Kayumanggi-a color, a brand, a way of life.
Kayumanggi, which directly translates to brown in English, is the color of the Filipino people. Other times, Kayumanggi could be a Filipino brand for organic products. Founded by Amalia Morante, Kayumanggi Organics envisions to be not just a color the Filipinos could be proud of but also a brand of excellence.
Hailing from the Central Philippines, Amalia grew up in an island witnessing her mother always preparing and cooking freshly caught saltwater fish and backyard-grown vegetables. According to her blog, they rarely had highly processed food on the table—not because it is unhealthy, but because they did not have much to spend for canned and processed food from the supermarket.
Eating healthy not only became her way of life but also translated into her lifelong advocacy. In 2012, she started the Kayumanggi Organics (now Kayumanggi Organic) with a purpose of reinforcing health awareness throughout communities of their customers and their partners. They believe that the communities are fundamentally important to a person’s well-being and pursuing a communal perspective in their health awareness campaign maximizes the potential to help build a healthy world.
Five years hence, a full-time team of Kayumanggi Organic consists of four members, including Amalia and her co-founder, Benjamin Barnabela. The social enterprise is also working with low income mothers who have been tapped to be their Ambassadors of healthy lifestyle advocacy and Kayumanggi Organic products. Raw inputs of the Kayumanggi Organic are sourced out from the farmer cooperatives in Tago, Surigao del Sur that has more than 50 members, of which around 30 are actual farmers, and another one in Misamis Oriental that has 14 active farmers.
Kayumanggi Organic now carries eight products: Raw Coconut Sugar, Rustique Cacao, Wild Ginger Tea, Raw Virgin Coconut Oil, Raw Coconut Nectar, Golden Nectar, Luscious Choco Gelato, and Golden Mango Gelato. At present, they have around 25 regular institutional customers, which include among others, Human Nature and Rustans.
Aside from carrying a brand of organic products, the social enterprise is also partnering with the local government units and the Department of Social Welfare and Development for their healthy lifestyle advocacy activities such as the Kayumanggi Movement that is anchored on the three principles of kapayapaan (inner peace), kalusugan (health), and kalikasan (environment). In the long run, Benjamin said that Kayumanggi Organic seeks “to be the most INSPIRING provider of health promoting food products in the nation, made accessible to all, rich and poor alike.”