Mindanao Pork to Go to Singapore

PHILIPPINES - Pork from Mindanao, having no record of foot-and-mouth disease, could be reaching Singapore soon.
calendar icon 16 July 2008
clock icon 3 minute read

Singapore's Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority (AVA) has approved a meat-packing company in South Cotabato as the sole processor of frozen-pork exports from the Philippines, reports The Straits Times.

The move is part of a wider effort by the AVA to diversify its food supplies against a backdrop of recent outbreaks, such as bird flu, and the impact of climate change on the global agriculture landscape.

Philippine officials said a delegation of meat traders from Singapore this week toured the Matutum Meat Packing Corp (MMPC) and a new testing laboratory in the town of Polomolok. Another group of around 20 traders are due here later this month.

'We have identified the farms for the live hogs and implemented the inspection systems suggested by the Singapore Government,' Bureau of Animal Industry director Davinio Catbagan told The Straits Times yesterday.

He said the hog feed will adhere to international standards, as will the so-called withdrawal period for antibiotic medication in livestock. This ensures there are no excessive concentrations of antibiotics in the meat.

The World Organisation for Animal Health, an inter-governmental grouping, officially declared Mindanao disease-free in 2001. The last recorded case was on Luzon Island over two years ago.

Mindanao's remoteness and measures to prevent the spread of foot-and-mouth disease in this scattered archipelago have helped to keep the island free of the disease.

For the Philippines, exporting frozen pork to Singapore could help tighten its oversupplied domestic hog market and open up other international markets. Only processed meat is currently exported.

Said MMPC general manager Stephen Castillo: 'We've had firm expressions of interest from Singapore and hope to get the first orders in the next two to three months.'

Once the company has proved itself to be a safe and reliable supplier of frozen pork, it also aims to supply chilled pork cuts to Singapore, said Mr Castillo.

View The Straits Times story by clicking here.

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