Venture Location: Philippines
Keso Beso started at the Gawad Kalinga Enchanted Farm, a Farm Village University (FVU) which takes students from communities around the Philippines and trains them through its SEED (School for Experiential and Entrepreneurial Development) program to become social entrepreneurs. The farm is located in Encanto, Angat, Bulacan, Philippines which is 43km north of Manila. The farm sits on 43 hectares of land which it uses to teach and to develop its student’s social enterprises.
Keso Beso aspires is to create a facility and platform where we can add value to dairy products such as cream cheese. We want to connect with dairy farmers and to provide them with sustainable partnerships that will reduce the amount of dairy imported into the Philippines.
Keso Beso is a social enterprise incubated by SEED students Joven, Mark Jayson, and Jeson. We all came from the bottom of the pyramid. We are building up our own enterprise by using our compassionate minds and productive hands to uplift the dairy industry of the Philippines.
The Philippines import 99% of its dairy products. Dairy is an industry which Philippines can create high value product because we are abundant with Carabaos and plants that promotes lactation.
Keso Beso creates artisanal cream cheese made with fresh carabaos milk added with fresh ingredients sweet basil and dill garlic. As social entrepreneurs, we directly source from different local dairy farmers. We are building a sustainable platform for the farmers, by minimizing and eliminating the middle men. The foundation of our enterprise is compassion, faith, love and trusting to one another. This enterprise taught us not only to become a social entrepreneur but more importantly to be men of honor and value. Keso Beso builds our confidence and restores our dignity. We believe that this Keso Beso is our mission and our path, which carries the work of Gawad Kalinga to end the poverty for 5 million families by 2024.
However, at the heart of poverty is our disconnection from land and people. The Philippines is blessed with an abundance of natural resources, yet many abandon the countryside to seek fortune in cities or abroad, leaving over 10 million hectares of fertile but unproductive land.
Meanwhile, the average of the farmers in the Philippines is 57 years old and most of them cannot work properly 10 to 15 years from now. Most of our local dairy farmers uses their carabaos for plowing the fields especially rice and sugarcane field. The farmers’ lack of knowledge and technology hinder them to utilize and to create dairy products with higher value.
Keso Beso creates an impact directly to the farmers because we directly source our their raw materials (milk) from them, cutting out the middle man. We also build up the next generation of farmers, our classmates, by sharing our knowledge about growing the dairy industry. We aspire to replicate our idea or social venture in rural areas of the Philippines with the help of Gawad Kalinga and local government units.
Video of the venture: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v7LzJNlzeGI