Unique products, unique success
The uniqueness of the seaweed product of Carayat Rural Improvement Club (CRIC), Prieto Diaz, Sorsogon, has been a really challenging factor to continue their livelihood business. Aside from the effortful product processing, the CRIC has also faced a tragic experience after a typhoon damaged their area as well as their equipment’s. Like other stories, pages have to be turned to see what happens next.
Struggles that strengthen the group
CRIC has been dealing with the complexities of seaweed production. Seaweed, a plant-like organism found in coastal areas, is only yielded on a seasonal basis. Since products have to be made on manual process, they have to scrutinize every detail of their product.
Being customary users of their time-honored equipment’s, it is undeniably making their processes very time-consuming. What adds up to its very long-process and traditional production is the insufficient use of sealers and bottles that the CRIC has been working for to have their own, previously.
On the other hand, they may have not machines to replace their normal product processing, but the quality of their product is genuinely preserved—surely.
Rolling up with MBC
Although the CRIC livelihood members had undergone Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) trainings and projects about seaweed product development, the group is still looking for “something” that will help them in terms of finances and innovative use of equipment—the thing that they have not vividly understood from their previous trainings. In June 27-July 1, 2016, CRIC have had the opportunity to learn beneficial ways with MBC on how to improve the marketing and the bookkeeping process on their livelihood business.
Like others, they don’t pay much attention on how to transparently keep records. The training have made them realize the great need to keep on track of what goes in and out of the business. The training also helped them to find an alternative way in generating income especially during rainy season (making noodles) though sometimes, it costs them a little for adding ingredients like oil. It’s of no big deal, indeed, because when dealing with the wet season of the country, livelihood businesses like what CRIC has, have to be prepared of the ‘other plans’.
With the coordination of MBC and Good Neighbors, CRIC is now looking forward for a larger market of their products to reach establishments outside their municipality. This will also be done in CRIC’s plan of joining trade fairs within the province to show how unique and how worth-to-buy their products are.
CRIC’s current situation may be that tough since they are also financially-challenged but they, like MBC does, believes that one day, their products—seaweed noodles, seaweed pickles, and seaweed crackers—will be prominently known in Sorsogon.