MGI Leads Charge to Turn Baguio, Cordilleras as Progressive Hubs for Agriculture, Livelihood, and Tourism

The idyllic Cordillera region is fast becoming a progressive hub for tourism, sustainable livelihood, and local agricultural heritage behind the efforts of the country’s leading organizations, led by the Max’s Group, Inc. (MGI).

In its efforts to help strengthen the local agriculture sector—a critical backbone of the food industry—MGI is partnering with the Department of Tourism-CAR-Baguio to empower farming communities to be competitive and become a source of pride for local food through the launch of its Corporate Sustainability, Synergies, and Relationships (CSSR) program. The launch follows the CAR Sustainable Farming and Tourism Conference, a program that MGI helped put together, where experts from the agriculture, business, and food sectors gather to help improve the Cordillera region’s farming methodology and achieve sustainable income.

“From educating the youth to educating communities to make their own success stories, we at Max’s Group, Inc. have always been very conscious about how we fulfil our role to bring greater value to our society in areas close to our hearts,” says MGI Director Carolyn T. Salud. “As 70% of the country's poorest communities come from the rural areas where agriculture is the dominant source of livelihood and employment, we believe that it is imperative that all concerned sectors—the government, the private sector, and civil society—work together to help make Philippine agriculture more resilient and bring about sustainable livelihood to local farmers.”

Empowering communities that matter

As the country’s largest casual dining operator, MGI leads the efforts of huge organizations in advocating the country’s farming communities by elevating the Filipinos’ sense of pride in local food and local produce.

“Having a prominent standing in the local casual dining segment, we believe that we have the opportunity to lead the efforts to empower our humble yet under-advocated farming communities,” Salud adds. “We hope that by working with local government units and other organizations whose values are very much aligned to ours—such as CAR and the MPA consortium—we will be able to forge more meaningful relationships across different sectors and start creating ripples of progress from there.”

Max’s Group’s CSSR programs—which will be launched in Baguio this February—will be guided by these pillars: (1) pride of product and place, and (2) enterprise development.

Spreading the love by giving back

While MGI has already been promoting pride of product and place by serving local specialties in select branches nationwide, the company sees a bigger opportunity to create a larger discourse towards this goal. Hence, it is now rendering its support to local farms by making them ambassadors of local food through its “Adopt-a-Farm” program.

Additionally, MGI will soon be forging partnerships with LGUs and farmer associations to source ingredients locally, thus providing a permanent market for high-quality yields being produced by its partner communities.

“We will be rolling out our Tinawon Rice Dishes as a symbol of our commitment to our partnership with the farming communities of the Cordilleras,” Salud shares. “These dishes will proudly feature the tinawon rice harvested by Benguet farmers, and will be rolled out in select Max’s Restaurants in Northern Luzon.”

The Tinawon Rice Dishes—to be offered in adobo, tinola, and danggit variants—will be served in Max’s Restaurants in SM Baguio, SM Rosales, Urdaneta, SM Tarlac, Luisita, La Union, SM Cabanatuan, and Maharlika Highway in Cabanatuan City in May.

Through its portfolio of loved brands, MGI is inspiring greater appreciation for local produce while giving local farmers a chance to have stories of their agricultural heritage heard through its pioneering CSSR initiatives. Drawing inspiration in helping create communities that thrive from the same vision it has in building well-loved brands, the Max’s Group is redefining the idea of true corporate success—one that is rooted on the organization’s capability to nurture long-term progress that benefits even the most humble members of our society.