DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 21 March) –The Gokongwei-led Universal Robina Corporation (URC) inaugurated on Thursday a flour plant expansion worth over P1 billion in Davao City, making the city as “export base” for its flour markets in Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) region.
JG Summit Holdings chief executive officer Lance Gokongwei said during the inauguration that URC’s new facility, an expansion of its 25-year-old 300-metric ton capacity flour mill, would serve not only the markets of Visayas and Mindanao but also neighboring ASEAN markets.
URC, one of the largest branded consumer food and beverage product firms in the Philippines, is a subsidiary of JG Summit Holdings.
Among its other products, according to Bloomberg, include hogs and poultry farming, animal feeds, corn products, and animal health products.
In its disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange, the majority of “URC’s branded consumer foods business is conducted in the Philippines, but the company has expanded into other Asian markets through its subsidiaries in Cayman Islands, British Virgin Islands, China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Myanmar, Vietnam, New Zealand, and Australia.”
The operation of its new 600-metric ton capacity flour mill brings its daily production to 900 metric tons of export quality flour a day, according to Gokongwei.
Aside from its Davao plant, Gokongwei said URC, the fourth biggest flour manufacturer in the country, also operates a flour plant in Pasig.
Naida Ebora, the company’s sales, marketing and distribution director, said the expansion of its operation here would support the Mindanao market of the URC and widen its global market.
She said “there’s more market to discover” with a bigger volume.
URC’s entire plant here has 247 employees.
For its new plant, Ebora said the URC has invested in state-of-the-art equipment designed and supplied by Buhler using Swiss technology, which allows for a fully automated flour processing.
She said they have started exporting flour from Davao last year.
“We started shipping from here even last year. Now, we have more capacity to enter new markets,” she said.
Ebora said the URC wants to export fresh flour to Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia, Myanmar, Indonesia, Hong Kong, New Zealand, and Australia. (Antonio L. Colina IV / MindaNews)