Save Money, Help Farmers: Online Fresh Markets You Need to Know

IMAGE Majoy Siason

Blogger Pehpot Pineda refills her pantry with tomatoes and seedless avocados from an online market that bypasses middlemen, allowing her to save money and help farmers earn more from their produce during these times of elevated inflation.

Pineda is one of 140,000 followers of Rural Rising Philippines, an organization that connects farmers to Facebook shoppers so that no lettuce, carrot, or highland vegetable will be left to rot because of supply chain disruptions.

"Buying from groups like Rural Rising not only feeds your stomach, hindi lang katawan mo ang nagiging healthy but your soul as well. Iba ang saya na dala knowing you did something to help our farmers," she told reportr.

Score a boxful of vegetables when you shop at these online farmer markets.
Photo by Shutterstock
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Sometimes she would purchase kilos upon kilos of watermelons, corn, and other in-season produce, even if she knows her family couldn't finish it all. Pineda gives away her excess while exploring ways to preserve food for storage.

At a time when rising prices of goods put a strain on household budgets, looking for a cheap source of food, especially fresh fruits and vegetables, can be difficult. But if you're like Pineda who is looking for more bang for their buck while helping fellow Filipinos survive the inflation, here are some online sellers who offer door-to-door deliveries.

Where to buy fresh produce

Rural Rising Philippines

The non-profit group, led by Ace and Andie Estrada from Baguio City, launched the initiative in 2020 after seeing highland farmers give away tomatoes for free because of oversupply.

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Photo by Facebook/Rural Rising Philippines
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They post a video of farmers asking for the couple to buy their crops and ask their followers to partake in "rescue buys". Rural Rising cuts off the middleman and sells it to Metro Manila residents for a lower cost compared to those sold in public markets like Divisoria, while giving farmers higher profit.

Their latest initiative is for Ifugao farmers whose tomato fields were destroyed by the landslides due to nonstop rains. For P320 you can buy 15 kilos of tomatoes. That's around P21 each, or almost 60% cheaper than the P50/kg tomatoes sold in Metro Manila markets based on the DA Price Monitoring. Check out Rural Rising Philippines' page here for other offers. 

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Cordillera Landing on You

Cordillera Landing on You, or CLOY to its followers, got its name from the Netflix K-drama hit Crash Landing on You. CLOY, created by ex-Ifugao Rep. Teddy Baguilat in June 2020, promises to "bring the pasalubong to you" from the highlands after COVID lockdowns barred tourists from entering the region, which in turn forces farmers to throw away salad-ready produce.

It bridges the gap between Cordilleran farmers and Metro Manila customers by selling fresh fruits and veggies by the kilo, like cherry tomatoes worth P220. It's cheaper than if you buy it from SM Supermarket at P298/kg. It also offers veggie packs for pakbet, chopsuey, and salads, to name a few.

It also offers other signature pasalubongs, like strawberries, Baguio walis, Good Shepherd ube jam, Mikasan chocolate flakes, and Romana peanut brittle.

To buy from CLOY, check out its price list for the week and send the page a message for your orders. Usual cut-off is Friday night, and it will deliver the goods to your doorstep from its Quezon City headquarters by Sunday. Check out its page for more details. 

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Cordilleri

Cordilleri, based in West Fairview, also offers door-to-door delivery service of fruits, vegetables, and herbs "sourced ethically from our Cordilleran farmers."

A kilo of trimmed broccoli costs P200 via Cordilleri, while you'll have to buy it at P284/kg at SM Supermarket. Its cauliflowers are also cheaper at P200/kg, compared to P262 at the supermarket. It also sells strawberries and other fruits by the kilo.

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It delivers from its QC hub to any point in Metro Manila every Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday via couriers like Lalamove and GrabExpress. Check out its page for more information. 

Session Groceries

Session Groceries is also a Baguio-based advocacy group that connects local farmers to consumers via its social media pages and mobile app.

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On social media, it occasionally offers salad sets (cucumber, lemon, strawberries, and lettuce) for P299 and chopsuey/salad sets (strawberry, lettuce, carrots, young corn, beans, chicharo, bell pepper, cauliflower, cabbage, and sayote) for P578 with free delivery to select areas.

Photo by Session Groceries official Facebook

You can also order a mix of fruits, vegetables, and even cacao and meat from its vendor partners through its mobile app.

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Session Groceries, which has hubs in NCR and Cavite, delivers to Metro Manila, Rizal, Bulacan, Batangas, Cavite, Laguna and Pampanga. Visit its page for more information. 

Mayani

Mayani is an agritech start-up that aims to connect farmers and buyers to save "imperfect" (smaller, misshapen, or cracked) crops from ending up in the trash. While it lacks in appearance, it's still "perfectly good food" that tastes the same, according to Mayani.

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Just this July 25, it offered 22 kilograms of imperfect carrots for P25 per kilo. That's 75% cheaper than NCR market prices of P100/kg. It also put up for sale some 20 kilos of imperfect tomatoes for P32/kg, about 40% cheaper than those sold at public markets. Sometimes, it also offers Buy One Get One (BOGO) promos of excess harvests.

Mayani delivers every Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday. It also offers free delivery to Metro Manila areas for a minimum purchase of P2,000. Visit this page for more information. 

The Murang Gulay Shop

Marikina-based The Murang Gulay Shop partners with farmers in Benguet and Pangasinan to offer fresh and cheap produce, such as cabbage that cost P50 per kilo (that's P60/kg in public markets). Buy three kilos and the price drops to P45/kg. Just look for the red "Price Drop" stamp to purchase its produce for less.

Buyers can order via Facebook, and can have it picked up at its hub or via delivery.

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It delivers daily to north and central NCR plus several areas in Rizal. It also delivers every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday to southern Metro Manila, specifically Pasay, Las Pinas, Paranaque, and Muntinlupa. For more information, visit this page

Online Palengke

Online Palengke, a direct supplier of Baguio produce and promises fresh goods daily, sells cabbage, eggplants, and other vegetables at P5 less than how much you can get them per kilo at other public markets.

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Unlike other stores, it can accommodate a minimum quantity of 1/4kg per order, perfect for those who prefer to buy produce in small batches.

You may purchase produce there at an "order now, deliver tomorrow" service, with goods available for pickup at its stall at Divisoria in Manila. Customers may pay via GCash or BDO mobile. For more details, visit this page.

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This story originally appeared on reportr.world.

* Minor edits have been made by the Yummy.ph editors.

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