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Freeman Cebu Business

Cebu-based meat processor eyeing Mideast expansion

Ehda Dagooc - The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines – Virginia Foods Inc., (VFI) will start to penetrate the Middle East market as part of its global expansion plan.

In an interview yesterday with VFI chairman Felix Tiukinhoy, he said that the company will start making presence in different countries in Middle East, starting with Dubai, Doha, Kuwait, and Bahrain.

In the next few days, VFI will sign agreements with partners in the respective countries.

Tiukinhoy said the Middle Eastern expansion plan is part of the long term global market penetration VFI will invest on, along with its aggressive market development efforts in the ASEAN region.

Already, the company has allocated a sizeable amount for improved plant standardization program like the ISO systems, in order to be globally competitive and also fight the entry of more processed meat products from the ASEAN countries, of which prices are expected to threaten the locally manufactured products.

For its ASEAN expansion, Tiukinhoy said the company has already asked the Department of Agriculture to help them link and arrange with other agriculture agencies in Asean to open up their markets.

Currently, some selected VFI products like luncheon meat and corned beef are already present among Filipino communities in the Middle East through a distributor.  This time, the company wants to put its products to the mainstream market in the middle eastern region.

The firm is currently preparing all their meat products for Halal certification to make the products more available in the Middle East countries as well as in the Asean region.

"The Asean integration presents significant opportunities for VFI. We are banking on the 600 million consumers and the continued expansion of the middle class to penetrate the markets like Vietnam, Malaysia, Cambodia, Indonesia among others," said Tiukinhoy.

ASEAN

BAHRAIN

DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

DOHA

DUBAI

FELIX TIUKINHOY

MIDDLE

MIDDLE EAST

MIDDLE EASTERN

TIUKINHOY

VIRGINIA FOODS INC

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