Tristan R. Aboitiz, President of Aboitiz food business unit Pilmico Foods Corporation, was one of three Philippine representatives tasked to represent the country’s interests and concerns at the recent 16th Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation Policy Partnership on Food Security (APEC PPFS) Meeting.
Aboitiz joined 19 other PPFS representatives last October 15, 2020 in the virtual meeting, which carried the theme “Optimising Human Potential Toward A Resilient Future Of Shared Prosperity.”
“Food security remains to be an urgent priority of the region’s economies, especially during the current COVID-19 (Coronavirus Disease 2019) pandemic. Pilmico is a major part of the Philippine and regional food industry, being at the beginning of the food value chain, and we are honored to join this meeting to signify the Aboitiz Group’s contribution to helping ensure food security, not just in the Philippines, but in the region as a whole,” Aboitiz said.
Pilmico, previously solely a national player, completed its entry into the regional food and agribusiness sector with Pilmico International’s acquisition of a 100% stake in food firm Gold Coin in May 2019.
The APEC PPFS meeting’s agenda included COVID-19 and Food Security Policy in the Asia-Pacific, Review of the Food Security Roadmap and Ministerial Statement on Food Security, and Reports by Food Security-Related Working Groups and Fora.
The APEC PPFS was established in 2011 to strengthen public-private cooperation to address food security issues in the region.
The ministers of APEC economies responsible for agriculture and food met for the first time in Niigata, Japan, in 2010 and issued the Niigata Declaration on APEC Food Security—the first comprehensive APEC plan for promoting regional food security.
Subsequent APEC ministerial meetings on food security were held biennially in Kazan, Russia (2012), Beijing, China (2014), and Piura, Peru (2016), which led to the Kazan Declaration, the Beijing Declaration, and the Piura Declaration which outline APEC’s new plans for tackling food security.
PPFS members are expected to contribute input to policies on ensuring food security for APEC economies, as well as on any pressing problems within countries or regions that would require collaboration between organizations.
Pilmico is a strong proponent of food security. Last August 13, Pilmico signed a Memorandum of Agreement with the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) to provide livelihood and technical support services to Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries (ARBs).
Dubbed “The PaSSOver: ARBOld Move for Deliverance of our Farmers from the COVID-19 Pandemic,” the DAR-funded initiative will enable 1,200 women ARBs to engage in livelihood activities in the agribusiness sector. Beneficiaries will be given starter kits for bakery training, egg layering and poultry or broiler production, hog fattening, and other similar livestock rearing businesses.
Aside from assistance to ARBs, Pilmico also donated a total of 655,000 pieces of bread to poor communities nationwide as daily sustenance from March to June 2020, some of the most critical periods of the extended community quarantine.
Currently, Pilmico’s main commitment to Asia’s food security is remaining fully operational amid the pandemic. Its plants, farms, and meat facilities continue to operate business as usual. It consistently implements strict biosecurity measures to ensure everyone’s safety and echoes the Philippine government’s assertion on sufficient food supply amid restrictions and uncertainties caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.