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Woman Made: Sandra Soriano

Woman Made: Sandra Soriano

8th Mar 2018

With an international background in Food Politics coupled with a passion for our local industry, Sandra Soriano is well on her way to changing lives. Find out more about her advocacy and how we too can help make a difference.

Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and what you do?

With a graduate degree in Food Politics and a family background in agricultural production and food processing, it seems fated that I have taken on a more active role in my family’s dairy farm producing fresh milk and other premium dairy products, as well the coconut division, which produces organic, cold pressed Virgin Coconut Oil.

What inspired you to pursue your advocacy?

I was quite sickly growing up – I had severe Asthma, terrible food allergies and a very weak immune system. It wasn’t until I finally saw an amazing functional medicine doctor who helped heal me, did I realize how foods are produced have a tremendous impact on their quality, and as a result, the benefit or damage they can do to you.

How do you think this could benefit our country in the next few year?

Having come to understand and value food as far more nourishing and healing than our society gives it credit for, I hope to bridge my experiences in creating something sustainable and more attuned to public health. Part of what we are trying to do at the farm is make fresh, premium products that are also accessible and affordable. Its not just about making organic VCO with no additives, but also taking care of the environment and using the waste material to power our boilers. It means we pay tremendous attention and care to the quality of the feeds of the animals – happy, healthy cows really translates into better quality milk! More than just providing something yummy to eat, I hope this impacts the way people think about their food, the environment, and how they feel—in producing better quality food we hope to improve the health and wellness of our customers and community.

What’s next for you?

At the moment I think that there is still a lot I can do with the family business and make a difference through food. In our quest to nurture through the powers of food as medicine, I believe we set an example on how to live sustainably, so we can enjoy the beauty and bounty of the planet long into the future.

How do you think women are making strides in your industry?

Women like Alice Waters have been instrumental in helping break the gender barrier. In a very male dominated industry, she doesn’t only serve as a role model to many aspiring female chefs, but has also called attention to less glamorous facets of the food industry, such as the agricultural and environmental elements, where women’s roles have been far more limited. Margarita Fores of Cibo and Hindi Webber of Holy Carabo are both great examples of modern strong Filipina leaders, unafraid to get their hands dirty (in the kitchen or on a farm), and still be very feminine!

What advice can you give women who are aspiring to be social entrepreneurs like yourself?

Starting any endeavor is challenging and extremely hard work. So it's really important to have great support – there is always a team behind and good leader or big win. Coaches and mentors, especially other women is indispensable. Their lessons and feedback are really going to make the difference so be open to their advice and (constructive) criticism. Most importantly, support other women even if they are your competition in the marketplace as ultimately, they are still up against the same gender barriers you are.

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