Monday, July 2, 2012

US Ambassador Awards HACCP Certification to Qualified Companies in Mindanao

By Jorie C. Valcorza

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY NEWS – The third batch of companies assisted by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) received yesterday their Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) Certification.
U.S. Ambassador to the Philippines, Harry K. Thomas Jr. personally handover the HACCP certification to eight companies in Mindanao, yesterday, here in Cagayan de Oro City.
The list includes Vjandep Corporation (Cagayan de Oro), Perfectly Natural Herbs (Iligan), Lucille’s Food Products (Tagum, Davao del Norte,  Renova Food Products (Davao City), Lao Integrated Farms (Davao del Sur), Magpet Agro-Industrial Cooperative (North Cotabato), San Isidro Fruits and Processors Cooperative (Davao Oriental), and the Magsilum ARC Cooperative (Baliangao, Misamis Occidental).
Two other companies currently pursuing the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) 17025 Certification were also given recognition, namely, the Philexport Contral Lab (General Santos) and the Fastlab (Cagayan de Oro).
Ambassador Thomas commended these companies for their commitment to prepare the HACCP requirements and having the foresight to take this very important step towards a more profitable enterprise.
The HACCP or ISO 17025 certification is the key requirement in export markets.
USAID’s Growth with Equity in Mindanao (GEM) Program helps increase rural incomes by linking farmers to markets in Mindanao. Its Targeted Commodity Expansion Project (TCEP), likewise, assists producer associations improve their competitiveness through training and information on improved production, packaging and marketing.
Fourteen (14) companies earlier assisted by tUSIAD have reported collective increase on their sales, totaling to approximately $20 million over 30 months following the HACCP certification.
Each company have invested an average of about PhP1.3 million to upgrade their facilities and equipment, in order to comply with HACCP requirements.
By September this year, USAID would have assisted a total of 31 Mindanao food companies to obtain HACCP or ISO 17025 certification.
Thomas reaffirmed the US government’s commitment to support peace and development of Mindanao.
He said this is confirmed by the US and Philippine governments long time partnership on various programs focusing in economic growth, infrastructure, education, expansion of internet access in schools, provision of basic health services, and in enhancing local government units.

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