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SMC, Bounty Fresh eye chicken exports to Korea

- Ma. Elisa Osorio  () - February 4, 2012 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - Diversifying conglomerate San Miguel Corp. (SMC) and Bounty Fresh Food Inc. is negotiating with Korean firm Sinwoo Food Inc. for a possible exportation of chicken to Korea, the Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI) said yesterday.

In a press conference, BAI director Efren Nuestro said that Korea has been importing 93 million kilos of chicken per year. Korea, however, has been sourcing their chicken from Thailand.

Nuestro said that last November, his counterpart from Korea visited the country to check if the Philippines can supply Korea with chicken.

Last month, Sinwoo Food headed by Hyeong Ho Jeong visited the country. Aside from government representatives, they also met with Noel Sevilla of San Miguel Food Inc. (SMFI) and Myla Callapa of Bounty Fresh Food Inc.

Sinwoo is interested to import chicken meat. Specifically, they intend to import both heat treated and fresh frozen leg quarters.

According to Department of Agriculture assistant secretary for livestock Davino P. Catbagan, the government of Korea inquired on how the Philippines is handling pesticide and drug residues. In this regard, the DA has already submitted documents on how pesticides and drug residues are handled.

Catbagan also informed the officials of Sinwoo that Philippine chicken meat is the best chicken in Asia and that the Philippines is Avian Influenza-free. In terms of logistics, the Philippines is closer to Korea than Brazil. Brazil is the primary meat exporter to Korea.

SMFI told the Koreans that they have been exporting chicken to Japan since 2004. SMFI said they were able to meet the stringent requirements of the Japanese government which is a good indicator for Korea to pursue importation from the Philippines.

Catbagan promised to help the Koreans in their bid to buy chicken from the Philippines. The exportation could possibly begin this May.

Meanwhile, BAI reported that as of November 2011 chicken meat importation grew by 23.75 percent versus the same period last year. This was a result of the increase in mechanically deboned meat importation.

AVIAN INFLUENZA BOUNTY FRESH FOOD INC BUREAU OF ANIMAL INDUSTRY CATBAGAN CHICKEN DAVINO P DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE EFREN NUESTRO HYEONG HO JEONG KOREA MYLA CALLAPA OF BOUNTY FRESH FOOD INC
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