The industry roadmaps for carrageenan, processed shrimps and dried mangoes—sub-sectors of the processed food industry is set to be completed soon as the Philippine Board of Investments (BOI), the industry development and investment promotions arm of the Department of Trade & Industry (DTI) is organizing the last leg of industry roadmap workshops for said sectors this November in Cebu and Davao.

The industry roadmaps workshops for carrageenan, processed shrimps and dried mango sectors is now on-going (November 4 to 6, 2015) at the Harolds Hotel in Cebu City while the cacao tablea industry workshop is scheduled on November 13, 2015 at the Grand Men Seng Hotel in Davao City.

Cebu City was chosen as the venue for the workshops on carrageenan, processed shrimp and processed mangoes given its strategic proximity as most of the major industry players and manufacturers are based in this area. Davao City meanwhile was chosen for the cacao sector as the whole Davao region accounts for about 80 percent of production of cacao tablea. At least 40 participants from each sector are expected to attend from respective industry associations and major manufacturers.

The roadmap for the condiments/sauces industry meanwhile was already completed and finalized last September 2015 during the sub-sector’s workshop at the BOI.

“These workshops are necessary to validate the data contained in the preliminary industry roadmap drafts presented at the BOI last July 2015,” said Director Nestor Arcansalin, BOI Director for Resource-based Industries Service. “Separate workshops will have to be conducted as it is deemed important to further consult the respective stakeholders, knowing that each sector is different and at varying stages of maturity as an industry,” he said.

Important components of the sub-sector roadmaps such as strategy setting, targets planning, action programs identification, as well as implementation and monitoring will be discussed, validated and finalized during the workshops.

Since May 2014, the US Agency for International Development-Advancing Philippine Competitiveness (USAID-COMPETE) has been providing technical assistance in the formulation of the roadmaps for the mentioned processed food sub-sectors following a two-stage approach. The first stage is the completion of the Rapid Industry Appraisal (RIA) while the second stage is the formulation of a full-blown industry roadmap based on the RIA findings. Between July-August 2014, RIAs for these sub-sectors were submitted and presented to the BOI and it was agreed that USAID-COMPETE will expand the RIAs and use it as the foundation in formulating full-blown roadmaps.

Between August-September 2014, BOI and USAID-COMPETE worked on finalizing the work plan for the conduct of benchmarking analysis and findings from these will form part of the full-blown roadmaps. From September 2014 to July 2015, USAID-COMPETE worked on drafting the roadmaps. The draft roadmaps were presented to BOI and industry stakeholders last 20 July 2015. However, due to limited time and participation of several stakeholders outside Manila, it was agreed that separate workshops be conducted to further consult the stakeholders and finally complete the roadmaps.

Recognizing the processed foods and beverage industry’s huge contribution in the country’s economy, the government remains supportive in enabling the industry to be more globally competitive. Through BOI’s Industry Roadmapping Project (IRP), a roadmap for the industry is being crafted to chart the direction, goals and strategies the industry will be heading to sustain development and growth.

The Department of Science and Technology through its Philippine Council for Industry, Energy and Emerging Technology Research and Development (DOST-PCIEERD) noted that the food manufacturing industry is one of the largest and most dynamic industries in the country.

Latest data from the Philippine Statistics Authority meanwhile indicated that food manufactures and beverage industries comprised almost half of the total manufacturing gross value added in 2014. In 2012, almost half of total manufacturing establishments in the Philippines are in processed foods/beverage production and in the same year, the industry employed more than 270,000.

Processed foods and (non-alcoholic) beverage exports grew at an average rate of 14.5 percent in 2006-2014. Based on linear estimation, processed foods and (non-alcoholic) beverage exports may have reached US$2.4 billion (freight-on-board or FOB) in 2014 which is around 5 percent of the country’s total merchandise exports of US$61.81 billion (FOB).

The United States of America, Japan and Korea are traditionally the biggest export partners of the Philippines but between 2006 and 2014, it is observed that the share of these traditional export markets declined while the share of “other markets” significantly increased from 21 percent in 2006 to 59 percent in 2014. This goes to show the diversified export market destination vastly explored in the recent years for the country’s processed foods/beverage exports.

About 99.6 percent of food manufacturers are considered as micro, small and medium enterprises, according to data from the DOST-PCIEERD. Most processing plants are located in the National Capital Region, Region IV and Region VII while there were also a growing number of food manufacturers locating in Regions IX, XII, ARMM and CARAGA which covers the Mindanao area. The abundance of raw materials such as fresh fruits and vegetables and fishery products led food processors to relocate in these regions. (END)