By Antonio Colina IV
DAVAO CITY –The Gokongwei-led Universal Robina Corporation (URC) inaugurated on Thursday the P1-billion flour plant expansion in Davao City on Tuesday, making the city as “export base” for its flour markets in the southeast Asian region.
JG Summit Holdings chief executive officer Lance Gokongwei said during the inauguration that the URC’s new facility, an expansion of its 25-year old 300-metric ton capacity flour mill in the city would serve not only the markets of Visayas and Mindanao but also the Philippines’ neighboring southeast Asian markets.
URC, one of the largest branded consumer food and beverage product firms in the Philippines, is a subsidiary of the JG Summit Holdings.
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.
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, the fourth biggest flour manufacturer in the country, and widen its global market.
She said, “there’s more market to discover” with a bigger volume.
For its new plant, she said the URC has invested in the state-of-the-art equipment designed and supplied by Buhler using a 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 countries where the firm is operating, including Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia, Myanmar, Indonesia, Hong Kong, New Zealand, and Australia.
“It is very possible that we ship to those countries and hopefully to any commercial customers from those countries as well,” she added.