MORE than a hundred years ago, water and coffee changed because of one thing: a bottle.
The modern bottled water borrows the idea from Hiram Ricker, whose family founded the town of Poland Springs, Maine, from water, literature revealed. The bottled coffee bought off shelves and from a local café is traced by an Economist article to Scottish company Paterson & Sons in Glasgow in 1876. These are innovations that not only brought life into town, in the case of the Ricker family, but created an industry and altered consumption patterns worldwide.
For Crispin Muyrong Jr. of Sunlight Foods Corp., innovation in water management not only grew the family business, but also ensured the supply of a water-sensitive resource: ube (purple yam).
For Vie Reyes of Bote Central Inc., innovation in how coffee is roasted helps farmers see their income grow.
Both companies are finalists in the Benita and Catalino Yap Foundation (BCYF) Innovation Awards (BIA).
“As far the award is concerned, we are focusing on government services, education, small and medium enterprise and agri-business,” BCYF Chairman Antonio S. Yap. “What we are trying to recognize are all ‘successful attempts’ in the last five years who have attempted to do things a little better.”
Reyes, CEO of Bote Central, said they developed the Rearden Roaster coffee-roasting machine to help coffee farmers improve their income.
The Rearden Roaster is a 2-kilo batch roaster machine capable of roasting different kinds of
beans from moisture levels of the coffee bean between 11 percent and 18 percent.
“It can come out with a consistent quality whether they are small or big,” she explained.
Reyes said she and her husband Carlos Basilio said it is time for coffee farmers to get a bigger share and roasting will play an important role.
“Roasting is part of the processing supply that transform the green beans to roasted coffee,” she said. “It [roasting] is the most important thing in the value chain of coffee.”
Reyes lamented that the technology is not available to a significant number of coffee farmers in the country.
“Our plan is to produce more coffee-roasting machines all over the country and all over the world, because we believe coffee farmers have the same plight all over the world,” Reyes said. “They are the most exploited and earn the least.”
BIA finalist Sunlight Foods Corp. has introduced several innovations on its business operations that have contributed to sustainability of the company, according to documents provided by the firm. Developed and implemented in 2009, the Marikina City-based first launched its first of several energy programs in the field of energy conservation via water.
Muyrong said they are accomplishing this through the use of a 1.1-kilowatt evaporative air cooler instead of four units of 2 horsepower conventional Freon-operated air-conditioning unit for cooling a 100-square-meter processing area. He said this led to a drop in their power consumption by P418.74 daily, or P120,597 on an annual basis.
“In terms of ecological value, our company has contributed to the reduction of carbon-dioxide emissions to the atmosphere by 12,792 kilograms per year,” Muyrong said.
Competitiveness of the company went higher as the program has contributed in the reduction of the company’s overhead cost, according to him. At the same time, its social sustainability rose because the company uses savings to fund corporate social-responsibility projects for purple-yam farmers.
Muyrong said Sunlight shared its best practices to entrepreneurs through fora conducted by government agencies, local government units, business organizations and academe.
Under the same program, Muyrong said Sunlight also installed an aluminum lid cover on the steam jacketed kettle that is being used in cooking fruit preserves. This, according to him, resulted in a 3-percent savings that was equivalent to a P0.80-per-kg reduction in the production cost. Muyrong said the program has been cascaded to the different units of the company and also shared to concerned government agencies, business sector and schools.
One of the best practices they shared is the conservation of water resources. According to Muyrong, they were able to reduce 18 liters per kilo output down to 3 liters per kilo output.
To save on water consumption, Sunlight installed automatic faucets in handwashing facility that produced a 70-percent drop of water usage in handwashing operation.
Sunlight reported a savings of P339,900 on water consumption for 2010 for a 580,000-kg product produced at P45 per cubic meter cost of water. It provided the company financial stability, and at the same time, allowed them to fund corporate social-responsibility projects to the stakeholders.
MUYRONG revealed Sunlight also embarked on a campaign focusing in the use of efficient use of raw materials. This included the installation of a system to monitor ube peeling. The initiative yielded a positive result as there was a marked improvement in recovery of raw ube from 55 percent to 71 percent.
He shared that production of raw ube became more efficient when the company used a standardized 1.2-inch product.
The company’s green agenda gave a positive result when it was able to reduce solid waste to 15 percent.
In the green procurement area, Sunlight was cited by consumer goods manufacturing giant Unilever Corp. as a sustainable supplier for raw materials, such as banana, coconut, jackfruit and ube.
From one crop in 2014, Sunlight’s contract was expanded to three in 2015.
“We credit our green procurement practices for our growth,” Muyrong said.
On a bigger scale, Sunlight’s green practice boosted its ecological value resulting in 6 million kg of carbon dioxide dispatched into the atmosphere in 2015.
According to Muyrong, Sunlight’s goals are “aligned to the national goal, as well as international commitment, the 2030 sustainable agenda and the country’s contribution in addressing the climate- change reduction of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions to about 70 percent in 2030.
Net total carbon emission of Sunlight was 6,367,533.54, documents provided by Muyrong said.
The social value produced 135 sustainable employment opportunities to marginalized farmers. Furthermore, the job program eliminated the middlemen, thus enhancing the government’s social program of inclusive growth and generation.
He pointed out Sunlight also had a 100-percent conversion of scrap materials into cash with a financial value of P62,683.
The additional income allowed Sunlight to fund important projects of the company in enhancing its productivity and quality and compliance to Occupational Safety and Health efforts as rewards to top achievers in quality, productivity and health and safety during the regular monthly personnel performance recognition day.
Furthermore, Sunlight’s human relations got a boost as it conducted monthly birthday celebrations, summer outings and others.
To be concluded
Image credits: Amid | Dreamstime.com