DTI to aid micro food manufacturers

THE Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) 7 said it will assist micro food manufacturers to secure a Food and Drug Administration (FDA) license so they can participate in the global market.

“We are now helping the micro food manufacturers in acquiring FDA registration. They need guidance,” said DTI 7 Director Asteria Caberte.

Caberte explained that securing a license from the FDA is an important step for micro players to gain access to the global market.

She said pasalubong products like banana chips, dried mangoes and pastries like otap are among those that are already gaining popularity and loyal patronage among foreign tourists.

Caberte said DTI is intensifying its coverage for assistance.

In December 2018, the DTI and the Department of Health (DOH) launched a six-month pilot program for micro enterprises to fast-track the process of getting permits from the FDA.

Even as the program focuses on businesses producing low-risk food products with assets of not more than P3 million, the FDA is set to launch an online portal to simplify FDA applications.

“These people chose to change the course of their lives through starting a business. Hence, we need to lessen their hurdles in growing their business and mainstreaming their products,” said DTI Secretary Ramon Lopez, in a statement.

Since January, the FDA has been deploying representatives to DTI Negosyo Centers in the National Capital Region to train micro enterprises and assess their applications for licenses to operate (LTOs).

Upon passing assessment, these applications will be forwarded to the FDA, which committed to release the LTOs in 15 days. Under the program, these micro businesses will also be exempted from getting certificates of product registration (CPRs).

After the pilot run, the agencies will evaluate the program’s effectiveness and prepare for a possible rollout in more regions throughout the country. (KOC)


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