Sunday July 22, 2018

From small farm to big-time pork supplier in Cebu

Fresh cuts. Workers rush to meet demand for pork at the cutting plant ot Virginia Farms Inc. in Maguikay, Mandaue City. (SunStar Photo/Amper Campaña)

IT started out a poultry and piggery venture by Doña Virginia Sy Chiongbian in May 8, 1968 to support the growing demand for food for shipping company William Lines.

Fifty years later, Virginia Farms Inc. has grown into one of the biggest meat suppliers in Cebu.

It is now focused on growing swine and has ventured into retail with The Pork Shop and meat processing, opening up a meat plant in Maguikay, Mandaue City. The facility in Maguikay can handle up to 800 hogs a day at full capacity.

The company also ventured into food processing but sold this division to Avalon Holdings Inc. in 2002.

Rolando E. Tambago, president of Virginia Farms Inc., envisions the company to continuously expand its piggery farm to meet the growing demands of Filipinos, not just in Cebu but the rest of the country.

It works with other companies who are on top in the swine breeders, feeds preparation, slaughter and storage field as well as world class equipment and technologies.

Their farm in Asturias Cebu and meat plant in Mandaue use sustainable biogas technology to recycle their waste into fertilizers for their agriculture products and recycling waste water, making the company save P800,000 in their power consumption and produce minimal to zero waste.

In 2008, the company opened its meat retailing arm The Pork Shop, which now has 25 branches around Cebu selling pre-cut fresh chilled and fresh frozen pork meat and other farm produce. It supplies many of Cebu’s restaurants.

Tambago shared they have plans to expand the Pork Shop in other areas and open a new fruit and vegetable packing plant and a cooperative that will be established for their employees.

Tambago emphasized the importance of the welfare of their employees and the environment.

Through the Virginia Farmers Solution project, they make sure that the administration always attend to the needs of their workers by giving them incentives, a comfortable lounge, insurance and using technology to preserve the environment to realize the project’s vision: responsible, profitable farming. (Paula Joy Mendoza, CNU Intern)