Davao agribiz firm to start exporting duck meat to Japan

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Tuesday, December 10, 2013

A DAVAO City-based agri-business company is set to ship 50 metric tons of duck meat to Japan this month, a company executive said.

Vicente Lao, chair and chief executive officer of Maharlika Premium Peking Duck, said it will be for the first time that the Philippines is exporting duck meat to Japan.

"Davao now is producing duck for export to Japan. This is the first time the Philippines will take advantage of its status of being a bird flu free country," Lao, who also chairs the Mindanao Business Council, said in Monday's edition of Davao Press Club's Kapehan sa Dabaw at SM City Davao Annex.

He said their client in Japan has ordered 50 tons of duck meat weekly.

Lao said they are importing breeder Beijing ducks from Cherry Valley, United Kingdom.

"Since we cannot bring in breeders from China because of bird flu, we import 3,000 of (ducks from UK) every month so we will have continuous production of day-old ducklings," he said, adding these are brought to the company's breeding farm and hatchery in Bukidnon.

The day-old ducklings are then transported to growing farms in Manolo Fortrich and in Arakan Valley. They are expecting a total of 14 growing houses in both areas by June 2014 and each house can accommodate some 15,000 ducks.

After 45 days, ducks are harvested and brought to their dressing plant in Tamugan, Davao City.

Some of their products are whole duck, premium breast meat, boneless leg meat, bone in leg meat, wing, fillet, and dressed Peking duck. These products are blast frozen and are ready for shipping.

Aside from Japan they are also eyeing the Middle East as an export destination.

"Department of Agriculture Secretary Proceso J. Alcala told us to also go for the Middle East but we are still processing our Halal certification," Lao said.

They are also eyeing to penetrate the domestic market taking advantage of the importation ban of poultry products from bird flu affected countries.

"Next year, they will strengthen the importation ban against poultry products from bird flu infected countries. We are coordinating with local hotels to let them know that there are locally produced Peking ducks and it is also beneficial to them since it is cheaper," Lao said.

But he added they can only capture five percent of the domestic market, which is yet to be developed. He said they may start supplying various supermarkets in Davao City soon.

Lao said aside from its potential in the export market, the industry alone can generate a lot of jobs. He said the dressing plant alone is able to employ 300 people per shift.

"We hope that Davao and Mindanao will become the duck production capital of the country in the future," he said.

Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on December 10, 2013.


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