By John Noel E. Herrera
The Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI)-Iloilo Chapter opened a night market event dubbed “Fresh Finds Night Market” to bridge opportunities between local producers and the value creators on Dec 8, 2022 at Megaworld Park Square in Mandurriao Iloilo City.
Fresh Finds chairman Paul Gonzaga said the event, which will run until Dec 11, 2022, will serve as a platform for local producers like farmers to meet value creators and restaurants and collaborate in using their products.
“We want to bridge opportunities between the two and create collaboration para sigurado nga ang producers naton, ang mga ginatanom nila nga produkto will be bought by our value creators like manufacturing industries, as well as restaurants,” Gonzaga said.
Gonzaga also noted that producers should learn how to innovate their products and try something new for them to earn more and avoid losses.
“Ang aton mga farmer kaisa, gatanom lang sila sang mga usual man nga gina-bakal man sang mga tao, they seldom plant vegetables or raise livestocks nga pwede man tani gamiton sang aton value creators and restaurants as they only stick to the usual,” Gonzaga said.
“We want also to understand what are the challenges of our farmers, and we went to the farms to process the problems and presented solutions, like capacity building in terms of being entrepreneurs, not just producers, like how to price, package, and brand your product, as well as using different online platforms for them to sell products,” he added.
The event is another way to help local producers and entrepreneurs as they all have potential in terms of their product portfolios, having diverse offerings with good quality that can compete in national markets.
“We don’t want to limit ourselves with local food, this is also a venue where we use local ingredients to make global products, and that is another way for producers to showcase their creative ideas in terms of innovating their products,” Gonzaga added.
More than 50 farmers and organizations in the city and province of Iloilo joined the event to showcase their products and create opportunities in building connections and learning new innovations for their products.
Some producers also said that the event will boost their confidence in presenting their products to potential clients and help generate more income.
“Dako gid ni bulig sang event kay mas na-expose man ang amon mga produkto sa Oton, and naka-connect pa gid kami sa mga damo nga tao nga magbakal sang amon produkto kag makakita kami dako,” a farmer from Oton, Iloilo said in an interview.
Gonzaga also noted that the night market can be considered as a multi-agency event as other government agencies like the Department of Agriculture and the Philippine Coconut Industry assisted some local producers to participate in the event.
“Wala ta na gin-pabudlayan ang aton mga farmers, we understand the challenges sa aton ekonomiya subong, so we asked the help of government agencies also, and the private sector, so gina-encourage man naton ang producers nga this is not a venue para magbaligya lang kita, but ang imo di resulta is makakonekta ka sa value creators nga mas makagamit pa gid sang mga products,” he added.