DA pushes single brand for dairy products

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/09 May)– The Department of Agriculture (DA) is pushing for the creation of a single brand for the country’s dairy and dairy products in a bid to enhance their competitiveness in the domestic and international markets.

Jose Reaño, DA undersecretary for livestock, said they are currently working with dairy industry players for the possibility of consolidating the country’s fresh and processed dairy products and eventually market them under a single brand.

He said the National Dairy Authority (NDA) has initially conducted some consultations with dairy farmers’ cooperatives, processors and other related players for the development of the uniform dairy brand.

“This will address the concerns of our dairy producers and processors regarding high logistics costs and at the same time enhance the marketability of our dairy products,” he said at the ongoing three-day 17th National Dairy Congress and Expo here.

Citing their initial studies, he said such move could significantly bring down logistics costs, specifically on the use of dairy containers and in terms of packaging.

Reaño said the consolidation of the dairy produce will eventually maximize the use or operations of local daily processing facilities.

In 2013, data released by the NDA showed that the country’s dairy production reached 19.45 million liters, up by a million liters from 2012.

The net supply, mostly coming from imports, stood at 321.64 million kilograms (kg) last year, which is five percent higher than the previous year’s net supply of 305.80 million kg.

Imports of milk and dairy products increased by one percent or from 305.45 million kg to 309.06 million kg.

NDA said the country’s sufficiency level in terms of local dairy production was only listed at a dismal one percent but it still exported some 6.88 million kg of dairy products last year.

About 76 percent of the dairy exports comprised whole milk powder while the remaining 24 percent were condensed milk and cheese.

Reaño said they adopted the idea of launching the country’s dairy products as a single brand so it can compete with other players in the expanding global markets.

He cited that the competitiveness of local dairy or milk products would mainly depend on how the industry would react to the developments in the markets.

The official said the move would also promote economies of scale within the industry that had been the norm in other dairy producing and exporting countries.

“The more that we consolidate the industry means more efficient and lower cost of operations for our players. That will be a key factor when we expand our markets later on,” he added. (MindaNews)