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This week’s highlight for our Sustainable Procurement Awareness Series is on fresh produce, particularly lettuce and pineapple, which are both in-demand products in the hospitality industry. 

Before we think about how to increase sustainable options of fresh produce such as lettuce and pineapples, below are more environmental impacts of the agricultural sector as a whole: 

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In order to increase the demand on more sustainable fresh produce, tourism stakeholders can use the following recommended criteria in looking for their next suppliers: 

  • Uses organic production
  • Uses packaging with recyclable materials 
  • Has an environmental management system
  • Implements fair trade prices 
  • Has contracts in place between farmers and traders 
  • Produce is locally grown in the region or in the Philippines 

These indicators are also recognized as innovative and sustainable practices in our Green Choice Philippines criteria for Foodservice Establishments, the details of which you can find here: https://pcepsdi.org.ph/programme/green-choice-philippines/gcp-criteria/, should your establishment be interested in applying for certification.

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Generally and for most businesses, it’s still a challenge in purchasing more sustainable options, and that also goes for buying fresh produce that are environmentally, socially, and economically balanced at the same time. But what exactly are these challenges? 

In order to address these factors, the Local Market Readiness Analysis lists down several recommendations for increasing sustainable options for fresh produce: 

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  • Agricultural certification should be more cost effective to encourage participation from smallholder farms 
  • Working directly with farmers will allow hospitality establishments to specify requirements and for farmers to produce what is needed
  • Local governments can provide venues for small farmers that use sustainable production methods to sell their produce directly to consumers
  • Farmers can be further capacitated not just in the technical aspects of agriculture but also in business competencies such as pricing and negotiation

You can learn more about recommended sustainability criteria for selected product groups in the report Local Market Readiness Analysis for Sustainable Procurement of Selected Products in the Philippine Hospitality Sector, written by Strategia Development Research Institute, Inc. and commissioned by PCEPSDI in 2019. 

Stay tuned for more posts about this topic on our Facebook page here

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