Opening Up More Markets for RP’s Pork Products
Prospects have remained bright for our hog industry as two major initiatives are being worked out to boost export and domestic markets of our local pork products.
First is the impending entry of the Philippine pork products to export markets particularly Singapore. Second is the re-launching of the “Pork-in-a-Box” which aims to provide accessible and affordable meat products to Filipino consumers.
GEARING FOR EXPORT MARKET
Department of Agriculture (DA) Secretary Arthur Yap is optimistic that Philippine meat products can make it in the export markets. Yap who recently visited the Nenita Quality Foods (NQF), a local meat producer in Davao City, was informed that the company is just awaiting for the final accreditation from the Singaporean government for its meat products to enter the Singapore market this year.
In support to the NQF and other local meat producers in the country, Yap has ordered the National Meat Inspection Service (NMIS) to issue as soon as possible appropriate guidelines and procedures for the accreditation of meat importers, exporters, brokers, traders, and handlers in preparation for meat exports and domestic distribution.
Yap issued an administrative order that would harmonize all procedures and safety nets to enhance the competitiveness of Philippine hog meat and meat products and to facilitate access to profitable export markets.
“This is a critical protocol for our international trading partners to have confidence on our meat products both in the export and domestic markets. We would like to show to the world that Philippine meat producers such as the NQF are now capable of producing world-class products for export,” Yap said.
“Mindanao and Visayas had been internationally declared as FMD-free areas and we would like to capitalize on this advantage,” Yap said adding that his visit and support to the NQF is a demonstration of how serious DA is in supporting private meat producers and in complying with the global standards for producers to enter the global market.
The DA is also putting a private sector-backed initiative involving mass production and sale of low-priced and high-quality chilled meat on a fast track by re-launching the “Pork-in-a-Box” program. This program aims to further increase accessibility of safe and hygienic pork products in the market.
The “Pork in a Box” was conceptualized in 2005 as a pork postproduction system that will ensure safety, economy, efficiency, and environmental soundness in the supply chain.
Yap said the program will eliminate transportation of live hogs since only carcass and cut products from Mindanao and Visayas will be transported to markets in Metro Manila.
Yap adds that this will minimize transport costs, provide easy access to quality meat cuts, reduce levels of middlemen and add-on cost in marketing pork products. The program will also help reduce disease occurrences because the transport and shipping of live animals would be minimized once the project is in full swing.
The “Pork-in-a-Box” would also involve sourcing of pork cuts from selected areas in Visayas and in Mindanao particularly in the cities of Iloilo, Bacolod, Cagayan de Oro, Davao, and General Santos.
Based on the observations of “Pork in a Box” players, the program has not taken off so well in the past primarily because consumers do not prefer chilled or frozen pork. With this, DA will identify and strengthen more markets, including supermarkets and institutions for the products. Communication and advocacy strategies will also be conducted for consumers to realize the advantages of cleaner, ‘ safer and cheaper meat products.
“Low-priced, mass-based and high quality are the key words that we should keep in mind in carrying out this project to make it more responsive to the call for food security and support the initiatives of private-sector stakeholders in modernizing the livestock and meat industry by promoting consumption of chilled meat,” Yap stressed.
This time, the program will promote sense of ownership among meat producers through their involvement in the whole supply chain. Yap said there is a need to perfect the supply chain so that fluctuating prices of basic goods such as pork will be stabilized.
“To stabilize supply, you have to take out all the insecurities. You have to assure [buyers and consumers on the] volume of supply, quality, and safety,” he added.’
Yap said that through the “Pork in a Box” program, DA’s goal of reducing prices of wage goods through enhanced production, more efficient logistics and improved retailing linkages would be realized.
These new agribusiness fronts being explored both by the government and the private sector if effectively carried out would work favorably both for the hog raisers and consumers.