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Pinoys urged to buy local food products for holidays

The Philippine Star
Pinoys urged to buy local food products for holidays
Shoppers wearing face shields on top of their face masks browse through aisles for some food supply run at a supermarket in Mandaluyong City on August 23, 2020.
The STAR / Miguel de Guzman, file

MANILA, Philippines — Local food producers are urging consumers to ditch imported food during the holidays and instead patronize local chicken, fish and pork.

They said they not only provide consumers fresh and healthier options, but also help farmers and producers survive the pandemic and compete with imported food.

“It’s important to buy locally produced food, like chicken. Not only it is healthier and free from preservatives, it supports the local value chain. It puts food on our table and also feeds the families of everyone who worked to bring the chicken from farm to table,” said Karen Jimeno, legal counsel and spokesperson of Vita-rich Corp.

“Also, with global supply chain uncertainty, it is important that the Philippines becomes self-sufficient. Supporting locally produced food is a form of ‘bayanihan’ and it helps sustain jobs,” she said.

In the Philippines, chicken is the most versatile and cheapest protein in the country. When the supply of pork fell due to the African swine fever last year, the Department of Agriculture (DA) adviced to eat chicken instead of pork.

Filipinos can afford to have a wonderful noche buena or media noche with fresh chicken,” Jimeno said.

The DA has assured consumers that the country has sufficient supply of chicken.

On the other hand, United Broiler Association president Elias Jose Inciong said that by default, consumers really prefer local over imported ones, and that the demand for imported chicken and pork usually comes from hotel restaurant institutions.

The problem is because of the large volume of imported pork and chicken, the frozen supply is already getting mixed with the fresh local supply, Inciong said.

For his part, Philippine Rural Reconstruction Movement president Edicio de la Torre said local meat and fish are not only fresh but also healthier than imported ones that are frozen.

“The supply of fish catch from artisanal and commercial fishing, combined with fish harvest from aquaculture, is enough for the holidays,” he added.

Pork Producers Federation of the Philippines Inc. president Nonon Tambago, also president of Virginia Farms Inc., likewise appealed to consumers to support local pork than imported ones.

“We have enough supply for this Christmas season. We are encouraging consumers to patronize locally produced pork as they will not only help local farmers survive from the challenges of this pandemic but they will be assured of a clean and fresh pork for their families during their holiday celebrations. Price may be a bit higher than imported (ones) but the quality of local pork is more superior than thawed imported pork as it was already stored and frozen for more than two to three months,” Tambago said.

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HOLIDAYS

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