When Human Nature was born in 2008, we envisioned it to flourish as one of
the country's leading social enterprises. This meant our primary goal would be to use business
to build a better Filipino society, especially for the poor, by operating a sustainable business that primarily benefited our country. We founded the company on three core principles;
to be Pro-Philippines, Pro-Poor and Pro-Environment.
As long as our farmers are growing low-value crops, we believe they will always remain poor.
So we've teamed up with Gawad Kalinga and other organization like The Aid Foundation, Inc. (AIDFI) and the Philippine Federation for Environmental Concern (PFEC) to develop world-class organic farms and other enterprises that help multiply the income of our people.
Our dream is to set up GK communities as globally certified organic farms that can produce excellent raw materials for Human Nature products.
We already began working in the very first Human Nature GK Organic Farm, Enchanted Farm, in Bulacan in partnership with NGOs that specialize in organic farming and processing.
As firm believers in fair trade principles, we also offer to buy at fair prices from our community based suppliers, sometimes even above-market prices if the market-price is not enough to provide good quality of life for the farmers. Having a good business sense isn't just about getting the lowest prices for our raw materials; it's about ensuring that our suppliers, especially the poor community-based cooperatives, receive just prices for their products, too.
Currently, we employ GK residents from nearby communities in Quezon City and provide fair living wage more than the minimum wage required by law. We also make sure to provide our warehouse staff with full benefits and overtime pay to promote dignity of work.
Most of our warehouse employees are GK leaders who spearheaded projects in their respective GK communities. Because we didn't want their jobs in Human Nature to take away all their time devoted to serving their community, Human Nature recently implemented a rule that they get one day a week off to continue their involvement in GK activities.
THE PHILIPPINE FEDERATION FOR ENVIRONMENTAL CONCERN
Human Nature's commitment in developing our countryside and helping marginalized farmers is strengthened by partners who share the same vision.
Our Citronella Oil, which is used in our best-selling bug spray, comes from the province of Camarines Norte through the Philippine Federation of Environmental Concern. PFEC works directly with the farmers of KMMBK (Kooperatiba ng mga Maliliit na Mangniniyog ng baranggay Kanapawan) on the hills of Barangay Kanapawan in the Municipality of Labo. The 68 member farmers of KMBBK were dependent on the Copra industry which could barely support their individual family needs.
PFEC sought to develop an alternative crop that is complimentary to their existing coconut plantation which at the same time could deliver a higher economic yield. Citronella was introduced in their area in the late 90s and PFEC capitalized on this opportunity by linking experts to develop their community's capabilities for oil extraction and marketing their finished products. PFEC is currently operating 3 essential oil extractors (steam distillation) on-site and is training KMMBK to manage their 11-hectare farmland to maximize Citronella growth and extraction.
For more information regarding PFEC and KMMBK please visit www.environmentalfederation.com
or you contact Kath Ramilo (Enterprise Development Officer) at (632) 9420481.
THE AID FOUNDATION, INC.
The Alternative Indigenous Development Foundation, Inc. or AIDFI seeks to develop poor farming communities through the introduction of sustainable agri-technology. Human Nature's lemongrass oil comes from the province of Negros Occidental with the help of an assisted farming community that was initially dependent on sugar cane.
As a plantation crop, sugarcane's market price is regulated and leaves little profit for farmers. At the same time, sugar cane farming is one of the most difficult processes, often exposing farming families to harsh conditions under the sun while carrying heavy loads of sugarcane. This is made even more difficult by the fact that sugar cane has only 1 farming cycle annually, therefore limiting its economic yield.
Farmers of Brgy. Bigo in the municipality of Cauayan were fortunate that their land was endowed with a local type of lemongrass containing large quantities of oil and hydrosol. AIDFI proudly assists these sugarcane farmers utilize the indigenous type of lemongrass by setting up solar panels for community lighting, water catchments for a sustainable water source and a steam distillation extractor for extraction of essential oil and hydrosol.
More importantly, part of AIDFI's thrust is the development of the local farmers' own political governance, which they did through the establishment of the Mambugsay Essential Oil Producers Association (MEOPA). MEOPA currently has 26 member families enjoying the benefits of higher income from lemongrass oil extraction and is undergoing further training in managing their 8-hectare organic lemongrass farm.
Last January 26, 2012, Human Nature provided a Php 300,000 grant to AIDFI that will help increase their lemongrass oil production to another farm in Sitio Ananggue in Murcia, Negros Occidental. The next stage of this partnership is expansion in GK Victorias and GK Talisay both in Negros Occidental. Instead of just helping one community at a time, our goal is to develop multiple farms that will grow an industry for Philippine essential oil & extracts.
The seeds that were planted are starting to bear fruit for the citronella farmers of Barangay Kanapawan in Labo, Camarines Norte. After 20 months of supporting the citronella enterprise of KMMBK and Philippine Federation for Environmental Concern (PFEC), Human Nature has turned over P972,694.94, 100% of all profits from Bug Spray from Oct-Dec 2010, to invest in community development programs which will provide a sustainable enterprise, keeping a whole barangay out of poverty for good.
Representatives of KMMBK identified Health and Education as primary community concerns and Human Nature has responded to this by agreeing to provide renovations for their elementary school, additional textbooks and supplies for their students as well as working on a health program.
One Heart for One Community is Human Nature and KMMBK's the common dream of growing the supply and demand for our farmers' produce, so that they can be empowered to provide for themselves the quality of life farmers from others countries enjoy.
After the success of our One Heart for One Community program, Human Nature teamed up with one of the biggest names in beauty and environmental awareness - Miss Earth - and Beauty Bar, the country's premier source for beauty & personal care brands. Working with Miss Earth's 2010 Philippine title-holders and Beauty Bar, Human Nature launches CommPassion, a lipstick campaign seeking to build a dream for the passion fruit farming community in Mindanao.
Human Nature is committed to helping the GK Pueblo Antonio community in Catigan, Davao to produce world-class quality passion fruit seed oil by giving back 100% of the profits from the sale of each Passion Fruit Hydrating Mineral Lipstick to fund the development of a processing facility so it can expand its livelihood into the higher-value, more sustainable processing of passion fruit seed oil. This program will remain in place until the facility is fully funded. Human Nature also commits to purchase the oil at a fair trade price and find ways to incorporate the oil in upcoming product lines.
We have so far planted 1.5 hectares of passion fruit, which have already begun bearing fruit! Currently, our Social Enterprise Development team is busy procuring and testing extraction equipment for both Passion Fruit & Sunflower Oil Extraction. They've also started testing different varieties of Sunflower seeds so that we can produce the best quality and highest yield for our Sunflower Beauty Oil.