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  • By Lynda Kiernan-Stone, Global AgInvesting Media

Cargill Studying Expansion in Philippines Poultry Sector – Chairman

In a recent media briefing, Cargill’s Chairman for Asia Pacific, Alan Willits, stated that the group was investigating a possible investment within the next year in support of expansion in the poultry sector in the Philippines.

“We’re thinking of what we can do to accelerate our activities here. We have growth in our animal nutrition business. We’re looking in getting into new things like poultry in the Philippines, we think that’s an interesting area. That would be an area we are hoping to make an investment in, in the near future, certainly within the year. Tens and tens of millions (of dollars), for now. It’s currently under study,” Mr. Willits said.

Cargill currently has animal feed mills in Pangasinan, Bulacan, and Misamis Oriental, and an investment into the poultry sector in the region is being seen as a complementary move to this activity.

The Philippines has been earmarked by Cargill as a country holding great potential, noting that improvements to the country’s infrastructure and regulatory systems would help the country strengthen its standing in international trade.

Only 16% of global food production is shipped across international borders, according to a study conducted by Cargill, with the remaining 84% dedicated to meeting domestic demands.

“It’s also about regulatory harmonization. If a Filipino farmer grows food here, and they meet the Filipino standard, then that standard would be accepted in Indonesia or Thailand,” said Bruce Blakeman, vice president of corporate affairs for Cargill Asia-Pacific.

Cargill originally entered the Philippines as an exporter of coconut products, and also has a copra crushing plant in General Santos City, which processes crude coconut oil. The company has also committed $500,000 to a two-year coconut tree replanting program in the country’s Visayas region, where the industry was decimated by typhoon Yolanda in November 2013.

The coconut industry was the most affected by the super typhoon, according to a UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) report in April 2014, with more than one million coconut farmers losing 33 million coconut trees, representing a financial loss to the industry of $396 million.

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