MANILA, Philippines, Sept. 13, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Launched by the Philippine Board of Investments (BOI), the ASEAN Business Awards added a new category this year, hailing inclusive businesses (IB) that engage partners, suppliers, customers, or employees from low-income communities.
The ASEAN Inclusive Business Awards' first winner is the Philippines' Generika Drugstore which makes low-cost generic medicine available in rural communities without basic healthcare infrastructure. Generika also conducts free medical consultations for these communities. This year, Generika conducted an average of 110 medical consultations in stores nationwide.
Other IB finalists are the Philippines' Coffee for Peace (CFP), Singapore's Olam International, Thailand's Siam Organic, Laos' KP Co. Ltd, and Malaysia's The Batik Boutique.
CFP teaches coffee planting and processing to communities in Mindanao torn by armed conflicts, illegal logging, and irresponsible mining. The growers from these communities used to sell their beans for an average of 0.80 USD. Today, they can sell their beans for almost 5 USD per kilo.
Olam International is an agri-business company whose IB program in Bandung, West Java taught Javanese coffee processing and harvesting techniques to over 1,000 farmers. As a result, the farmers' yield increased by 1,000 percent in the last six years.
Siam Organic works with 1,800 impoverished farmer families in Northeastern Thailand to produce crops that meet Western market standards. These farmers now earn 14 times more than an average Thai rice farmer.
KP Co. Ltd.'s Cucumber Plantation Project trains and supports farmers in a community south of Laos' capital Vientiane. There are currently 400 people in the program who increased their average monthly income from 60.00 USD per month to 180.00 USD monthly.
The Batik Boutique works with 177 artisans, approximately 60 percent of which are women without stable income. Batik Boutique equips these women with skills to produce high quality garments and gift products so they can provide for their families. To date, it has helped over 1,400 beneficiaries.
"Now that we have seen the benefits that inclusive businesses bring, both the public and private sectors need to work together in leveraging this approach to doing business. By fostering the growth of inclusive businesses, we can create more economic opportunities that reduce poverty and provide opportunities for better lives in ASEAN communities," said Philippine Trade Undersecretary and Board of Investments Managing Head Ceferino Rodolfo.