In 2013, Veterinarian Leonilo Dela Cruz founded the Golden Beans and Grains Producers Cooperative that
consolidated lands of its farmers-members and eventually ventured into producing soybean-based products.
Today, Golden Beans can boast of being one of the top cooperatives when it comes to processing soybean, and its success story started after Dela Cruz attended a training on soybean production and processing conducted by the Bureau of Agricultural Research (BAR), an agency attached to the Department of Agriculture (DA).
After Golden Beans was established in Sumacab, Cabanatuan, Nueva Ecija in 2013 , it also became one of the cooperatives that partnered with Philippine Center for Postharvest Development and Mechanization (PhilMech), also an agency under the DA, for the project “Pilot Testing Integrated Soybean Production-Processing
Technologies towards Accelerating the Development of the Local Soybean Industry in the Philippines.”
Golden beans eventually expanded its planting area by consolidating the small farms among its members, and ventured into processing of soybean into various products.
“With soybean, we are still on trial. But we are glad to have taken this risk. We are still ironing out various aspects of our production but we are hopeful and positive that by 2017, we could reach 200 hectares for soybean production,” Dela Cruz, the chairman of Golden Beans, said.
Golden Beans has an arrangement with its farmer-members to buy their produce, and the cooperative processes the harvest into various products. Among the many soybean-based products of Golden Beans are soymilk, bean curd (tofu or tokwa), soybean coffee roast, and hot and chilled taho. Also, Golden Beans produces soybean-based sausage, embutido, pandesal, pastillas and polvoron. PhilMech provided Golden Beans the machines to produce soybean-based products.
The cooperative’s soybean-based products are currently sold in Central Luzon and surrounding localities.
The success of Golden Beans is part of the compilation of stories from the coffee table book entitled “SOYAmazing Stories from the Field/Results from Soybean R&D Program” that was published by BAR.