Food Industry Players to Check on Mindanaos Veggies

May. 30, 2006

DAVAO CITY — Some 70 owners and operators of cold storage, fast food stores, food processors and importers operating in some parts of Luzon and Manila will come to Davao next month to assess and look at the vegetable industry of Mindanao.

Jasmin Agbon, advisor of vegetable industry council of the Growth with Equity in Mindanao (GEM) said these operators are interested to see for themselves the condition of the industry.

She said the visit will be timed during the fourth annual general membership meeting and training conference of the Cold Chain Association of the Philippines (CCAP) on June 21 to 23, 2006 at the Marco Polo Hotel.

Agbon said these operators want to expand in Mindanao but they could not understand by now how the economy is doing.

She admitted that there is a gap between cold chain operators and vegetable producers and this has to be done so that agriculture produce could expand to wider market.

The cold chain could retain the freshness of farm produce up to the time that it reaches the market. It could also fetch a competitive price, she said.

But this is not easy, it has to go through a process and producers must be educated on the benefits that it will get if their produce are hook through the cold chain, she added.

Maintaining the system entails millions of pesos but with the move of Mindanao producers to go clustering, the small producers can consolidate their produce in designated points to be served by the cold chain.

The meeting of the CCAP here is the offshoot of the 4th National Vegetable Industry Congress held last month at the Davao Convention Center.

Agbon also said that vegetable producers in Northern Mindanao are now served by the cold chain although only in small quantity. The Southern Mindanao producers are also seeking the assistance of the government to initially provide the refer van.

The government is closely coordinating with the producers and in fact already provided the refer van for Northern Mindanao vegetable producers.

Mindanao produce are already penetrating foreign market and the volume could be increased if the freshness of the product is preserved, she said.

Agbon pointed out that through the cold chain it could reduce wastage from 50 percent to as low as five percent.

However, she said that the right procedure must be adopted and needs time to perfect it.

The CCAP is a multi-sectoral grouping of companies and other professional organizations in the Philippines participating in the supply chain for both chilled and frozen and food products and other groups operating in a temperature-controlled product storage.

It is an affiliate of the International Association of Refrigerated Warehouse and World Food Logistics Organization.

The CCAPs fourth annual membership meeting in Davao will be the first outside of Makati City as it recognizes the fact that there is a need for additional capacity and capability for cold chain in Mindanao.

Among others the activity aims to assess the investment potential for cold chain facilities in Mindanao, establish and expand business linkages that may lead to trade and investment opportunities in the cold chain industry, and discuss new technologies and trends to achieve effective handling, storage, and distribution of products in the cold chain. (Philippine Information Agency)

comments powered by Disqus