Superfood makers help boost Zambales economy

Didiere Ladriere, a Belgian businessman, and his Filipina wife Shiela Tiru own a company that manufactures superfood supplements in Zambales province. Ladriere attests to the efficacy of his product Spirulina Filipina, saying… he has been personally healed by the superfood from a heart disease.

Spirulina is a cyanobacterium, with scientific name Arthrospira platensis. This blue-green, microscopic, aquatic and photosynthetic bacterium grows naturally in warm, fresh water and is called Spirulina because of its spiral-shaped multicellular filaments.

Ladriere, who has a Bachelor’s degree in Nautical Sciences, says Spirulina Filipina, the Philippine brand manufactured by his company DLA Naturals Inc., has the highest concentration of blue pigment phycocyanin, considered an answer to many of today’s diseases.

He says the United Nations in 1974 described Spirulina “the best food for the future.” Spirulina contains the best concentration of nutrients known in any food, plant, grain or herb, he says.

Ladriere, who established Fruibel Industry, a Belgian company which specializes in the production of bakery ingredients in 1987, expanded his business to the Philippines, where he discovered the benefits of Spirulina.

Together with his wife Shiela, who is from Angeles City, Pampanga, Ladriere renamed Fruibel Asia as DLA Naturals, a company bearing his initials, in 1995. He says the company’s vision is to “provide livelihood to Filipinos and all of the company’s earnings are dedicated to humanitarian activities.”

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Didiere Ladriere

DLA Naturals now specializes in research, development formulation, production and distribution of Spirulina Filipina and other natural products for health, well-being, beauty and food industry. The company, which has a farm and manufacturing facility at Cabangaan Point in Cawag, Subic, Zambales, distributes its products through direct selling.

“We utilize multi-level marketing and direct selling business models, a sort of a blended marketing strategy. We maintain that it is a sustainable and the best business model that will create business opportunities to those who want to start their own with minimal capital,” says Ladriere.

Ladriere insists DLA is not a networking company. “We are a manufacturer and producer of our own products. Our products directly come from DLA Naturals which is then distributed to the end users. We produce quality products made in the Philippines. I don’t know of any other networking company which does this… where do they get their products? I don’t know if they really know the ingredients and process of production of their products. In DLA, you can see the farm, the manufacturing plant, the process and all ingredients descriptions and specifications,” he says.

DLA Naturals diversified into biotechnology by becoming a pioneer producer of Spirulina in the Philippines in 2006 and established its Zambales farm the following year.  The company employs thousands of people in the Philippines, says Ladriere.

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“The Spirulina Filipina farm was established in 2007. The business is gradually peaking and becoming better known in the Philippines. It has around 200 employees and more than 10,000 members and distributors nationwide,” he says.

Ladriere says the product is called Spirulina Filipina “to brand our Spirulina as coming from the Philippines.” Besides, he is married to a Filipina, he says.

Ladriere’s son Damien joined the company in 2008, the same year when DLA Naturals regrouped all activities from Belgium to Subic.  The company now has two divisions, one for food ingredients and the other for food supplements, including Spirulina Filipina.

In 2010, DLA celebrated its 10th anniversary in Subic and the receipt of ISO certification, which represents its adherence to global manufacturing standards.  Ladriere says DLA Naturals is the only aqua-culture company in the world awarded the Good Manufacturing Practices certificate.

He says DLA Naturals pursues an expansion program.  “We are expanding globally, and will have an international country hub soon,” he says. “Our plan is to have more shops/stores nationwide to reach every family, communities in the Philippines which we believe need our health supplements.”

The couple created Spirulina Filipina Foundation in November 2013 as the DLA’s corporate social responsibility arm that aims to provide livelihood and use resources in feeding programs and other useful activities for the less privileged.

“SFF is a subsidiary of DLA Naturals Inc. It was established as the main distributor of DLA naturals for food supplements. It is also part of the humanitarian activities of DLA,” says Ladriere.

SFF has conducted feeding programs in Quezon City, Tondo in Manila and other parts of the Philippines.  It has donated 2 million capsules of Spirulina Filipina to less fortunate people.

“The biggest project was in Tacloban last year where we distributed P5 million to P6 million worth of goods for Yolanda survivors,” says Ladriere.

SFF is also supporting young Filipino athletes.  The foundation supported three young Filipino taekwondo athletes who competed in the First World Taekwondo Federation’s Cadet World Taekwondo Championships in Azerbaijan on July 24 to 27, 2014.

The foundation backed the participation of Diliman Preparatory School students and Philippine team members Beatrice Gaerlan, Raymundo Alombro and Genicah de Laza in the world competition held at National Gymnastic Arena in Baku, Azerbaijan.  The three young Filipino taekwondo jins participated in the Kyorugi (sparring) competition.

SFF says it supports the development of young athletes in taekwondo, not only for their physical strength and stamina, but also for mental focus and alertness, representing the core values of DLA’s healthcare products.

Sheila Tiru, who also serves as vice president of DLA Naturals, says the company aims to create more livelihood in the country, particularly in Pampanga where she was born.

With the success of DLA Naturals, Tiru says “she wants to have a ‘balik tanaw’ program in her hometown, where she wants to help her fellow Kapampangans improve their health and also their lifestyle.”

 

View original article at: Superfood makers help boost Zambales economy

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