Dairy buffalo farmers in Luzon can now expand their dairy enterprise by entering a new venture in soap making. This was made possible through a PCC-Carabao-Based Enterprise Development (CBED) sponsored “Training on Soap Making” last September 30 at the PCC national headquarters, Science City of Muñoz in Nueva Ecija.
Said training aimed to enhance the knowledge and skills of dairy farmers in the new business venture which is soap making.
Carlo Tienzo, CBED support staff and one of the lead organizers of the training, said farmer-entrepreneurs should learn how to expand their product line by exploring other value-adding technologies such as the production of milk soap.
“It is actually market-wise because milk soap is already found to be highly saleable as more consumers prefer to buy environment-friendly and natural products. This venture is also sure to give them additional source of income aside from the daily cash that they earn from the sales of raw milk and other milk products,” he said.
Couple Michael “Tj” and Nerlita Gonzales of Baliuag, Bulacan, owners and producers of Kala Milk soap, were tapped as resource persons for the training.
Mrs. Gonzales shared the appropriate formulation for each bar of soap and the ingredients to make one. She demonstrated a stepwise process in soap making from weighing the ingredients to pouring the mixture into molding tools, curing, cutting, and finally, packaging.
The participants also went through practical and hands-on exercises to experience the process in actual. Aside from the practicum, they were also taught on how to examine the finished products for quality, calculate simple cost and returns, and prepare simple re-entry plan. The re-entry plan served as basis for the provision of a starter kit, which included some of the important ingredients in soap making.
“We’ve been into the soap making business for six years and I can say that it is truly a viable milk-based enterprise as long as you are persistent and consistent. Our secret is the appropriate formulation of ingredients. You should start formulating your own now so that you will have something to give as presents for the coming holiday season. If your friends will like it, that’s an opportunity for you to consider selling,” Nerlita said.
Mr. Gonzales, on the other hand, said their business is also fostering an advocacy that aims to support the education of dairy farmers’ children in Baliuag, Bulacan. For every sale of Kala Milk Soap, a portion goes to the educational fund.
“Kala Milk Soap is the first-ever bath soap made from carabao’s milk and with the best ingredients. It does not contain harsh chemicals and toxic ingredients, making it safe for the environment. Our family also sources the main ingredient from local farmers,” Mr. Gonzales said.
Scientific studies have already proven that milk contains proteins which help soften and moisturize the skin. It also has lactic acid, which contributes to maintaining the skin’s natural fairness. Milk is also rich in vitamins A, D, and E which further nourishes the skin. In addition, it has a whitening effect which is brought about by the way it regulates the production of melanin (a natural substance in the skin that causes the skin to darken).
Meanwhile, Cynthia Correa of Eastern Primary Multi-Purpose Cooperative in San Jose City, Nueva Ecija, expressed her thoughts about the significance of the training to their cooperative.
“The training is important for us to maximize the use of our raw milk. Aside from the processed food products from carabao’s milk, we can now also use our milk for soap products. It will also be an additional source of income for the farmers and their wives. We will definitely try this venture and as a matter of fact, after this training, we are going to buy the needed ingredients and equipment for soap making,” Correa said in Filipino.
Two batches of the one-day training are set to be conducted for dairy farmer-entrepreneurs in Visayas and Mindanao in October.