June 25, 2020
Philippine meat processors agree to buy local mechanically deboned meat
The Philippine Association of Meat Processors Inc. (PAMPI) is open to buying locally produced mechanically deboned meat (MDM) from poultry raisers, once the facilities to manufacture these products are built, Manila Standard reported.
"We will buy all the MDM that local producers can provide so that we don't have to import it anymore, thus saving our precious foreign exchange," said PAMPI president Felix Tiukinhoy Jr.
MDM is the principal material in the production of canned meat products and processed food.
PAMPI said canned meat products had played a crucial role in feeding the nation at the height of the lockdown imposed by the government to contain the spread of the coronavirus disease 2019.
Meat processors currently import MDM from different countries in the absence of local production. The bulk or 70% of the country's poultry imports is MDM.
Tiukinhoy said PAMPI was willing to work with local producers and suppliers to ensure that meat production will not be disrupted by any vested groups.
"We exist to serve the needs of our people, and we will not allow any group or groups, whoever they are, to destroy our industry," he said.
The group earlier said some groups were critical of the importation of ingredients for meat processing used by PAMPI members to produce processed meat products that fed millions of Filipinos during the enhanced community quarantine period.
"Since March when ECQ was declared, the meat product imports that are being demanded to be banned by a group of poultry lobbyists enabled our industry to produce processed meat products that feed millions of our people up to today even as we write you this letter," it said.
The government vowed to help local poultry producers cope with the impact of the pandemic. The Agriculture Department said it would continue supporting poultry stakeholders and members of United Broilers Raisers' Association by way of fiscal support to help them survive the crisis.
It said it was willing to support the industry as stakeholders endeavour to establish MDM plants that would create value-added products important for food and meat processing.