The Labo Progressive Multi-Purpose Cooperative (LPMPC) had gone a long way when it dared to venture into the production of machine decorticated fiber and handwoven pina cloth and its buy products.
Since its launching in 2006, LPMPC has developed into a reliable partner of the Philippine Textile Research Institute (PTRI) in its development of polypiña cloth to address the need of a tropical fabric that will be utilized for the office uniforms of more than a million government employees. This paved the way to being a regular supplier of machine decorticated fiber to various notable buyers such as the Masa Ecological Development, Inc. And John Titan of Lumban, Laguna, who has 57 outlets throughout the Philippines.
In order to ensure continuous supply of quality fiber, LPMPC has been acting as a big brother to small producers of machine decorticated fiber and manually scraped knotted fiber as a buyer/consolidator, helping 12 communities with already a total employment of 400 from 30 in 2006.
This effort of LPMC to impact other communities in its project has not been left unnoticed. In 2009, a project of the Republic of Spain tapped LPMPC to act as the consolidator for all the machine decorticated fiber that will be produced by all the group beneficiaries in the different municipalities. The LPMPC agreed to do so because of its desire to help out small producers in the different municipalities by lending working capital, providing additional units of decorticating machines and buying their produce. Initial project outcomes have shown the cooperation by LPMPC and the other group beneficiaries. This inspired project evaluators had provided for the second batch of decorticating machines in the municipalities of Mercedes, Talisay and Vinzons and had also granted motorcycles with haulers to the first batch of beneficiaries.
The impressive performance of LPMPC in terms of managing its projects, be it foreign or locally funded, encouraged other line agencies to provide LPMPC technical and financial assistance in its continuous pursuit of developing its Integrated Pineapple Processing Project.
Two new buildings have been constructed by LPMPC to house its hand weaving of pina cloth and the making of handmade piña paper. The existing production area will now be solely used for the processing of pineapple juice, vinegar and dehydrated pineapple.
LPMPC is not resting its laurels inspite of its achievements. It had collaborated with the Fiber Industry Development Authority (FIDA) for the development of a natural fabric required by RADIOSA, an Italian Fashion House that wanted to explore the possibility of using Philippine natural fibers in fashion design. This was in response to the request of Mr. Esteban Pagaran, the Philippine’s Assistant Agricultural Attache to Italy. LPMPC delivered the samples directly to Mr. Luigi Grimaldi, the Production Manager of RADIOSA.
Its role as big brother have also radiated as far as the province of Laguna when it formed partnership with DORCAS Multi-purpose Cooperative (DORCAS MPC), a cooperative of marginalized women in Lumban, Laguna, whose skill in embroidery is very much needed by LPMPC in its development of hand embroidered and machine embroidered pina cloth, and its by-products, with latest designs.
In order to ensure continuous supply of quality Formosa pineapple, LPMPC not only loaned PhP2M from the Land Bank of the Philippines to finance pineapple growing ventures of its members but also collaborated with the Department of Agriculture Research for the implementation of project on “Enhancing Competitiveness of Queen Pineapple in Camarines Norte.” This project which will be implemented for one year with an approved funding of PhP3M and has three major components such as a) Upscaling the Production of Exportable Fruits; b) Market Development, and c) Capability Building.
After a year of hardwork, the crowning glory of all the efforts of LPMPC in developing its handwoven products paid off when their handwoven cloth was chosen by Runway Productions, Inc. to be the material for fashion show held in connection with the celebration of International Year of Natural Fibers 2009 at SMX Convention Center at the SM Msll of Asia, Pasay City in October 21, 2009, which was sponsored by ABS-CBN. Thirty-three (33) models ramped in the runway garbed in the handwoven cloth of LPMPC cut in various styles and designs.
Setting its vision farther for the global market, the LPMPC tied-up with the Association of Philippine Free Trade, Inc. (APFTI) through the facilitation of DTI-CNPO for the development of various products from pineapple fiber and pineapple fruit. Initial dialogue and plans had already been laid out.
Now there is no stopping the LPMPC in attaining what had been considered before by some as an impossible dream and leave its mark as a cooperative who only knows to do what has to be done.
When the Shared Service Facility (SSF) project of the department was launched, LPMPC was one those chosen as cooperator and was awarded with a total project cost of close to PhP3M. DTI turned over 12 sets of defibering machines, directly benefitting seventy (70) MSMEs engaged in the defibering of Formosa pineapple leaves and 1,751 pineapple growers in the various pineapple-producing barangays in the province of Camarines Norte. As cooperator, LPMPC with currently 8.448 members will manage the facilities and shall also as the lone consolidator of machine decorticated fiber in the province.
The first batch of SSF for Machine Defibering of Pineapple was established on November 18, 2013 with three (3) units of defibering machines, and was formally turned over to LPMPC on February 20, 2014. The SSF is being maintained at the main office of LPMPC located in Malasugui, Labo, Camarines Norte where the existing machineries are presently housed. The defibering machines are being rented for a fee to pineapple growers and other individuals engaged in the defibering of Formosa pineapple leaves in the various barangays of Camarines Norte. Through the DTI’s SSF project, three (3) entrepreneurs who are producing machine decorticated fiber were developed. Currently, the market of the machine decorticated fiber are the fiber processors in Camarines Norte, Camarines Sur, Albay, Cavite, Metro Manila, Benguet and exporters based in Manila and Cebu. Hopefully, with the continuous advocacy and information campaign being undertaken by DTI, the government employees will utilize tropical fabric from pineapple fiber for their office uniform. This will encourage textile companies to manufacture tropical fabrics and provide a sustainable market. The volume of production has likewise increased by 73% compared to the previous production capacity prior to SSF. It is aimed that with the SSF, the beneficiaries will be able to produce quality machine decorticated fiber being demanded by local and export market.
Cooperator: Labo Progressive Multi-Purpose Cooperative (LPMPC)
Location: Malasugui, Labo, Camarines Norte
Date Established: September 11, 1987
Date Registered with CDA : April 1, 1991
Members: Direct - 8,448
Products Produced : Machine Decorticated Fiber
Raw Materials : Fresh Formosa Pineapple Leaves Prices:
Price ranging from Php 250.00—Php 300.00 per kilo Production
•Prior to SSF - 260 kilos per month/ 3,120 per year •After SSF -452.73 kilos per month/ 5,432.76 per year
•Prior to SSF - local processors in Camarines Norte, Camarines Sur and Albay, Cavite, Metro Manila, Benguet and exporters based in Metro Manila and Cebu •After SSF - local processors in Camarines Norte, Camarines Sur, Albay, Cavite, Metro Manila, Benguet and exporters based in Metro Manila and Cebu
•Prior to SSF - P65,000.00 per month/P780,000.00 year •After SSF -P113,182.50 per month /P1,358,212.50 per year
Jobs Generated: Direct -52 Indirect: 13
No. of Beneficiaries Availing SSF:70 MSMEs