Meaty discussion

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Wednesday, February 5, 2014


MEMBERS of the Philippine Association of Meat Processors Inc. (Pampi) called on the government and the livestock industry to establish “AAA” abattoirs as part of the preparations for the economic integration of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) in 2015.

Newly reelected Pampi President Felix O. Tiukinhoy Jr. said that while meat processors can take advantage of the 2015 integration, they still need the support of the government and the livestock and poultry growers in terms of policies and stable supply of raw materials.

“There is a huge window of opportunity that awaits meat processors as soon as the integration takes place, considering the 600 million consumers in the Asean region,” said Tiukinhoy, president of Cebu-based Virginia Foods Inc.

He said meat processors are ready for Asean integration and have improved their technologies and adopted good manufacturing processes that are at par with international standards.

Tiukinhoy said that most Pampi members are already certified as far as standards of the Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points or HACCP and ISO (International Organization for Standardization) are concerned.

Stable supply needed

But while market integration presents opportunities, Tiukinhoy said he feared the industry can’t compete well because the government hasn’t done its part yet.

“The government is not doing its share. We might get left behind because we are not receiving government support unlike our Asean counterparts,” he said at a media briefing yesterday in the Crimson Resort and Spa in Mactan, Cebu.

Tiukinhoy referred, among others, to the establishment of grade “AAA” abattoirs and related facilities to ensure the steady supply of high-quality raw materials for meat producers and processors. He said the industry needs “dependable and stable supply of high-quality raw materials such as chicken, pork and beef.”

“We urge the Department of Agriculture (DA) to establish AAA abattoirs and slaughterhouse facilities that are world-class and globally competitive,” Tiukinhoy said, adding that they can tap the private sector for the establishment of this facility.

He said Pampi is willing to work with local livestock and poultry growers to produce organic pork and poultry meats of processing-grade quality. Tiukinhoy explained that livestock and poultry growers should be conscious of residue-free meats for processing to qualify their raw materials for export-grade canned products.

“Livestock growers should have access to these modern AAA abattoirs and modern fabrication floors and laboratories as well as refrigerated holding rooms to protect the quality of their meat products,” he said. “If these requirements are in place, the Philippines will be ready for the Asean integration by 2015.”

The organization sent a letter to the DA last week. But until now they have not received any feedback from DA yet, said Tiukinhoy.

Pampi vice president Jerome D. Ong added that modern plants would help advance the local industry’s footing in producing high-grade processed meats and would help players become more competitive.

“Unfortunately, the Asean preparation is largely private-led. For one, we lack these modern facilities, which is why the industry has to import more to export,” said Ong, who is the president of Foodsphere Inc., manufacturer of the CDO brand.

Opportunities await

In 2012, total meat imports stood at 394,526 metric tons valued at P40 billion. That included 151,084 pork imports; 134,768 chicken meat imports and a high volume of beef and buffalo meats.

Despite the huge importation, the export penetration of the industry only stood at three percent. But Ong believes the Philippines can still be a major exporter of meat products if the livestock sector can only meet international standards.

Pampi top officials were in Cebu yesterday to announce their upcoming 25th anniversary. The organization will convene on July 3-6 in the Crimson Resort and Spa in Mactan, Cebu. They expect 200 participants to join the event.

Pampi is a P200-billion sector composed of 48 companies in the meat processing business.

Among the members are Cebu-based Belcris Foods, Gold Ribbon Food Inc., Judphilan Foods Corp., King’s Quality Foods, Lami Food Products Corp., Sunpride Foods Inc., and Virginia Food Inc.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on February 06, 2014.

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