BLESSED with arable lands with weather conducive for farming, the highland province of Benguet has long been well-known as the “Salad Bowl of the Philippines”. Yet, recent oversupply in vegetable produce has forced farmers to needlessly dispose of their harvest, putting to waste not only potential food supply, but their back-breaking toil and labor in the fields.
It was truly a painful situation, enough to jolt Iloisa Romaraog-Diga, who decided to use the digital platform of the Session Groceries online store as an alternative means to link farmers to consumers and bring fresh vegetables from the farm to the plate at a price more beneficial to the farmers.
Iloisa, along with a few friends, created the Session Groceries in 2016.The e-commerce site has catered to the households in Baguio City, allowing them to conveniently buy supermarket items online to be delivered at their doorstep.
What started as a mere online store, Session Groceries is now a platform where the public can buy fresh produce directly from the farmers. This way, farmers need not sell their harvest at a lower rate, allowing them to dictate their own prices.
This advocacy, on top of the online convenience Session Groceries has been able to provide its customers, enabled Iloisa and her to team to “be more, and do more” for their community. It is this synergy between her bread and butter and her passion project which Mang Inasal recognized through the 2019 Gawad PiliPinoy.
As the recipient of this year’s Gawad PiliPinoy Award, Iloisa says she looks forward to working with more investors to further help farmers, incorporating modern equipment and methods.