Mega Global doubles sardines plant investments to P1 B

Published November 21, 2020, 6:30 AM

by Bernie Cahiles-Magkilat

Mega Global Corp., the country’s largest canned sardines manufacturer, is doubling to P1 billion its investments for its first manufacturing plant in Luzon to increase production capacity by as much as 50 percent, employ 1,000 locals and source raw materials from domestic suppliers for a more diversified product portfolio when the Sto. Tomas, Batangas factory goes fully operational by 2022.

Mega Global’s President and CEO William Tiu Lim said during a virtual press conference for the groundbreaking of the new plant that upon further studies and the research of the planned state of the art fish canning factory, they have decided to raise the investment to P1 billion from the original P500 million announced in June this year.

“We are very grateful for the opportunity to invest more in our expansion and diversification plans in 2020 and to help drive economic growth in the coming years,” said the founder of the family-owned firm.

Aside from the state-of-the-art technology and machines to process sardines, Lim said the Mega Manufacturing Plant in Batangas will also have a world-class zero-waste fish meal facility, cold storage, and warehouse.

Lim said the plant will not only can sardines, but will can other products as part of Mega’s diversification to other categories.

Marvin Tiu Lim, chief-growth and development officer, said the company will source local materials from the local suppliers including fish supply from Navotas fish port and vegetables from local farmers.  There are gaps in the market that are currently underserved that Mega would like to tap by producing quality products.

According to a survey by Kantar, Marvin said Mega has a 30 percent market shares among 26 different sardine brands. Marvin noted that Mega became number one in sardines with 15 percent market share after 15 years and doubled that five years after. With the new plant, they could grow double digit in the next five years.

Malcom Tiu Lim, chief technical and innovations officer, noted the company has pioneered in some industry innovations such as the sardines in pouch and the easy open cans. He said the company will continue innovating to improve lives and better products to Filipinos.

Chief operating officer Michelle Tiu Lim-Chan said the new sardine’s line is set for completion as early as August 2021 but it will be fully operational by February 2022. The plant will increase Mega Global’s production capacity by as much as 50 percent from the current capacity of 300 metric tons a year of its Zamboanga operations. This is expected to raise its revenues by 30 percent as well.

With a plant in Batangas, she said, it would be more cost efficient for the company in terms of its distribution in Luzon as products at present are sourced from its major plant in Zamboanga. 

She said the expansion would strengthen its presence in the local market and support its drive for exports. Mega sardines are exported to the US, Canada, Central America and the Middle East where there are large concentrations of Filipino communities.

Lim-Chan added that part of the company’s sustainability program is the use energy-efficient light source like solar power to minimize its carbon footprint and a zero-waste fish meal facility. In addition, Mega Global is also moving to secure international certifications for the Sto. Tomas facility.

In expanding during this period of pandemic, the company founder impressed upon his children that they should not wait for the pandemic to be over because by then it would be too late. “It is a perfect time to help, we have a moral responsibility to help support our communities. With Malasakit as our driving force we have to think of ways to make to improve the lives of our internal and external stakeholders. In good and bad times, Mega Global is here to keep Filipino communities stay strong,” he said.

He stressed this is the same principles that he entrusted to his children in running the family business.

“This plant will also allow us to support local businesses as we plan to source our raw materials and manpower from suppliers within Luzon as part of DTI’s Buy Local, Go Lokal initiative,” said the family patriarch.

The actual groundbreaking of the Mega Manufacturing Plant on Monday, next week, is one of the highlights of its 2nd National Sardines Day Celebration along with the launch of its Mega Bigay Sustansya sa Pasko CSR program.

The Mega Bigay Sustansya sa Pasko CSR program is part of Mega Global’s  long-term goal of improving the health and nutrition of Filipinos. In partnership with the Nutrition Center of the Philippines and Reach Out Feed Philippines, Mega Global aims to serve nutritious meals to over 100,000 impoverished families nationwide before the year ends.

“Through this effort, we are able to continue providing high-quality and affordable products to our patrons while also creating jobs and business opportunities for more Filipinos,” added the family patriarch.