10 Mindanao companies receive int’l recognition-A A +A
Friday, June 29, 2012
UNITED States Ambassador to the Philippines Harry Thomas Jr. recognized 10 companies in Mindanao that obtained the Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) and ISO 17025 certifications following assistance from the United States Agency for International Development (USAid).
HACCP is a system that ensures food production meets safety requirements to protect public health. ISO 17025 makes sure that laboratories that test products meet certain requirements.
Also present at the event were USAid/Philippines Mission Director Gloria Steele, Mindanao Development Authority Chairperson Secretary Luwalhati Antonino and Department of Trade and Industry Regional Director Alicia Eusena.
The 10 companies were Vjandep Foods, Perfectly Natural Herbs Corp., Lucille’s Food Products, Renova Foods, San Isidro Cooperative, Lao Integrated Farms, Magpet Agro-Industrial Cooperative, Magsilum ARC Cooperative, Fast Laboratories and Philexport Quality Control Laboratory.
“By meeting the stringent food quality and safety requirements for HACCP certification, you increase the prospects of entering new export markets and selling to the world’s most discriminating buyers,” Ambassador Thomas said in his remarks during the awarding ceremony at N Hotel.
In 2009, USAid, through its Growth with Equity in Mindanao program, initiated the HACCP Certification Assistance Project to provide technical assistance to selected Mindanao companies in developing systems and procedures needed for HACCP compliance and HACCP certification from an internationally recognized third-party certifying agency.
Last year, USAid expanded its program to include technical assistance for the acquisition of ISO 17025 certification. The food safety and quality management system is required by foreign food regulatory agencies primarily in the United States and Europe for laboratories certifying food samples for the export market.
Since the launching of Certification Assistance Project, USAid has successfully assisted 24 companies in obtaining HACCP and ISO 17025 certification. Total collective increase in sales of these companies is estimated at $20 million.
Mission Director Steele said, “The US government, through USAid, is enabling Mindanao firms and business support organizations to expand exports and create jobs and opportunities to help the region achieve broad-based and inclusive economic growth.”
Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on June 30, 2012.