On September 22, 2017, the master bakers from the Lutheran World Relief (LWR)-supported Nutripan Bakeshops in Surallah and Koronadal City together with LWR Program Manager, Mr. Roderick Valones, MFI Admin & Finance Officer, Ms. Liza D. Hora, and the project team convened for the assessment of the Nutripan BREAD (Business for Rural Economy and Agriculture Development) Project.

With collaborative efforts of LWR and Mahintana Foundation, Inc. and support from officials in the barangay, municipal and provincial levels, the project was successfully launched on July 10, 2017 in Koronadal City and on September 7, 2017 in Surallah. Established as a Social Enterprise, this project aims to improve access to healthy, nutritious and affordable snack alternatives among school children.

Mr. Valones explained that it is vital to assess the project’s initial performance and its accomplishments, examine the challenges encountered and determine the extent to which the project was able to meet its objectives. As the front liners, the master bakers, were encouraged to be open and honest to share positive as well as negative factors affecting the overall operations of the bakeshoppe. This includes their personal assessment of the following: (a) sourcing of ingredients; (b) production; (c) marketing strategies; (d) Admin & Management; and (e) other concerns (e.g. interaction among bakers, attitude of bakery staff). By doing so, the project team were able to examine if the project has achieved its goals, determine how effectively it is being managed, formulate recommendations to improve its performance and define the factors that may help set its direction, whether it is sustainable or not.

It is evident that handling a Nutripan Bakeshoppe comes with an array of challenges and overcoming it may not be easy. The project team still has high hopes that the project will be successful in the long run, with the aim not just to provide Nutritious Bread products to the communities but to also offer livelihood/employment opportunities.

The Assessment Plan is an important element for the formulation of the Nutripan BREAD project’s Strategic Plan, which will be used as basis for future investment of Lutheran World Relief.

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