“Boosting Food Standards in the Philippines: Public Private Dialogue, Field Visit and Fruit and Vegetable Bazaar”
The Bureau of Plant (BPI) in collaboration with Bureau of Agriculture and Fisheries Standards (BAFS), Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH organized a 3-day activity- “Boosting Food Standards in the Philippines: Public Private Dialogue, Field Visit and Fruit and Vegetable Bazaar” for a more robust exchange that will help improve food standards, particularly for fruits and vegetables via multifaceted and multi-platform approach. The activity highlighted the promotion of Good Agricultural Practices (PhilGAP) as well as Organic Program and aimed to strengthen its implementation and operation. The event was held last February 28 to March 2, 2018 and was attended by implementing agencies’ representatives and technical personnel from Department of Agriculture (DA) Regional Field Offices, PhilGAP and Organic producers, processors and manufacturers, retailers, associations, certification bodies and consumer groups.
In the opening ceremony, OIC Director George Y. Culaste emphasized GIZ’ outstanding support through Standard in the Southeast Asian Food Trade (SAFT) project. This project created strong linkages for key stakeholders to actively exchange and agree on steps and use of food standards particularly for fruits and vegetables relevant to the implementation of the PhilGAP Certification Program. He also said that BPI is committed to a sound and strategic directions for sustainable agricultural production and it also recognizes the prime importance of health and ecology.
During the program, PhilGAP infographic video was presented to the stakeholders. The 5-min video material which will be released via YouTube, Facebook and other platforms will serve as visual aid to promote PhilGAP. It aims to create awareness among consumers on the importance of GAP certified products. The PNS 49: 2017 Code of Agricultural Practices for Fruits and Vegetable Farming was also launched. This code of practice covers the general hygienic practices for the production and primary processing of fresh fruits vegetables cultivated for human consumption, particularly those intended to be consumed raw.
There were 15 PhilGAP certified exhibitors who showcased their produce such as pomelo, mangosteen, potatoes, garlic, shallots and other fruits and vegetables. And because they are PhilGAP certified the consumers were assured that products they bought adhere to food safety and quality standards.
In the public-private dialogue, Mr. Arnold Dizon of Kalasag Farmers Producers Cooperative, a PhilGAP certified farm and Mr. Jefferson Laruan of the Lily of the Valley Organic Farm shared their stories. Challenges and needs of food standards implementation were also discussed. Gaps were identified and solutions prioritizations were crafted during the workshop.
On the 2nd day, the group visited a PhilGAP certified farm, the Rosa Farms, Inc . in San Antonio, Zambales. Rosa Farms, the first agri-tourism farm destination in Zambales is a 12.5 hectare mango orchard and a home to 888 mango trees which mostly are Philippine Carabao mango variety – considered the sweetest in the world. The farm offers PICK-and-PAY to visitors who want to partake of nature's bounty at the Farm. Farm Manager Mr. Ding Zulueta shared some of techniques and good agricultural practices to the participants. He also shared how PhilGAP and the social media led their business to success.
It was indeed a successful event. BPI and collaborators thanked everyone for actively participating and hope that they gained wider knowledge and translate them to effective and efficient implementation of the PhilGAP and Organic Agriculture Programs. (VDTe/LAEugenio)
- Created: 07 March 2018
- Last Updated: 07 March 2018
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