Local meat processing sector posts upbeat Jan-Sept growth
(The Freeman) - December 11, 2015 - 9:00am

CEBU, Philippines - The local meat processing industry posted brisk growth in the last three quarters this year, successfully surviving the initial onset of competition brought about by the ASEAN integration.

“The regional integration has not affected the local meat processors. At least as of yet. It may take some time," said Philippine Association of Meat Processors Inc., (PAMPI) president Felix Tiukinhoy.

In the last 11 months of this year, the industry was able to take advantage of the hyper consumption-based economy in the country, with estimated average industry growth of 20 percent.

Tiukinhoy, who is also the president of the Viriginia Foods Inc. (VFI), said that the improving purchasing power of Filipinos, and local players effort to guard the local market have paid off, and the ASEAN integration threat failed to shaken the deeply-rooted meat processing sector here.

According to Tiukinhoy, although a handful of canned goods and other processed meat products have already entered the country from the other ASEAN countries, it will take some time for these brands to take off in the Philippines, as Filipinos’ taste buds still has to adjust to their taste.

The growing population, good economic standing, and the impressive growth of tourism are just few of the reasons behind the industry's banner year, said Tiukinhoy.

Aside from the retail consumers, local meat processors are also enjoying the increasing demand from institutional market, such as hotels, resorts and restaurants.

Pampi is a P200 billion sector composed of 48 companies involved in the meat processing business. Cebu-based processors include; Belcris Foods, Gold Ribbon Food Inc., Judphilan Foods Corp., King's Quality Foods, Lami Food Products Corp., Sunpride Foods Inc., and VFI.

Although, the industry's constant battle with dwindling local meat supply, lack of government support, bureaucracy, among others are still there, Tiukinhoy said the industry has been able to maneuver its  way out from a difficult state and maximize the strength of local consumers.

The dwindling supply of locally-produced meat, resulting to heavy importation of raw materials, is also an overdue concern of the industry that has not been given attention by the government.

Currently, 85 percent of raw materials used by the local meat processors are imported. The local producers or hog farmers fill the rest of the requirements.

"The challenge is how to reverse the numbers by sourcing more from local producers," he said.

The good local market outlook has also encouraged some processors to invest more within the home-ground, before going out or expanding overseas, he said. — Ehda M. Dagooc (FREEMAN)

 

BELCRIS FOODS EHDA M FELIX TIUKINHOY GOLD RIBBON FOOD INC INDUSTRY JUDPHILAN FOODS CORP LAMI FOOD PRODUCTS CORP LOCAL MEAT PHILIPPINE ASSOCIATION OF MEAT PROCESSORS INC TIUKINHOY
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