Food processors want SRPs updated quarterly

Louella Desiderio - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — The country’s largest group of food manufacturers and distributors is pushing for a quarterly update of the suggested retail price (SRP) bulletin being released by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) for basic goods to enable producers to become better prepared for any possible disruptions.

The Philippine Chamber of Food Manufacturers Inc. (PCFMI) said in a statement yesterday it welcomes the DTI’s move to revisit SRPs by releasing a new SRP bulletin in January, but it would also want the updates to be made regularly.

“PCFMI remains hopeful that the DTI will consistently consult with all concerned stakeholders before setting the prices, as well as update the SRP bulletin on a quarterly basis to equip the manufacturers to promptly react and plan ahead for their business operations,” the group said.

PCFMI said the SRP adjustment in late January shows DTI’s willingness to address industry concerns that are seen to prevent an economic upturn.

“We appreciate DTI’s willingness to regularly update the bulletin as they are also aware of its impact on the food industry,” said Helen Grace Baisa, PCFMI immediate past first vice president and chairperson for the legislative committee.

In late January, the DTI released an updated SRP list for basic necessities and prime commodities as the agency approved requests for price increases of 73 shelf-keeping units due to rising costs of raw materials and packaging globally.

Basic goods that had SRP adjustments in the latest bulletin include canned sardines, instant noodles, processed milk, bread, detergent soap, bottled water, processed canned meat and canned beef, toilet soap, and battery.

For PCFMI, the latest SRP adjustments would prompt businesses to boost their operations to meet current consumer demand.

Despite the positive impact of the updated SRP bulletin, PCFMI also sees the need to support micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in the push for recovery.

“Our MSMEs are persisting to tackle a sharp drop in revenue so we continue to encourage our members to work on projects that can significantly support them,” Baisa said.

Many of PCFMI’s members are working with the DTI on initiatives to assist MSMEs.

In particular, Coca-Cola Philippines partnered with the DTI to help MSMEs in terms of entrepreneurial capacity-building, increased access to markets, and micro-finance.

Alaska Milk Corp. meanwhile, has teamed up with the DTI’s financing arm Small Business Corp. to implement the Sustaining Trade and Access to Primary Food and Link to Enterprises program, which provides access to loans to MSMEs engaged in the distribution of products of fast-moving consumer goods firms.

Nestle Philippines, on the other hand, is implementing with the DTI the Rural Agro-Enterprise Partnership for Inclusive Development and Growth project to help increase the income of coffee farmers by providing training, access to raw materials, technology or equipment and market for outputs.

“We believe that initiatives like those made by our members and our partners in government ensure that no one is left behind in the supply chain network amidst the post-pandemic era,” Baisa said.

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