IN TIME for Sinulog 2024, listed-firm Metro Retail Stores Group Inc. (MRSGI) has brought its last league of Go Lokal Bayanihang Metro Caravan to Metro Ayala Center Cebu.
The initiative aims to offer a platform for 27 micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME) across Central Visayas, enabling them to showcase products and expand their market reach.
The caravan, done in partnership with the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), will run from Jan. 12 to Feb. 11, 2024, on the seventh floor of Metro Ayala Center Cebu. It capitalizes on regional festivals such as Sinulog to make local products even more accessible for tourists and shoppers joining the festivities, encouraging them to support and patronize products proudly made in the region.
Homegrown products such as calamansi juice, banana chips, rice wine, cacao, coffee, wooden fashion accessories, handicrafts, and souvenir items are featured in the caravan.
“Our MSMEs are giving us value for money and quality products. They deserve the exposure ... What we need to do is imbibe in the spirit of buying local so that we enable our MSMEs to grow their markets,” said DTI 7 Director Ma. Elena Arbon.
MRSGI president and chief operating officer Manuel Alberto said the ongoing partnership with DTI has helped shift consumers’ focus toward sustainable means of shopping and has raised awareness on the importance of supporting local products and entrepreneurs.
“MRSGI has always believed that both buyers and sellers can help positively impact environmental and social concerns. It has consistently strived to present opportunities for viable and worthwhile businesses, especially where domestic products are concerned,” Alberto said.
Glenda Navares, MRSGI regional manager, said holding caravans during festivals, allows MSMEs to showcase so-called treasures of their islands.
Among the MSMEs joining the caravan are Kimes Foods International Inc., Carson Hills Agricultural Farm, Tuburan Coffee, Bakerlane, Stop Hub-Ayala, Balai Cacao, Crissander Enterprises, CJ Dried Fish Trading, Garnish Jewelry and Accessories, Kaban, and Herbs R Us Food Products.
In 2023, MRSGI and DTI rolled out a total of eight Bayanihang Metro Caravans in various Metro Retail Store locations during significant local festivals.