MORE Filipino children from far-flung and hard-to-reach areas in Luzon will soon be able to taste and benefit from local carabao’s milk.
San Miguel Corporation (SMC) is partnering with carabao cooperatives to boost their incomes by providing milk for government’s nationwide milk feeding program utilizing its new packaging solution that will prolong the product’s shelf life.
SMC’s packaging unit, San Miguel Yamamura Packaging Corp. (SMYPC), recently signed an agreement with the Philippine Carabao Center (PCC), an attached agency of the Department of Agriculture, that will see SMYPC packing an initial four million cans of sterilized carabao’s milk, to be distributed in Regions 1 to 3 and parts of the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR).
SMC president and chief operating officer Ramon S. Ang said under the agreement, SMYPC will act as a third-party toll packer utilizing its new retort process to package some 40,000 liters of carabao milk supplied by local farmer’s cooperatives in Nueva Ecija, for the nationwide school-based feeding program under the Department of Education (DepEd) and the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).
“We are very happy that almost one year since we promised to help the carabao cooperatives, we will now see both farmers and our school children benefit from this worthy endeavor. I’m very proud that we at San Miguel were able to use our resources and our expertise to help build the capacities and capabilities of our local farmers at this time of pandemic,” Ang said.
With the retort process, carabao’s milk can be preserved up to six months without preservatives, and packaged in aluminum cans. Previously, carabao in flexible packaging was only good for a maximum of seven days.
“With a longer shelf life, carabao’s milk will now reach more children in need of nutritional support and address nutritional deficiencies that impair their health and learning ability,” Ang said. “We expect more school children to be able to drink nutritious carabao’s milk, particularly those who reside in far-flung, mountainous and hard-to-reach areas, and those with no electricity or limited storage facilities,” he added.
Last year, SMC had helped the farmers by buying up thousands of liters of excess carabao milk for donation to poor communities at the height of pandemic restrictions. It also promised to help make carabao milk more marketable by developing a packaging format for the farmer cooperatives, for free.
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