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5 big groceries buy directly from farmers

Five of the country’s biggest supermarket chains have committed to buy direct from onion and garlic farmers, in an effort to end price manipulation by cartelized middlemen and traders, said Department of Agriculture Secretary Manny Piñol.

“(This) could be the start of the struggle to dismantle cartels controlling these important commodities in the country,” Piñol added.

Participating supermarket chains are SM, Rustan’s, ShopWise, SaveMore, and Mindanao-based NCCC Mall.

Piñol earlier revealed that Filipino onion-garlic farmers have suffered long from depressed prices for their produce because a “few, rich, and powerful groups control the industry” through huge importation and unscrupulous practices, such as hoarding and smuggling. (Ellalyn B. de Vera)