Support for Philippine food, beverage industries sought

2023 June 15

FOODS AND BEVERAGE EXPO. The 17th Manila Foods and Beverages Expo (MAFBEX) opens at the World Trade Center in Pasay City on Wednesday (June 14, 2023). It is the country’s biggest gathering of the iconic pillars and outstanding newcomers of the food trade. It will run until June 18. In photo are Mayor Imelda Calixto-Rubiano (3rd from right) Senator Cynthia Villar (2nd from left) and WSI founding chair Jospeh Ang (right), who led the ceremonial opening of the MAFBEX Expo.

______________________________________________________________________

MANILA – A lawmaker on Thursday urged various sectors of the country to support the food and beverage industry.

In a news release, Senator Cynthia Villar said the food and beverage industry has become highly diversified, covering a wide spectrum of manufacturing practices.

She cited the small-scale, traditional, family-run operations that are highly labor-intensive to large-scale, and capital-intensive enterprises employing advanced mechanized industrial processes. 

She said the food system operates as a complex network interconnecting farmers with various industries, noting that “numerous food industries rely on local agriculture, produce, or fishing, while others rely on imports to meet their production needs.”

“This network covers not only the farmers themselves but also extends to include manufacturers of farm equipment and chemicals, as well as firms that provide services to agribusinesses, such as logistics and financial services,” she said. 

The food system, Villar said, incorporates the food marketing industries like food and fiber processors, wholesalers, retailers, and foodservice establishments  that are responsible for bridging the gap between farms and consumers.

“Since the reopening of the economy in 2022, the food and beverage industry has been gradually recovering.  In fact, the Department of Trade and Industry reported that business registrations hit a 10-year-high in 2022, with restaurants and mobile food services activities coming in as the second-highest number of new business registrations last year,” she explained.

Villar said the Covid-19 pandemic has reminded Filipinos about the significance of supporting the agricultural sector since local farmers play a vital role in ensuring food security during times of crisis. 

Since the industry is among the pillars of the economy, she said a lot of sectors are coming out to support business owners engaged in food service.

Wilnard Bacelonia (PNA)