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What it does: onion marketing
Web site: www.nogrocoma.com
Based: Bongabon, Philippines
Employees: 5 (20 volunteers)
Revenue: $60,000 (2007)
NOGROCOMA was founded in 1954 with a simple goal: that the country with some of the best onion farmers in the world should not be importing onions from India, Australia, and Japan. After failing to create a viable investor-owned corporation, Congressman Jesus Ilagan formed a cooperative with the mission of improving the standard of living for farmers in the region and developing a stronger domestic market. Today the producer cooperative is owned by about 206 farmer-members (down from a peak of 800). Unlike many commodity cooperatives, NOGROCOMA does not get directly involved in the production of its core crop. Instead it buys onions from member farmers, who pay annual dues of $10.50, and focuses on marketing them. The co-op, heralded for creating jobs, increasing income, and improving environmental conditions, is struggling because of member attrition and cheap imports.
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