Coca-Cola: PH needs 450K MT of premium refined sugar

RGL Photo
RGL Photo

TOP beverage maker Coca-Cola Beverages Philippines Inc. bared that the bottling industry would need 450,000 metric tons (MT) of premium refined sugar, on the heels of the government’s plan to import 150,000 metric tons of sugar to plug a shortfall in local supply.

In a statement on Saturday, August 20, Coca-Cola thanked President Ferdinand Marcos Jr., who is also concurrently the head of the Department of Agriculture and Chair of the Sugar Regulatory Administration, for his immediate action in addressing the current shortage of premium refined sugar in the country.

However, the company emphasized, "that not all sugar is the same."

"Food and beverage manufacturers need premium refined sugar to maintain high-quality products. This type of sugar is not the same sugar that is commonly used in households," Coca-Cola said.

The beverage firm said there is approximately a 400,000 metric ton gap on top of a starting gap of 200,000 metric tons of 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, the company said.

"We have shared with the President that the industry needs at least [450,000] MT 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," Coca-Cola said.

Along with many other companies in the food and beverage industry beset by the difficulties brought on by the sugar shortage, Coca-Cola said they are in the midst of implementing various efforts aimed at cushioning the business impact of the lack of premium refined sugar supply.

"As always, we are keeping our consumers, customers, and our people front and center," the beverage firm said.

In a joint statement on August 16, Coca-Cola, Pepsi-Cola Products Philippines Inc. and ARC Refreshments Corp/ confirmed that there’s a shortage of premium refined sugar.

The Sugar Regulatory Administration (SRA) had tried to get approval for 200,000 metric tons of imported refined and bottlers’ grade sugar for industrial users in early 2022, but local sugar producers secured a temporary restraining order, fearing the importation of cheaper sugar would harm the local industry.

Data from SRA initially showed that President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. approved the importation of 300,000 metric tons of sugar, but Malacañang denied the approval.

Leocadio Sebastian, the Department of Agriculture official who signed the document on behalf of Marcos, has since resigned from his post.

SRA Administrator Hermenegildo Serafica also stepped down amid the sugar shortage issue. RGL with reports from SunStar Philippines

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