CEBU

Going digital helps group promote sustainable fishing

SUSTAINABLE PRODUCT. Products of Balangay’s Best are marketed nationwide. Its seafood products are made using sustainable technologies and equitable business practices (Photo grabbed from Balangay’s Best Facebook Page)

BY GOING digital every business model is given an increased presence in a global market.

This was the realization of Jet Ong, chief executive officer and co-founder of Balangay’s Best, during the Entrepreneurship Summit hosted by Rafi Microfinance Inc. recently.

Ong said social media platforms have bridged the gap between business and advocacies. Having a presence online helps generate more sales as it captures a wider market. It also boosts the information campaign, thus raising awareness and getting more people to support various movements.

Balangay’s Best is the brand of high-quality, naturally processed, wild-caught sustainable seafood products made by artisan Filipino fishers. It is manufactured and distributed by Fishers & Changemakers Inc. (FCI).

FCI is a pioneer and lone social enterprise that partners with local artisan fishing communities to manufacture and distribute high quality Balangay’s Best seafood products using sustainable technologies and equitable business practices in the Philippines. It was established in October 2014 during the rehabilitation efforts in Bantayan Island, Cebu to journey with selected fishers as they fully recover from the supertyphoon Yolanda’s (international name Haiyan) aftermath.

According to Ong, Balangay’s Best has presence both in online and physical stories. The group opted to go online because they aren’t only selling products made by the fishing community. They are also advocating sustainable fishing practices.

“Why the need to go digital? It is because Balangay’s Best is a social enterprise and the very core (of our organization) is our fishermen and through that, we want also everyone to know that we care for our oceans and support sustainable fishing,” she said.

Products of Balangay’s Best can now be bought by consumers using payment options like Gcash, Paymaya and other online payment platforms.

The group said that for more than a year after supertyphoon Yolanda struck Bantayan Island in Cebu, they sought to improve the lives of fishermen.

“Despite the demand for seafood products and the natural resources available, fisherfolk are considered the poorest sector in the Philippines. Our fishing communities go through capacity building activities and are linked to multi-sector partners,” the group said.

“This is to equip and empower them to protect our country’s marine resources and double the family income that can provide for more than their basic needs. Every catch holds the hopes and dreams for their families, kids and the future generation of our fishing communities,” it added.

Besides helping the community improve their livelihood by creating products that have high value in the market, Ong said they also connect them to government agencies that help their products gain market access.

Through this, Ong added, they are also putting the spotlight on the different advocacies that will help address global warming that is affecting the marine ecosystem. (JOB)


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