- Location: Antique-Western Vizayas Region
- Type of organization: Cooperative
- Products: Muscovado Sugar and banana chips
- Number of workers: 296
- Male/Female: 131/165
Benefits of cooperative membership include patronage refunds, dividends on capital and access to micro-finance. Among their support projects in micro-financing are various livelihood projects such as pig and chicken raising, sari-sari stores, fishing and farming. PREDA is working with several of its members in the marketing and export of their products.
Among them is the Antique Muscovado Sugar Producers’ Marketing Cooperative. This cooperative has a production capacity of 18,000 tonnes per year from its 14 hectares of land. Approximately 15 farmers, 45 farm workers and 8 packers are direct beneficiaries.
Muscovado sugar is a specialty brown sugar that is very dark brown and has a particularly strong molasses flavor.It is an unrefined sugar obtained by the evaporation of cane sugar juice in open kettles and draining off the molasses. The crystals are slightly coarser and stickier in texture than “regular” brown sugar, but are not as large as “partially refined raw sugar. ” The crystals still contain molasses; the darker the color, the more molasses present and therefore the stronger the flavor.
Although it is used in baking in the same way as light and dark brown sugars, because of its stronger flavor, it is ideal for barbecues, sweet and sour sauces and marinades. Its rich caramel flavor is perfect for full favored foods such as gingerbreads, chocolate cakes, brown breads, puddings, baked beans, pancake syrups, fudge, pecan pie or coffee.
The harvesting and processing season for the sugar is November to March with the peak processing time being December to February.
The Mapatag Life Multi-purpose Cooperative of Mapatag, Hamptic, Antique is the producer of quality Banana Chips.
The processing of banana chips began in 1997 and they have been marketed locally and throughout the province of Antique. In 2000, through their association with AFCCUI, the cooperative was introduced to PREDA Fair Trade and their products have been exported to Europe.
The production and processing of bananas chips is done in a sustainable and ecologically friendly matter. Bananas are grown locally and without the use of chemical sprays. Rice hulls are used as the fuel in cooking. The cooperative also processes bananas into marbles and fries. This project employs 11 workers, 9 women and 2 men. The workers income ranges from Php 1,500-3,375 per month depending on the volume of orders.