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OUR COMMUNITY

At the core of Franklin Baker are our people; our employees, farmers and workers, working together to create world-class products and a sustainable future for the coconut industry.

The Hearts and Souls of Franklin Baker

Franklin Baker is built upon the hard work, dedication and resilience of Filipino coconut farmers, their expertise being the backbone of our Legacy of Quality that our customers can attest to. Heroes in their own rights, their stories not only inspire but also break the mold of how farmers are usually perceived, providing hope and a sense of pride to the entire Filipino coconut industry. Here are some of them and their stories of inspiration:

CONRADO SOTOMAYOR

Sta. Maria, Davao Occidental

Mr. Conrado is the current Chairman of the Board of United Carp Beneficiaries Association Inc. (UNICARBAI). An organic farmer since 2018, he has been recognized and awarded as an outstanding organic coconut farmer/practitioner several times and became the “Natatanging Magsasaka ng Niyog” in 2014.

He believes that he is able to help protect the environment with his farming techniques, like avoiding hazardous chemicals, which will benefit the future generations.

“There’s a lot of opportunities in farming. Farming is a business. You just need to exert energy, commitment and love what you do to achieve your goal. Be creative and a non-stop learning.”

AMADEO SOLITRINO

Magsaysay, Davao del Sur

A former chief flight mechanic, Mr. Amadeo started living in his farm after retirement and saw a pressing concern among his fellow farmers of low farm-gate buying of coconuts. This led him to establish Tacul Agri-Based Farmers and Workers Association (TAFWA) in 2018.

Through TAFWA, the supply chain framework changed by buying coconuts within the community, offer bettering pricing to the coconut farmers.

“Despite that I have been diagnosed with a critical illness, I think God extended my life because I still have a mission, to help the coconut farmers.”

BIENVENIDA CAPIGTUAN

Makilala, North Cotabato

Ms. Bienvenida decided to relocate to her farm after leaving her city job in 2008. Initially a rubber land, it has been converted into a coconut farm, integrating other crops such as cacao, bananas, ornamentals as other sources of income.

While her husband works on the farm, Ms. Bienvenida handles the finances, including budgeting and income generating strategies from their farm proceeds.

“Women have a very big role to play in family farming because they are naturally good at techniques for maximizing income to compensate for the expenses.”

ARNOLD CANIEGO JR.

Makilala, North Cotabato

Arnold had no interest in farming at first. However, he saw the struggles of the farmers and has come to realize and appreciate their importance in economy building. Since then, he has attended several trainings on concoction, seed banking and poultry management.

He is currently the President of Malasila Young Farmers Organization and hopes to encourage young people to take up coconut farming and support the industry for future generations.

“Though our organization is small and earning little, it somehow supports not only me but also the other young people financially. For some, farming is hard, dirty and with little opportunity. But without the farmers, we have nothing to eat.”

Ambassadors of Sustainability

All Franklin Baker employees undergo a field immersion program as part of raising awareness on sustainability and the company’s advocacy. Exposure in the farms, in the plants and interactions with the farmers help provide a deeper understanding of the entire supply chain process, igniting a passion to support the community and foster a culture of sustainability in their own ways.

CHRIS ANTHONY
JAWA SR.

Supervisor, Process Quality
Control and Systems
(Davao)

“Now I no longer see
coconuts as mere raw
material, but rather a
product of hardwork and
trust fostered by years of
partnership between
Franklin Baker and our
suppliers. Overall, the
immersion expanded my
views and helped me
better appreciate the
Franklin Baker
commitment to its
stakeholders.”

RONALD
TORNEO

Plant
General Manager
(San Pablo)

“The immersion program
was a valuable learning
experience. I understood
the socio-economic
impacts of coconut
farming and the potential
of innovation and
technology to create new
markets and value chain
for coconuts. It inspired
me to support and
advocate for sustainable
coconut production and
processing practices.”

JELYN JOY
CORTEZ

Process Improvement
Engineer
(San Pablo)

“I have great admiration for the commitment and hard work displayed by every member of the association and our partner farmers. The unwavering dedication to their work is truly inspiring. Their ability to overcome difficulties and stay motivated is a testament to their strong work ethics and the importance they place on their responsibilities.”

SHERILYNN
PEN

Production
Supervisor
(Davao)

“The farm visit bridged
the gap between Franklin
Baker employees and
coconut farmers and led
to a more personal
understanding of each
stakeholder’s needs.
Likewise, we took the
opportunity to personally
relay to our partner
farmers how invaluable
their work is towards the
success of the Franklin
Baker operations.”

RAVINA
VASQUEZ

Specialist, Contracts Management and Corporate Compliance
(Makati)

“The perseverance of coconut farmers has become Franklin Baker’s drive to continuously innovate and develop products. This has deepened my appreciation towards the farmers’ hard work and resiliency despite the challenges in the industry, inspiring me to do better as an employee of Franklin Baker.”