committed to health and wellness"
Linda R. Corsiga is a teacher by profession; but
after teaching briefly, she tried her luck in a private company
in Manila as executive secretary and later had a brief stint
at the Ministry of Trade and Industry as assistant secretary
to then minister Roberto Ongpin.
She then worked for 13 years as executive assistant to private
investment arm of the World Bank group. But later she decided
to go into business and be her own boss.
Her exposure and experience in the corporate world had honed
her managerial skills and awaken her interest in business . But
before embarking into her own business she prepared herself by
attending seminars and training on Honeybee Culture, Entrepreneurship
and Vinegar processing /production.
Her first venture was the culture of Australian honey bees in
her hometown Bulan, Sorsogon encouraged by the advise of an expert
who had told him Bicol region is a "paradise for bees"
because it has vast coconut plantations and one of the sources
of nectar are the coconut blossoms."
But for some reasons this undertaking failed but it opened another
window of opportunity for her - the establishment of organic
coco nectar vinegar business under the name Sorsogon Food Enterprise
Inspired by the legacy and memory of her mother, Conching who
was into organic all-natural coconut sap vinegar -making in the
50's, she adapted the brand name Lola Conching. Linda likewise,
considered it her mission to "rescue the vanishing breed
of tuba gatherers from extinction" and save the dying art
of tuba and vinegar-making."
In 2004, she joined the Organic Producers Trade Association,
which served as the initial launching pad for her vinegar products.
Since then, SFE has joined bazaars, trade fairs and exhibits
both locally and abroad.
It started off with just one kind of vinegar and over the years
it has evolved into a producer of coco nectar specialty vinegars
with five (5) variants; the raw wild honey, chili and ginger,
garlic and lemon grass.
Theirs, is no ordinary table
vinegar but categorized as a gourmet vinegar which could be used
for cooking, dipping marinating, pickling, salad dressing and
a detox drink as well. SFE has also developed other new products
like the Coco Nectar Honey, Coco Nectar Health and Energy Drink
and Coconut Gel Chutney and coconut palm cabbage chutney.
SFE has lived up to its mission to lessen people's exposure to
chemically -laden foods by maintaining its organic positioning
in the market and had its products certified by the Organic Certification
center of the Philippines (OCCP) for the domestic market and
their application for organic certification for the US market
is being processed by CERES, a German organic certification company.
All SFE products have been tested by reputable BFAD -recognized
laboratories - the SGS Philippines and Food Development Center
which confirmed their purity and excellent quality.
They were also tested for their nutrient content which revealed
the presence of beta-carotene, potassium, calcium, phosphorous,
iron, magnesium and sodium.
SFE products are considered as Pinoy world Class Agri-products
especially the Organic Coco nectar Specialty vinegars which was
one of the four winners at the International Food Expo 2006 (IFEX)
Trendy Product Award of CITEM in May 2006. Her Chutney Coco Gel
has been adjudged as the Best Rising or Promising Product during
the Rising Star Competition at the 8th Philfoodex Trade Fair
on March 2-6, 2009. And Linda Corsiga, the woman behind this
successful enterprise has been recognized and given the Product
Processor Innovator Award during the Coconut Festival on August
Linda and her products have been featured in various broadsheets,
magazines, TV documentaries, shows and on-line as well. Linda
has also been invited as guest in various shows and as resource
speaker in various events.
With a capitalization of only P2M the SFE enterprise is now multi-million
enterprise and is still growing and expanding. Her products are
now being sold in Metro Manila, Bicol and Tarlac, the United
States and Japan.
Despite her success Linda knows how to payback and pay forward.
She adopts some students as scholars, donates books to the barangay,
gives cheers to the indigents through gift giving during Christmas
, donates relief goods during calamities and do other community
Linda and her products are truly "orgullo" or pride
of Bikol. Her entrepreneurial spirit is an inspiration to aspiring
entrepreneurs and her commitment to the cause of providing safe
food, health and wellness of consumers, protecting the environment
and espousing organic practices and natural methods in food production
and generating jobs for jobless are indeed commendable and worth