Date Posted: 2012-05-24
The summer capital of the Philippines hosted the three-day 15th Dairy Congress and Expo at the Hotel Supreme Convention Plaza, Magsaysay Road, Baguio City from May 15 to 18, 2012. Delegates from the different parts of the country convened at the registration area on the morning of the first day including the prominent guests and speakers: New Zealand Ambassador Reuben Levermore; Danilo V. Fausto, National Chairman, DairyCon; Mr. Philip Shull, Agricultural Counsellor, USDA-FAS; Rep. Mark Mendoza; Former Senator Leticia Shahani; Hon. Davinio Catbagan, DA Asst. Secretary; Rep. Juan Ponce Enrile, Jr. and Ms. Grace Cenas.
New Zealand Ambassador Reuben Levermore
at the press conference.
The focus of the nationwide convention is to be able to magnify the locally produced milk in the country that is guaranteed to be fresh and not reconstituted as this year’s theme, “Gatas Pinoy: Paunlarin, Tangkilikin, Palaganapin!”, want to define.
(L-R) Mr. Danilo Fausto, Former Congressman Mark Cojuangco, Rep. Mark Mendoza
Foremost among the many recommendations to strengthen the milk in the market is to demand that all Local Government Units and the local media to help promote the local milk industry. This recommendation transpired when one participant questioned the governor of Batangas, an LGU member, who was promoting imported and reconstituted milk when in truth her province is one that also leads in the production of local milk.
Amb. Reuben Levermore (left), Mr. Phillip Shull (right) holding Sun Fresh Milk
The colonial mentality of consumers which tend to favor imported products over domestic ones thinking that it is a better product is a state of mind that must be transcended. On the display racks, shoppers often will choose milk that is imported, reconstituted and at a higher price than Philippine produced milk that is cheaper, healthier and fresher. Intervention from the media is urgently needed to neutralize this particular reasoning. The voice of the media has an immense impact in explaining to the consumers the advantages of Filipino milk compared to imported products.
It is not the intent of the Filipino dairy to completely eliminate the importation of reconstituted milk; fresh milk has a very limited shelf life so it is not fit for import and export, and reconstituted milk products still have a niche to fill in the Filipino market. Imported milk products, however, are estimated to be generating a billion pesos each year and if the National Dairy Authority could demand at least one percent tariff of it yearly which is equivalent to 100 million pesos for the assistance of the local fresh milk producers, then it would be a significant boost for local fresh milk production. The Congress Director and former 5th district of Pangasinan representative, Mark Cojuangco, said this at the press conference on the initial day.
(L-R) Amb. Reuben Levermore, Mr. Phillip Shull, Mr. Danilo Fausto, Former Rep. Mark Cojuangco, Rep. Mark Mendoza, Former Sen. Leticia Shahani, Hon. Davinio Catbagan and Ms. Grace Cenas.
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