Tuesday, July 23, 2024

From moringa to cinnamon, Sekaya highlights local superfoods and supports Filipino farmers

From moringa to cinnamon, Sekaya highlights local superfoods and supports Filipino farmers

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Sekaya’s long-standing partnership with the Moringaling Philippines Foundation, Inc. (MPFI) has not only produced a high quality moringa supplement but has also contributed significantly to the development of a globally competitive Philippine moringa industry. 


Malunggay, familiar and beloved by Filipinos, is many things: a galactagogue to help boost milk production for breastfeeding moms, a nutrient powerhouse with vitamins C and A, calcium and potassium, and a rich source of disease-preventing antioxidants, amino acids, and anti-inflammatory agents. 


The Filipino plant-based brand under Synnovate (the natural products division of Unilab) produces an EU-certified organic moringa supplement, keeping its sourcing 100% local through farms under the MPFI network which pushes the research, development, and standardization of moringa grown in the country. Sekaya Organic Moringa’s impact covers consumers who reap the benefits of this local superfood, and farming communities that benefit from the support and promotion that showcases local farmers’ capability in organic moringa farming.  


“We are extremely proud to partner with Sekaya in providing the local market with a high quality moringa supplement that is safe for anyone who takes it,” says Bernadette “Bernie” Estrella Arellano, founder and chairperson of Moringaling Philippines Foundation, Inc. ”Through this partnership, we are also showcasing the capabilities of our very own Filipino organic malunggay farmers who meet the stringent standards of international bodies like the European Union.” 


Aside from big retailers like Mercury Drug and Watsons, and e-commerce sites Lazada and Shopee, Sekaya proactively works on getting its moringa supplement into more distribution channels, particularly provincial ones like Carlos Superdrug in Lucena City, Quezon, and Jhunbelle Drugstore in Coron, Palawan. 


Recently, Sekaya and RiteMed Philippines inked a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with social enterprise Plantsville Health to save 16 native cinnamon species, encourage farming of the local spice, and develop natural health products to boost the industry.  


Cinnamon is one of the most important spices used all over the world, and at one point in Europe, considered at par with how oil is valued globally today. Studies have shown that cinnamon may help control blood sugar by making insulin efficient, moving glucose to cells. It is also known to have other medicinal benefits for its antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial properties. 


According to Plantsville Health founder November Canieso-Yeo she discovered that the country not only has its own local cinnamon species, but these are also in the threatened species list of the International Union of Conservation of Nature (IUCN). 


“It’s a shame because our country imports more than 95% of its current cinnamon consumption. How meaningful it could be if we could help grow back the Philippine cinnamon, while earning for the farmers and its suppliers,” she says. 

RiteMed Philippines President Jose Maria Ochave and Plantsville Founder November Canieso-Yeo sign a MOU to work together to save PH cinnamon

That’s the aim of Canieso-Yeo’s social enterprise – save the Philippine cinnamon and other aromatic indigenous species by planting them in partnership with small landholder farmers, buy their produce, and develop these into healthful products for consumers. And with collaborations and support from brands like Sekaya and RiteMed, she sees more concrete ways forward. 


“To be able to direct the supply of cinnamon for natural health products to local sources would be a big win for the industry,” Kamille Iris Abapo, Marketing Manager of Synnovate, points out. “As a brand, Sekaya continues to work hard to support local farmers and suppliers while developing high quality natural health products that help set standards for the industry and benefit consumers, community and country.”


With partnerships that benefit Filipino consumers and emerging Filipino enterprises whose businesses support local resources, Sekaya continues to champion the power and health benefits of native superfoods to help optimize our own natural resources for both local and global markets. 


Sekaya is under Synnovate, the natural products division of UNILAB. Learn more about how you can benefit from Sekaya’s plant-based solutions and get health tips and information at https://www.sekaya.com.ph/ and by following @sekayaph on Facebook and Instagram.