has found a way to get food from farms to consumers.
  • Social entrepreneur Cherrie Atilano has enabled farmers to sell food that otherwise would have been dumped.
  • Now she plans to help her fellow citizens set up city farms to improve food security.

When Cherrie Atilano set out to change the lives of farmers in the Philippines she couldn’t have imagined she would one day be helping to feed people in the nation’s capital, Manila, during a global pandemic.

Agrea, the social enterprise she founded, wants to end rural poverty by helping farmers move from subsistence to small-scale commercial farming. But when the Philippines started to lock down to slow the spread of COVID-19, farmers found their routes to market cut off.

The restrictions meant some could not even go into their fields to pick crops and, although trucks were available, drivers were staying at home. Before Atilano launched her #MoveFoodInitiative, farmers had been forced to dump tonnes of edible food.

coronavirus lockdown philippines food hunger transport supply chain truck road closures waste agriculture farming
A pineapple farmer is forced to dump his crop after losing his market due to lockdown.
Image: Cherrie Atilano

Atilano, one of the World Economic Forum’s 2020 Young Global Leaders, decided to use her extensive network to appeal to private truck owners to help ship the food to consumers in towns, villages and the capital.

Feeding key workers

By 26 April, the initiative had shipped almost 138,000kg of fruit and vegetables from almost 4,000 farmers, reaching nearly 30,000 families.

In addition, the project is donating food to eight community kitchens set up to feed frontline medical staff treating people with coronavirus. So far more than 2,000 medics have benefited from free food.

coronavirus lockdown philippines food hunger transport supply chain truck road closures waste agriculture farming

 

Can we learn something from Cherie?  Our UK farmers have already warned their crops won’t be picked and huge amounts of food will go to waste in the UK.  Time to get innovative here?

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