Fresh Start Organics and the Vegetable Processing Center
(by Modesto L. Jose  3/18/2019)

You don’t have to start out as an expert in order to run a successful business. Sometimes, you just have to be courageous and ready for the possibilities. And most of all, to have an advocacy to share. This perfectly describes the story of Mr. Ramon “Chin Chin” Uy, Jr., 35, founder of Fresh Start Organics in Bacolod City, Negros Occidental.

Chin Chin started his first venture at a young age. He didn’t finish school and had no formal higher education or business training before becoming a successful entrepreneur. He simply started out producing organic fertilizer, primarily based on vermicomposting (using earthworms to fertilize the soil), and grew his business from there.

Out of his personal researches and experiments, his advocacy to plant and eat organic foods, he eventually ventured in vegetable production using their natural fertilizer which became a really successful one.

As the demands of their produce became higher, a vegetable processing center is a must to supply this. Thus, Chin Chin asked for support from the Department of Agriculture. A Vegetable Processing Center was awarded to them through the management of PHilMech. “The processing center helps us to improve more our operations. We now have a better process. Thanks to the PHilMech facility and for their continuous guidance and assistance in achieving an effective vegetable processing”, he shared.

The Vegetable Processing Center is made up of washing bins that can load bigger capacity of water so that the crops are well cleaned, with spin dryers and drying racks that help greatly remove excess water, sorting and packaging tables so they can sort and pack the crops not just on the floor. There are also fully perforated plastic crates so vegetables have better aeration.

Also included is an ice flake machine, so there is no need to buy ice that is used with water to wash vegetables for crispier and longer shelf life. There is also walk-in chiller or cold storage for their harvest that are not yet for delivery. It keeps its freshness and high-quality even within two weeks.

“Because of the processing center we have a quicker process now. In two hours we can finish processing the crops compared before to over four hours. Thus, we can deliver to the market earlier. As a result, there is better quality of the product, then an increase income.”

With Chin Chin’s unstoppable ways to quench his thirst for more knowledge and experiences, and his openness to welcome support from different government agencies and NGOs, Fresh Start will continue to grow and inspire Filipino farmers to venture into organic agriculture.

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