Food industry expects minimal impact on food supply amid ECQ

BUSINESS
May 15, 2020

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THE country's food industry such as Aboitiz food business unit Pilmico Foods Corporation echoed the government's assertion on sufficient food supply amid uncertainties brought about by the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic.
    “Pilmico’s business continuity plans are in place and running, and this has allowed us to operate business as usual to meet the needs of our stakeholders," said Tristan Aboitiz, president and CEO of Pilmico Foods Corporation, in a statement on Tuesday.
    "We have rigorously implemented our strict biosecurity processes to ensure the safety of our teams who report to work, and our supply chain has remained largely intact during the various ECQs (enhanced community quarantine) that have been implemented across the country. This means that our facilities are prepared to continuously cater to the requirements of our customers, which should allow us to deliver our products and meet their needs,” he said.
    During the last meeting of the Inter-agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID), the Department of Agriculture (DA) presented the food supply outlook for 2020, with most commodities actually forecast to end at a surplus by year-end.
    In April, the DA was assigned to chair the Task Group on Food Security created by the IATF-EID.
    According to the adjusted DA report, the projected supply by the end of December 2020 will be 94 days worth for rice, 234 days for corn, two days for fish, six days for vegetables, and 253 days for chicken.
    Pilmico assured the public and its stakeholders that its operations remain normal.
    “As a leadership team, we have spent the last few weeks learning as much as we can about the disease, and assessing how it has impacted and will continue to impact our industry. It is critical that we understand how it affects our team members, customers, and communities, so we can make the necessary changes to different aspects of our operations,” Aboitiz said.
    “Our company remains committed to helping sustain the food value chain by consistently being present and delivering raw materials needed to continue food production,” Aboitiz said.
    “The flour and feed mills in Iligan and Tarlac, as well as farms, continue to operate, serving the needs of the customers despite challenges in logistics and distribution which can be attributed to COVID-19,” he added.
    Aboitiz said that Pilmico’s Southeast Asian facilities are operating normally as well.
    Last year, the company fully acquired Gold Coin, an international food group that operates within Southeast Asia (SEA), making Pilmico a significant regional player.
    “We are currently focused on ensuring that our current production facilities across the (SEA) region are optimized and that utilization is maintained at a high level so that we can adequately cater to the needs of our customers,” said Pilmico and Gold Coin Food Group President and CEO Hubert de Roquefeuil.
    “Needless to say, this includes integrating seamlessly with Food Group Philippines, in order to optimize synergies in procurement and cross-selling across countries,” he said. (PR)

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