April 20, 2004



Tyson Augments Poultry Export To Japan


Tyson Agro Ventures Inc. (TAVI), one of the Philippines' largest broiler integrators, is expanding its capacity in order to meet within the year a targeted two-container daily export shipment to Marubeni Corp. of Japan before the end of the year.


Bong F. Fornal, TAVI processed food group chief, said the company (which claims to be the Philippines' second biggest poultry producer just next to San Miguel Food Inc.) is also trying to upgrade its operational standards so as to keep up with international export requirements.


"(We are planning to export to Marubeni of Japan, but) not maybe in the next few days. Of course we have plans, but our volume is not even enough yet for the domestic market. We will be exporting if we can deliver two containers equivalent to 50 tons per day. We are preparing to meet that volume. Our target is before the end of the year," he said in an interview.


TAVI, which has an integrated farm and processing plants located all over the country, owns 11 plants including Bulacan, its main plant, Davao, General Santos, Cagayan de Oro, Cebu, Iloilo, Pangasinan, Isabela, Bicol, and Southern Tagalog. It produces live chicken, dressed chicken, cut chicken parts, and value added products (chicken-hotdogs, marinated chicken, nuggets).


Aside from Japan, TAVI received inquiries from South Korea. But a South Korean export might take more time.


"There are about half a dozen (companies from which) we received inquiries. But with Korea, we've not yet established a bilateral relationship. The government has to do that," he said.


The Asian bird flu crisis has opened export opportunities for the Philippines which has remained bird flu-free. San Miguel Corp. has earlier shipped 28 metric tons (MT) to Yonekyu of Japan in a move to directly export its products.


While it already has the food safety accreditation Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) as acknowledged under the Food and Agriculture Organization's (FAO) Codex Alimentarius, Fornal said TAVI is pursuing further standard advancements to ensure quality products for the export market.


"We are putting in place structural and operational requirements in the international market. It's not only HACCP. HACCP is only (like) a software, but there are some pre-requisites to good hygienic practice," he said.


Fornal said the Marubeni has asked Philippine poultry integrators to supply a big chunk or about 100,000 MT of the 500,000 (MT) that Marubeni supplies to Japan yearly.


"They would be happy if we could supply at least 100,000 tons because they would also be buying from Thailand. That's their request when we first met with them," he said.


The poultry industry has projected that with the encouragement to export poultry products, the Philippines may produce 594,000 metric tons (MT) of dressed chicken this year or 540 million live birds (at a conversion of 1.1 kilo per bird). This is substantially higher by 25.8 percent from 2003's 472,000 MT output as broiler integrators are now building up inventory to tap the export market.


Other broiler integrators such as Swift is believed to have been preparing for the export market as Thailand, the world's biggest poultry exporter with revenues of $2 billion, was severely hit by the crisis.

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