COCA-COLA Beverages Philippines Inc. on Saturday, Aug. 20, 2022, said the country’s food and beverage industry will need at least 450,000 metric tons of premium refined sugar to meet the consumer demand.

In an official statement, the beverage giant said it uses premium refined sugar in its products, which is different from the sugar used in households.

“We have shared with the President that the industry needs at least 450,000 metric tons of premium refined bottler grade sugar to utilize 100% of its manufacturing capacity for the balance of the year and serve the orders of customers who are depending on our products for their sales and income,” the company statement read.

Coca-Cola said there is currently a 400,000-metric-ton gap on top of a starting gap of 200,000 metric tons in the local sugar supply for 2022.

This is based on a projected demand of 2.3 million metric tons for 2022 for the entire country.

President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. earlier thumbed down the Sugar Regulatory Administration’s (SRA) proposal to import an additional 300,000 metric tons of sugar in October.

After meeting with the major players in the sugar industry last Wednesday, Aug. 17, the Palace agreed to import up to 150,000 metric tons to address the shortage in local supply.

Coca-Cola said it is implementing various efforts to mitigate the business impact of the lack of premium refined sugar supply.

It vowed to continue working with the government to find solutions.

“We and the broader industry look forward to continuing to work with the President and all relevant government offices to address the situation and deliver a sustainable solution as we get back to delivering our full line-up of beverages and supporting the country’s economic recovery,” the firm said.