International furniture maker IKEA said that they are planning to source the produce of Filipino farmers for their restaurant.

IKEA is preparing to open its first ever store in the Philippines next year, says the official of the company.

IKEA’s Southeast Asia development manager George Platzer said that they are already negotiating with Baguio and Southern Luzon farmers regarding the supply for their restaurant. They are expected to open their store by late 2020 at the Mall of Asia complex.

“We’re going to source organic food for our customers here in the Philippines,” says Platzer.

However, for their furniture business, they will most likely won’t source local materials as they are not sure if local suppliers can scale up towards the global operations of the store.

“In the beginning, I don’t think we’ll be able to sell any products produced in the Philippines because if we find a supplier, then usually the supplier should supply the entire world,” says Platzer.

Platzer also explained that they are very strict when it comes to materials like wood and natural fibers as everything must meet the “sustainability requirements.

Currently, IKEA is using wood coming from suppliers that are certified for environmental sustainability.

“So if there is no certified sustainable forestry, we have the challenge to find the right suppliers,” says Platzer.

Additionally, Platzer said that they are very strict in implementing labor rights among their suppliers such as proper wages and leisure time. They won’t also tolerate child labor.

IKEA will open its largest store in the world in the Philippines by next year.

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