Last November 28, 2009, together with the launching of Panagbenga, the La Top Multipurpose Cooperative opened a branch at SM Supermarket Baguio through the initiative of the Jaime V. Ongpin Foundation and SM Baguio. The opening was attended by Hon. Artemio Galwan, La Trinidad, Benguet Mayor; Reynaldo C. Bautista Sr., JVOFI President; Ma. Rosario R. Lopez, JVOFI Executive Director; Princess Baniaga, SM Baguio Supermarket Supervisor; and, several La Top Multi Purpose Cooperative board of directors.
With the opening of a stall at SM, the La Top MPC has come closer to their goal of providing fresh organic produce to the public. La Top farms yield chemical free vegetables, through environment friendly agriculture practices.
Farmers were given soft loans without fear of loan defaults and loss of capital since their organic farm production would be strictly monitored. Aside from providing loans, JVOFI assisted the La Top set up a certification and quality control process which ensures that harvested vegetables from La Top farms are organically raised, and hence, are safe and healthy to eat.
Two of the farms of La Top MPC have been already accredited by the Organic Certification Center of the Philippines (OCCP), the country’s nationally accredited organic certification agency. JVOFI and La Top are now striving to register all of the farms to OCCP. There is now no doubt that Benguet can become the country’s number one organic vegetable producer.