Stewards of Enterprise

Stewards of Enterprise

After many failures in cooperatives and collectives, the Department of Agriculture, DoA, and the President's Commission for the Urban Poor, PCUP, are seeking to learn from their failures. They both see the missing ingredient as good stewardship of the commonly owned property and resources of the cooperative, someone who will be responsible without ownership or conflict of interest. Now Veritas Social Empowerment, a subsidiary of the Catholic Church, will be the steward and manage the property and resources of cooperatives.

After many months of preparation the first cooperative using this new model had its first food bazaar for the region of Calabarzon at the Sacred Heart of Jesus Parish in Quezon City. Calabarzon, Region 4A of the Philippines, is an area to the south of Manila, including several provinces and millions of people. The new food depot and sales outlet launched a new collaborative effort between a church and government that has frequently been at odd with one another over other issues. In attendance at the food bazaar were the Director of DoA, Region 4A, a top official of the PCUP and Father Ben Beltran, CEO (thats chief empowerment optimist) of Veritas Social Empowerment. I was tempted by the green papaya relish and the guava jam to share at our table.

From my perspective as the natural agriculturist for Veritas, it seems a short step from parish hall as food depot and outlet to parish hall as resource depot and training facility for natural agriculture methods and resources that can empower the small farmer with better yield and lower overhead, the poor consumer with fresher and more healthful produce and the planet with a cleaner environment and a future for all living things.

Truly, by becoming the stewards for agri business and enterprise the church is taking its place as stewards of creation!

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