Association of Negros Producers
20 years before
The year 1985 marked the period when the Province of Negros Occidental became known throughout the country and abroad as suffering from a historic socio-economic crisis. It was the result of the worst sugar industry crisis in 1984 and the national economic crunch. Several Negrenses and foreign non-government organizations responded, in cooperation with the government to help the province cope with the crisis.
Under the tutelage of then-governor Daniel “Bitay” Lacson, Jr., concerned Negrenses put up the House of Negros Fair in Manila. They sold locally made products from Negros in the Ayala Car Park in Makati to raise funds for the poverty stricken Negros. This successful fund raising project opened the eyes of local Negrenses to start making handicrafts in their homes utilizing indigenous materials such as corncobs, corn and coconut husk.
In 1988, the Association of Negros Producers was born. A major breakthrough in the province’s quest for diversification, it was composed of women entrepreneurs who turn their hobbies and talents into profit ventures. In August of 1988, the Association of Negros Producers was formally established as a non-stock, non-profit umbrella organization of Negros entrepreneurs with an initial membership of 47 producers. The old agricultural Extension Building was the first venue of its showroom. The Showroom provided the members a venue where they can display their products. “Hope Shines in Negros, we’re getting there…” – was the theme of the first ANP trade fair launched at the Manila Garden Hotel. It generated P1.4 M in spot sales and P1M in orders from local and international market.
Still fresh from its first year of success, ANP welcomed its new members in 1989. Forty one new members joined the 2nd year in ANP Trade Fair at Hotel Nikko generating P2.1M in spot sales and P2M in orders. In the same year, the members started to participate in local, regional, and national fairs. And seriously began in exporting their products.
In 1990, the Showroom was moved in its present venue at Lourdes C. Bldg., 9th corner Lacson Street, Bacolod City. The first month’s operation saw an almost 500% increase in retail sales. Thus, additional manpower and equipment where provided. 1990 ushers in new opportunities for ANP. ANP’s Trade Fair at Nikko Manila Garden generated P3.3 M in spot sales and P3M in orders over a seven-day period for 55 producers. The Ceramic and pottery producers were able to avail the services of a trained volunteer from the Canadian Executive Services Organization.
It also accepted an invitation for a second trade fair in November, 1990 at the Philamlife Building, Manila which was participated by 39 producers. The five-day fair generated P1.3M for spot sales and about and about P600, 000 in orders. It started partnership linkages with other agencies like the Product Development and Design Center of the Philippines and the Philippine Trade and Training Center which provides product development assistance, marketing and training programs.
More producers also attended the Regional Market Encounter, The Visayan Showcase and the CITEM sponsored FAME Show.
In 1988 the ANP had only one bonafide exporter, the end of 1990 saw 38 producers directly and indirectly exporting. Membership had increased to 101 producers.
In 1991, the Bulawan Awards was launched. The Bulawan, a Hiligaynon word for gold, is an annual competition to recognize outstanding products made by the ANP producers for that year. It is designed to encourage ingenuity, creativity, and commitment for product development. All members are required to join. The year 1991 also paved the way for the TLRC P3M production loan agreement. The CITEM trade fair and the regional market encounter was also participated by the members. Seminars and Trainings, like the CESO Garments Program, the Export Costing and Pricing, A Seminar on how to negotiate with a foreign buyer, Export financing, Export documentation and Procedures and the Direction Setting Workshop, were also organized to help the members cope with the growing business competition.
The period from 1992 to 1993 was another busy period for ANP. A fund raising Fashion Show dubbed as BISTE Negrense was held in October 1992. Then the annual magazine of ANP – The Best of Negros was launched. It again availed of the TLRC Financial assistance to help producers in the growth of their business. ANP was a grantee of a training assistance project from PRAGMA, USAID and the MPEX Program program of DOST. During this period, ten (10) producers joined the Hong Kong and Japan Trade Mission. Milflores and Heirlooms Pacifica represented ANP in the US Trade Mission. Then, several members participated for the first time in The Nuremberg, Frankfurt fair.
In the period from 1994-1995, membership increased to 148 producers providing employment to more than 6, 000 workers in the province. Several members participated for the first time in Frankfurt Ambiente Fair, Tokyo Industrial Houseware Show in Jetro Japan. The third Bulawan award was held and the annual trade fair site moved to EDSA Shangri-La Hotel.
In 1994, partnership with neighboring economies was done through the visit of North Sulawesi delegates. Training programs in Exporting Handicrafts and furniture to the US and the CBI Matchmaker in Netherlands were conducted. In 1995, ANP was recognized and appointed as the initiating organization for the establishment of the PHILEXPORT in Negros. Also, ANP was appointed as Program Manager by the Presidential Council for Countryside Development for the National Economic Enterprise Development (NEED) for the 20 depressed provinces in the country using ANP as a model program. Thus, ANP Foundation was created. It was organized by the ANP in order to institutionalize the training programs on entrepreneurship and technical support among small entrepreneurs within and outside of Negros. It also assists potential entrepreneurs in identifying and developing raw materials using local manpower and resources, and encourages, promote and finance research, development and similar activities in the country.
The period saw the different innovations in management and leadership. The management office was created to manage day-to-day affairs. Leadership evolved where sectoral heads were elected from the general body instead of being appointed by the Board of Directors. The By-Laws was then amended stating that no re-election will be given for ANP president and that the directors’ maximum service would only be 3 consecutive terms. Shortly after, the membership manual was published. In 2006 the Good Governance Handbook was creadted and was distributed to members 2007.
Showroom net sales increased by 6.2% in 1994 and 3.5% in 1995 which were attributed to the innovations in visual merchandising techniques and the computerization of the accounting and the inventory system. For the annual trade fairs, participation of local government units like Silay City were encouraged. Thus the ’95 trade fair got an all time high gross sales of P6.57M.
Eleven members joined the Consumer Goods Asian Fair in Singapore in 1997. Then, with a total of 61 exhibitors, the annual trade fair dubbed as “Negros…A burst of Colors” was held in October at SM Megamall, Mandaluyong City which was also joined by the cities of Silay, Sagay, Bago and Bacolod. The members also participated in the 25th CITEM Fair and the Brgy. Bel Air Fair coordinated by the City of Silay.
In 1998, ANP joined the nation in the celebration of the nation’s Centennial Year by adapting the theme “Heritage and Legacy” for its annual trade fair at SM Megamall. United for the first time, ANP participated in the CITEM with the ANP joint stand “island booth setting”. Another significant milestone was the signing of the US marketing agreement with Transpac Logistics Inc. This will enable the Association to establish a showroom in California and a marketing representative in the US.
Throughout the years, ANP had been given various awards such as:
- Recipient – 2007 Outstanding Bacolod Business-Support Organizationgiven by the Presidential Consultant for Entrepreneurship and the Bacolod Economic & Business Council
- Qualified for the Business Development Service Organization
Special Citation from the City Government of Bacolod – given on the 67th Charter Anniversary of the City
- 2002 Most Outstanding Non-Government Organization awarded by theTechnology & Resource Center
- Appreciation Awarded for the successful implementation of the 2nd CanadaFund Trade Fair, given by the Canadian International Development Agency
- Recipient – 1996 Gaward Kabisig Award for Outstanding Kabising-Type Project (Micro-Lending Project)
- Recipient of the National Convention on Technology for Sustainable Livelihood Techno-preneur Award from Technical Livelihood Resource
Today, 20 years after, we look back as we move forward. ANP shall continue to contribute to the economy of the province through entrepreneurship, job creation and providing opportunities for micro, small and mediu, enterprises. ANP continues to give a ray of hope to the people of Negros. It is determined to pursue its mission in the development of SME’s in the region and in empowerment of each Negrense through the entrepreneurial spirit.