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1. As a social enterprise, the business model of Gandang Kalikasan, Inc. is pro-poor, pro-environment and pro-Philippines. More than half of the company's workforce, approximately 500 employees, come from rural villages across the country. This is to help their families back home to have a better quality of life and sustainable source of income. The company is focused in expanding more natural products in the pipeline and helps the Philippines in a broader scope by exporting naturally grown products to ASEAN and other regions.
2. The first and only Philippine personal care brand that produces all natural products and is a certified member of Natural Products Association (NPA) in the USA. The certification of NPA given to Gandang Kalikasan, Inc., is an affirmation of the company's ability to produce world-class, safe and natural products to its consumers, both locally and globally.
3. Radical innovation on Human Resource business practices. The company values the significance of PEOPLE in the organization. The design and implementation of its HR policies gives a high regard to humility and self-development.
In 2007, as Gawad Kalinga (GK) Volunteers, Camille Meloto, Anna Meloto Wilk and Dylan Wilk went to San Jose, California to advocate and set-up Filipino American Communities to become GK volunteers in the USA particularly in the West Coast. The three co-founders noticed that there was a growing demand for natural products in the USA and initially they thought that they could import these products to the Phillipines.
However, Anna Meloto Wilk, the President of the company, mentioned that this idea would have a small market as imported products are generally expensive considering the tariff collected by the Philippine Government on taxes and duties, thus, its profit won’t be sustainable and local communities will not be empowered.
For this reason, she and her co-founders decided to shift their business model from importing to exporting Filipino natural products instead. This will provide an impact for local communities – providing more decent jobs for the economy to grow and will also help rural village farmers to have sustainable jobs and not depending on rice planting alone.
Gandang Kalikasan, Inc. was established in 2008 and its innovation focuses on three (3) major aspects.
1. The business model is pro-poor: A Social enterprise.
The company creates a demand for high value essential oils coming from local farmers. Anna and her team invest in programs through training, skills development, and values formation to improve farmers productivity and quality of life. Her company works through partnerships with Gawad Kalinga and other organizations that share the same vision, by developing certified organic farms in the countryside that can produce excellent raw materials for human nature products, as well as community based enterprises that multiplies the income of poor communities.
She also shared that Gandang Kalikasan, Inc. started from having four employees in 2008 and after eight years, the Company now has 400 full-time regular employees of which 50% came from Gawad Kalinga Communities – these employees were formerly tricycle drivers, scavengers, contractors but now are working as warehouseman, merchandisers and office workers equipped with full time employee benefits.
2. All products are certified natural.
The first and only Philippine personal care brand, Human Nature, that has been a certified member of the Natural Products Association from USA. Approximately 34 human nature products have been awarded the "natural seal".
3. Radical innovation on Human Resources business practices.
Anna shared the following information about how the company treats employees:
Anna Meloto Wilk, President and Co-founder, mentioned that her inspiration was driven by her love of family. She quoted: "I believe that each family should use 'natural and safe products' but should also be 'affordable and accessible' to many."
Anna further quoted that, "Gandang Kalikasan, Inc. was established to fully utilize the Philippines vast natural resources and export these organic products to other nations. Our Company, helps the rural village farmers across the country, in close coordination and collaboration with Gawad Kalinga Foundation, to provide a sustainable source of income, constantly train and educate farmers on organic farming methods and techniques."
Gandang Kalikasan, Inc. transformed the lives of the local farming communities across the country. The more natural products delivered on the front-end, the more seeds, plants, vegetables, herbs, and coffee need to be grown in the farms, making it a constant source of income for the farmers all year round. Furthermore, all products are affordable to many Filipino consumers.
Gandang Kalikasan, Inc. sourced out raw materials from farming communities in the Philippines and also helps the farmers in developing their crops in finding ways to grow them organically. The company has its own manufacturing plant in the Philippines whose employees came from Gawad Kalinga built communities, a non-profit organization partner and award-winning NGO.
Gandang Kalikasan, Inc. carefully selects and sourced out its raw materials locally to ensure that all products are natural, against animal testing and without any harmful chemicals used. All products passed the standards duly certified by Natural Products Association from USA.
 Gawad Kalinga, which means to “give care”, is a Philippine based movement that aims to end poverty by first restoring the dignity of the poor. The foundation was established in 2003 and currently works with over 2,000 communities across the country. For more information, please visit www.gk1world.com.
At present, Anna shared that the company is exporting its natural products to the USA particularly in the West Coast and Texas. Her company aims to expand its market both local and international. The company has a wide range of natural products from personal care to food and beverage.
She also shared that Gandang Kalikasan, Inc. started from having four employees in 2008 and after eight years, the Company now has 400 full-time regular employees of which 50% come from Gawad Kalinga Communities.
1. Capacity Building – e.g. “transfer of knowledge” to farmers to grow crops organically.
2. Extended Supply Chain – as Human Nature progresses, its supply chain also follows. SME’s are thriving, not to mention full-time moms that can now can have social entrepreneurship opportunities via direct selling.
3. Sustainable benefits to farmers – e.g. an all year round of production, from farming to harvesting which helps provide a guaranteed income.
4. High quality, natural and yet affordable products to consumers.
5. Export quality goods that translate into helping the Philippine economy.
6. Employment creation for the underprivileged.
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Anna Meloto Wilk, President and Co-founder
Gandang Kalikasan Inc., the owner of the brand “Human Nature” was established and Incorporated in 2008, currently the No. 1 brand of natural & organic cosmetics and personal/home care products in the country today.
Gandang Kalikasan Inc., envisions flourishing as one of the leading SOCIAL ENTERPRISES in the Philippines by making natural products from the country's vast supply of natural resources.
More than being known for their world-class products, they are primarily a social enterprise driven by the core philosophy of "Pro-Philippines, Pro-Poor and Pro-Environment" seeking to inspire more businesses to better serve society. Their products showcase the quality and ingenuity of 100% Philippine made products and the company operates to bring quality life to the poor starting with their employees and with the farming communities they work with.
1. Raw Materials to produce ESSENTIAL OILS for wellness product lines (one of many product lines) .- e.g. citronella, eucalyptus, rosemary, tea tree, etc.
Gandang Kalikasan, Inc. do not grow the herbs BUT purchase and works closely with Gawad Kalinga Foundation, who established approximately 2,000 farming communities around the Philippines. This helps the rural farmers to have a sustainable source of income all year round. The company (Gandang Kalikasan) and the foundation (Gawad Kalinga) has built houses for farmers nearby the farming villages.
Apart from raw materials acquisition, Gandang Kalikasan also provides training and constant education to rural farmers in terms of organic farming - its techniques and methods involved, in order to further improve crops yield.
2. The Company (Gandang Kalikasan) is in charge for its product line development, sales and marketing, and distribution of products to its consumers. How?
Product Line Development - they employ an in-house licensed chemists to formulate and tests the right formulation for their essential oils, for instance. This also applies for their personal care brands such as soaps, shampoo, body lotions, etc.
Sales and Marketing - they employ key accounts specialists and Marketing executives across regions to plan and execute its strategies to achieve its yearly targets.
Distribution Channels - the company's products are sold in major RETAIL STORES located in the Philippines. They also have DIRECT SELLING opportunity for those who wants to have an extra income in selling personal care and wellness products. Not so long ago, they have opened their INTERNATIONAL WHOLESALE dealership in the ASEAN and North American regions. Lastly, E-COMMERCE is also thriving and is set to expand its operations to reach and address consumers need. Their product inventories are kept in their company owned WAREHOUSE in Southern part of Manila.
At present, the company continues to hire professionals, both fresh graduates and experienced, in different fields and expertise, it is an indication that their market share is constantly growing and their business is thriving!