25th January, 2016, Bacolod City (Philippines): ICCO Investments Executive Director, Mark Joenje, and Ramon Uy Jr (Chairman-FSOI), and Francine Maranon Uy (CEO-FSOI) of Fresh Start Organics Inc(FSOI) signed a partnership deal, which will help FSOI significantly scale up its organic marketing operations in Negros Island, including other areas in the Philippines. FSOI also foresees the number of small suppliers, supplying directly and through their respective associations and business enterprise, increasing from 1,900 to 3,800 by 2020.
“We are very happy to partner with FSOI, since the company’s vision of being a vibrant enterprise that implements ecologically, socially, and economically sound practices in its business DNA, has a clear match with the overall impact agenda of ICCO Investments,” said Mark during the contract signing ceremony, “we expect this partnership to open up opportunities for existing suppliers to increase their supply volume in organic agriculture. Since, FSOI practices fair and transparent pricing, the small farmer producers are also expected to benefit from better price and better payment terms.”
Also present at the ceremony were: Ad van der Sluijs (Financial Adviser-ICCO Investments), Nestor Padilla (COO-FSOI), Shagini Amar (FO-FSOI), Jose Jimenez (Regional Investment Manager-South America), Nora Koigi (Regional Investment Manager Central & East Africa), Rob van den Bogart (Senior Investment Manager-Global Office), Arvind Agarwal (Regional Investment Manager-South Asia); Toto Camba (Regional Investment Manager-South East Asia), Marcel Neutel (Chief Investment Officer-Global Office), and Albert de Vink (Investment Com Member – ICCO Investments).
Fresh Start Organics is a privately owned company, founded in 2005 by husband and wife: Ramon and Francine Uy. In 2013, it was transformed into a corporation and came to be known as Fresh Start Organics Inc. As a fully integrated organic business, FSOI plays the roles of a producer, consolidator, processor, and distributor of fresh and processed organic products through various market channels. Though FSOI manages its own farm, at least 70% of organic products it processes comes from small farmers and producers, small businesses, cooperatives, and social enterprises.
It has established two organic and natural stores which showcases the farmers’ produce as well as other organic and natural products. Its own organic farm in Silay City has been established as a model organic agriculture farm where organic farming training is also provided.
As a staunch supporter of the organic movement, FSOI fully believes in the importance of good health, fair trade, and environmental conservation.