Wednesday, August 13, 2008

"Its-safe" Bohol CCI Food Safety Project

The Bohol Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI), a non-stock, non-profit organization duly organized to serve as catalyst in the development of the legitimate businesses in Bohol is now implementing the Integrated Technology, Systems and Support Amenities for Food Enterprises (ITS-SAFE) Project. The Project is co-funded by the Philippine-Australia Community Assistance Program (PACAP), the Provincial Government of Bohol, City Government of Tagbilaran, Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) and the Bohol Chamber of Commerce and Industry, with BCCI as the implementor.

The ITS-SAFE Project was conceptualized during a series of meetings of the Provincial Small and Medium Enterprises Development Council (PSMEDC) chaired by BCCI incumbent President Norris C. Oculam, to address the issue on the importance of food safety and better packaging for local food products in the province of Bohol.

Although Bohol is predominantly an agricultural province, home-based industries, which are mostly in the micro and cottage levels, play a very vital role in the local economy. Furthermore, with the growing tourism industry in the province, food processing has been considered as a major and fast growing business sector.

A random survey conducted last October of 2006 by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI)-Bohol Provincial Office for the food processing sector revealed that only 368 of the food processing firms and about 34 cooperatives/associations with food processing projects are registered, compared to some 500 unregistered processors. Likewise, only 18% of the respondent food processors have undergone formal food safety trainings and 12% have BFAD Registration.

Of about 1,000 firms doing food processing: 35% are into bakery products, cakes and biscuits; 18% into cookies and delicacies; 12% into snack foods and chips; 10% into calamay, suman and puto; 5% into chicharon and tableya; 5% into VCO, vinegar and bahalina; 3% into ice food, fruits ad juice drinks, and 2% into processed meat and fish products.

Another survey result revealed that 30-50% of food spoilage is attributed primarily to insufficient packaging and almost 90% of small food processors have very poor packaging.

The ITS-SAFE Project aims to address the issue by enhancing awareness of local food processors on the importance of food safety, considering that Bohol is now a prime tourist destination in the country. Aside from the conduct of food safety trainings for food processors, the project also intends to improve the packaging and labeling designs of the food products.

The project likewise intends to encourage project beneficiaries to shift packaging to food grade packaging materials, thus increasing food safety of Boholano processed food. Another benefit is the strengthening of the Bohol brand by ensuring the quality and safety of food that tourists eat or take home with them as “pasalubong”.

The Integrated Technology, Systems and Support Amenities for Food Enterprises (ITS-SAFE) Center will be established at NIA Compound, Barangay Dao in Tagbilaran City. BCCI has entered into a usufruct agreement with the Provincial Government of Bohol for the use of an abandoned building which will be fully renovated for the project.

The center will maintain a Provincial Food Safety Team which will be responsible for enhancing awareness of at least 1,000 food processors on the importance of food safety and packaging. A Food and Packaging Center will likewise be set up, complete with necessary packaging equipment. The center will also provide technical support and extension services to livelihood groups and firms through the extension of industry and firm level consultancy on food safety, food testing, workplace improvements (production layout improvements, time and motion studies, production process flow, etc.), product development, product packaging and labeling that shall enable at least
300 local food processors to increase productivity hygienically produce and properly package their products.

The center will network and converge with other stakeholders to further promote the project and come up with a comprehensive data base and food industry profile for the processed food sector. A well-furnished commissary/business incubator will likewise be established, complete with necessary equipment for the introduction and development of new food products with supporting technology replication.

The center will provide label designing and package printing assistance to livelihood groups and/or individual firms through generic packaging and package printing financing program.

The ITS-SAFE Project will be conducting a series of food safety trainings provincewide and is encouraging all local government units to extend full support to this very laudable undertaking which will provide a wide array of services for the enhancement of the local food processors’ capabilities to produce safe food products with superior packaging. In the long run, the project will give local food products a greater and wider market access, thereby generating more income and employment opportunities in the province.

Taken from

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Going Global


The Department of Trade and Industry – Bohol in partnership with the German Technical Cooperation (GTZ) and local stakeholders/partners organized and conducted a value chain workshop (second level) to three priority sectors in the province namely processed food (pasalubong), raffia-based products and fashion accessories sectors last May 5 and 6, 2008 at the Soledad Suites Function Room, 4th Floor of the Soledad Suites Building.

The main purpose of the value chain workshops is to help partner public and private agencies and concerned producers in the sectors assess the value chain links of their respective businesses and sectors that will be the basis in formulating the development plans of the sectors. The value chain maps that were developed during the first workshop conducted last February 2008 at the MetroCentre Hotel were given deeper analyses and treatment as to value adding, and cost and revenue efficiency along the value chain links of the industries. Findings of which will be the basis of the program interventions for the sectors.

Twenty (20) micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMES) attended the workshop with lead facilitators from the German Technical Cooperation (GTZ), Ms. Rita Pilarca, Senior Adviser GTZ and Ms. Miriam Bacalso, Regional Coordinator GTZ. The GTZ facilitators were assisted by sector facilitators from DTI Bohol, Blair Panong, Jerome Gabin, Jess Bernasor, Sungsoo Jin and Lucille Autentico.

DTI Bohol Provincial Director Nannette Arbon emphasized the importance of employing the value chain approach in the development of the three priority sectors.

Next steps will be the focused sectoral workshops for the three sectors.

Exporters study Canadian market

By Cris Evert Lato
Cebu Daily News
First Posted 12:07pm (Mla time) 05/22/2008

Exporters from the Visayas provinces have begun exploring business potentials in Canada in their bid to try other markets amid slow growth in the export sector.

Six exporters from the gifts, toys and housewares (GTH) sector from the provinces of Cebu, Bacolod and Bohol visited Canada from April 19 to May 3 under the auspices of the Canadian Executive Service Organization-Business Advisory Program (Ceso-BAP).

Timothy Moiket, Ceso-BAP country manager, said the trip was intended as a follow-through for these companies, which have been assisted by their program for the past eight years.

Moiket said the companies need further assistance to penetrate markets such as Canada and the United States.

“The philosophy is to have a complete and concrete cycle of assistance for small and medium enterprises. They need to improve products and operations,” he told Cebu Daily News.

“With the improvements, they will have the capability to better deal with both the domestic and international markets,” Moiket added.

Eddy Ares, executive director of Cebu-GTH Foundation who was one of the delegates, said the trip gave them an idea about the Canadian market and enabled them to identify their competitors.

Charmaine Ong, marketing director of handicraft company – Angel Whispers Inc., said she observed the Canadian market is similar to the Cebu market.

“They have the money but like Cebu, they want value for the money. As exporters, we need to educate them that we have products which they need,” she said.

Ong said Canada follows the United States in terms of trends in the GTH industry with most stores found to sell products manufactured in China and Vietnam.

Ong said the company is currently working on possible tie-ups with some Canadian stores where they can display their products.

In a phone interview, Bohol Processed Food and Delicacies Association (Profoods) founder Anton Pernia said prospects are high for Bohol-made processed foods in Canada.

“Our products such as broas (lady-finger cookie) and kinatluan (heart-shaped cookie) have been receiving orders from abroad. Our products have stories to tell so they sell,” he told Cebu Daily News in a phone interview.

He said during the recent trip to Canada, Lovlawos and Whole Food, which are high-end supermarkets, have expressed interest in ordering products from them.

Other members of the delegation to Canada were Profoods president Arnold Labunog, and Herminia Tongson and Elfrena Gonzaga of the Garments Manufacturers Association of Negros Occidental.

Although the Ceso-BAP program ended last March 2008, Moiket said companies can still consult volunteer advisers for assistance and market advisories.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Bakers group seeks DTI intervention to hold back flour price hike

MANILA, Philippines - A bakers' group sought Monday the intervention of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) in having millers "roll back" or at least hold off plans to increase prices of flour at least until July or August.

In an interview with dzBB radio, Philippine Baking Industry head Simplicio Umali Jr on Monday said that bakers are now feeling the brunt of elevated flour prices, noting that while big bakeries have managed to hold back, smaller bakeries have already been forced to hike prices.

"Hindi pa nagtataas ng oresyo sa big bakeries pero sa maliit sa Divisoria, tumaas na noong nakaraang linggo (Bigger bakeries have not increased prices but the smaller ones, particularly in Divisoria, had hiked prices last week)," Umali said.

"Ina-appeal namin huwag taasan ang presyo ng arina hanggang July or August. Sa September or October, sana unti-unti ibaba ang presyo kung bababa ang presyo ng wheat (We appeal to them not to raise prices until July or August. We might see a decrease in prices of wheat by September or October)," he added.

Umali said his group had written the Trade Department last June 2 and sought its intervention. He said the group plans to follow up its request this week.

He said the basis for their request to the DTI and to the flour millers was that wheat prices were going down, from $15 per bushel last April to $13.27 per bushel in June.

By September, he said the prices are due to go down to $10.67 per bushel due to an expected bigger harvest in September.

Umali said flour millers presently purchase wheat at the $13 per bushel level.

On the other hand, Umali said that barring any drought, Australia is expected to hike its wheat production to 24 million tons this year, compared to 13 million tons last year.

"Kung maibaba ang presyo ngayon at least makakatulong ito huwag ito tumaas. Maintain nila ngayon ang presyo nila in the next few months bakasakali maibababa pa nila (If they cannot bring down their prices, at least they should not raise prices for the next few months)," he said. - GMANews.TV

News copied without permission from Yahoo!News.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Baclayonons showcase their heritage

from Cebu Daily News

Baclayon town in Bohol is always a joy to visit.

There is a languid atmosphere in the streets that makes one walk slower. The architecture of the old houses invites one to linger for a closer look. The gardens are a profusion of colors. No landscaper touched these. On a moon-bereft night, it is still safe to walk the streets. Drive out to its outskirts and marvel at how clean the surroundings are.

I was fortunate to be invited as one of the judges of a cooking contest here this summer. Little did I realize that my passion for heritage and my love for cooking would be harnessed in this manner in Baclayon.

One of the perks of being a judge was the freedom to go around the different categories of dishes.

I experimented with the Cabcab which became my favorite among the merienda and dessert entries. Since latik (a concoction of sugar with coconut syrup cooked until sticky) is a veritable no-no for a diabetic like me, I tried to eat it with Hinalang na Manok (minced chicken with lots of sili, cooked in coconut milk) — it was perfect! Step aside Mexican tortilla, kropek and nachos, Cabcab is the penultimate accompaniment to dips and salsa.

The recipe for Cabcab reads that cassava is grated and then steamed. The resulting mash is spread on a leaf, the size of the cabcab will depend on the size of the leaf used. After drying in the sun, the cabcab can be stored for a long period. The dried cabcab is fried and tastes perfect dipped in latik.

Lutong Inato – Ato Jud Ni” featured heirloom recipes from the residents of the town of Baclayon.

Each contestant submitted a recipe accompanied by a narrative of the source or history of the recipe. A wealth of culinary lore fell on the lap of the organizers, the Bahandi (Bohol Ancestral Houses Inc.), the Ayala Foundation and the Baclayon LGU.

Fifty-two dishes graced the judging tables. The categories were Meat, Poultry, Seafood, Soups, Vegetables, Dessert and Merienda. All the judges had their hands and mouths full with an average of 21 dishes to taste and rate.

“Sangkuga,” a dessert or merienda, was one of those that caught my attention.

It became popular at a time when coconut trees were attacked by insects and young coconuts fell from the trees.

The people made use of the young coconuts and scraped the soft inner shell and cooked this in coconut milk with muscovado sugar. This was served with freshly grated mature coconut meat.

This is an example of “when you get lemons, make lemonade.”

Vegetable dishes and soups featured the leaves of the Bago plant.

Soft and shiny with a gentle taste, these leaves garnished soups and added a colorful look to the utan bisaya.

The unripe mature fruit of the nangka (jackfruit) was the farmer’s meat then as now. There were three versions of Humba Nangka, all tasteful, differentiated only by the amount of coconut milk and sili (pepper) added to it.

The soups merged the farm and the sea.

A soup made with “Supsup” or turong-turong, was one of those served with coconut milk.

The Supsup or turong-turong is a conical shell where the pointed end is cut off to ease the sucking of the meat from the opening, hence the name. Delicious with coconut milk mixed in the soup and lots of kamunggay (horse radish).

Another outstanding soup was the lavender hued Arroz caldo. The color came from the ube kinampay (violet-colored tuber) added to it.

The meat recipes were loaded with cholesterol — but who cared about cholesterol in the olden days?

There were three versions of humba, all tasty with trembling fat.

Chicharon, crispy with the fat reduced to kinapusan, that Waterloo of every true blue Visayan came in a banana leaf with the ubiquitous sukang halang (spicy vinegar).

The most notable of the meat dishes was the Ginaling Karne Gilukot sa Dahon Bago. Minced meat flavored with garlic and sibuyas bisaya was wrapped in Bago leaves much like the Greeks wrapping meat in grape leaves.

These were placed in a Kulon (clay pot) with tomatoes, green onions, slivers of ginger, salt and then covered with coconut milk. This was gently simmered until the liquid was reduced to half.

Our grandmothers must have been highly imaginative in the kitchen. Otherwise, how can they come up with something like this?

The seafood and poultry entries were also interesting. There was litob (a popular bivalve) served in a half shell which was sautéed in garlic, onions and tomatoes.

How can one imagine Boholano cooking without crab?

Of course, there was Rellenong Lambay (crab relleno) and Nilubihang Kasag (crab in coconut milk).

Several dishes started with the word “pina-isang.”

Apparently this meant the ingredients were wrapped in banana leaf and steamed.

Presented for merienda and dessert were Binignit, Putong Kamoting Kahoy, Cassava Budbod and two kinds of Tira-tira — one was soft, the other as hard as a jawbreaker (a kind of round hard candy).

There were three kinds of latik, the first two varied in thickness while the last one had mashed camote (sweet potato) added to it and sprinkled with lots of ground peanuts.

Baclayon is a town quietly fighting for its heritage.

These gentle folks have their feet in the 20th century but are very watchful that the cultural heritage of their town, be it tangible or intangible, would not be swallowed by western influences.

The “Lutong Inato — Ato Jud Ni “ is an effort of the Baclayanons to stem the tide of fastfood restaurants and foreign cuisine and to remind the taste buds of the Boholanos that native cooking is still alive! This should be lauded. Ato jud ni!

Cabcab pic by

(Tessie's Sweets & Pastries, a Bohol Profoods member, is from Baclayon town.)

Friday, May 2, 2008

New loan big enough for Bohol food firms


When the Bohol Processed Foods Business Association (Profoods) recently inked a loan agreement with Holland-based Oiko Credit Corp., it meant the upgrading of facilities has become within reach of some group members.

Indeed, the P8-million loan would be big enough for Profoods-Bohol, composed of small and medium sized food processors and manufacturers.

The loan would help provide the much-needed financing to some members so they could expand production facilities in line with good manufacturing practices requirements.

Working capital
The loan proceeds would also be used to acquire additional baking equipment and provide working capital, said Ceso-BAP country manager Tim Moiket.

The group caught the attention of Oiko Credit when the Canadian Executives Services Organization Business Advisory Program (Ceso-Bap) invited the financial institution to participate in a recently held strategic planning session.

It was during the planning session that the cluster loan application was conceptualized.

The Ceso-BAP, which is funded by the Canadian government, extends expert assistance to the SMEs to enable them to acquire the know-how to become competitive in the global market.

Before the Profoods-Bohol joined the program, the bakery sector in Bohol faced declining sales due to the increasing number of small bakeries.

Moiket recalled that there was cutthroat competition among the Bohol bakery firms.

But Boy Pernia, who saw the potential of a plan prepared by Ceso-BAP for the Bohol Small and Medium Enterprise Council, worked for the creation of Profoods-Bohol through the Department of Trade and Industry provincial office, Moiket said.

Ceso-BAP assistance enabled the Profoods members to increase its production output and improve the product consistency and quality.

The companies also learned effective financial management system, retail merchandising techniques, packaging techniques and good manufacturing practices.

Increased sales
Since then, the program has helped Profoods-Bohol members to increase sales of up to 40 percent, Moiket said.

Profoods first learned about the program in September 2002 when BAP conducted a strategic planning workshop in Tagbilaran City to develop a program to help the small and medium food manufacturers there improve operations and offer quality products in the global market.

Realizing the need for them to form a group, several SMEs in Bohol established the Profoods, with the help of the Department of Trade and Industry.

By Irene Sino Cruz

Visitors To Our Site

Some Chinese Thought-

If you are planning for a year, sow rice; if you are planning for a decade, plant trees; if you are planning for a lifetime, educate people.