The country’s largest group of meat processing companies has called on the government and the livestock and poultry sectors to heighten the preparations for the Association of Southeast Asian Nations economic integration by 2015.
Felix Tiukinhoy Jr., the newly re-elected president of the Philippine Association of Meat Processors Inc. said while meat processors can take advantage of the ASEAN integration in 2015, they need the support of the government and the livestock and poultry growers in terms of policies and stable supply of raw materials.
“The ASEAN integration presents a great opportunity to expand the market for Philippine processed meat products,” Tiukinhoy said during the general membership meeting of PAMPI, after being re-elected as the president of the association at the Metro Club in Makati City on January 23.
He said Philippine meat processors are ready for the ASEAN integration because of their current systems, technologies and good manufacturing processes that are at par with international standards.
“But they need dependable and stable supply of high-quality raw materials such as chicken, pork and beef,” said Tiukinhoy, who is serving as president of the 25-year-old association for the 15th consecutive year.
“Livestock and poultry growers should be conscious of residue free meats for processing to qualify their raw materials for export-grade canned products. This may involve working closely together with livestock producers that may want to be accredited suppliers of meat raw materials to PAMPI canneries,” he said.
Tiukinhoy said to help local growers, the Department of Agriculture (DA) should proceed with the establishment of grade “AAA” abattoirs and related facilities to ensure the steady supply of high-quality raw materials for meat producers and processors.
He said modern meat plants are needed to prepare the meat processing industry to enable the domestic sector to compete with neighboring countries with the onset of the ASEAN economic integration.
“Modern abattoirs are crucial components of our preparation for the ASEAN integration,” he said. “The slaughterhouses program of the government is equally important to the livestock producers as they will give them the competitive advantage to export their meat products”.
Tiukinhoy said livestock growers should have access to “AAA” abattoirs and modern fabrication floors and laboratories as well as refrigerated holding rooms to protect the quality of their meat products.
“If these requirements are in place, the Philippines will be ready for the ASEAN integration by 2015,” said Tiukinhoy.
“Equally important is the steady supply of high-quality livestock for raw materials,” he said, adding that the Philippines can be a major exporter of meat products, if the livestock sector can only meet the international standards.
He said government intervention to provide the proper mechanism and regulatory policies will help the livestock and meat processing industries.
Tiukinhoy said meat processors still currently depend on the importation of raw materials to support their production requirements, with total imports of 394,526 metric tons worth P40 billion in 2012. These included 151,084 pork imports, 134,768 chicken meat imports and high volume of beef and buffalo meats.
PAMPI members have recently re-elected Tiukinhoy of Virginia Foods as president of the association and Jerome Ong of Foodsphere Inc. as vice president.
Other PAMPI officers for 2014 are Jocelyn Alcoreza of Dealco Farm Inc., as secretary; Philip Prieto of RFM Corporation, treasurer; and Rey Lapid of R. Lapid’s Chicharon, public relations officer.
Elected as PAMPI directors are Enrico Ma. Hizon of Pampanga’s Best, Fernando King of King Sue Ham and Sausages Co. Inc., Antonio Ding of Frabelle Foods Corp. and Rex Agarrado of Pacific Meat Company Inc.
PAMPI also re-appointed Francisco Buencamino as the association’s executive director and Dr. Manuel Rocha as technical consultant.