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PIA Press Release

Mobile lab in Mindanao to operate soon

By Mai Gevera

Davao City (2 September) -- Trade of agri-fishery food products is increasingly being governed by a growing array of product and process standards both at the public and private levels.

This has pushed the Strategic Development Cooperation-Asia (SDCAsia) to align agri-marine products from the Philippines to pass the European Union market requirements.

The program, "Aligning Agri-Marine Food Supply Chains to EU Market Requirements" is an action under the EU Small Grants Facility.

SDCAsia has partnered with the Department of Science and Technology XI (DOST XI) for the operation of the Mobile Science and Technology Laboratory (MoLab)) as formalized early this month.

The MoLab, which will be managed by the DOST Region XI and expected to start its operations on October 2006, will be the springboard to promote food safety and ease the bottleneck faced by rural enterprises in acquiring permits and meeting product quality standards

The MoLab, with its capability to provide affordable cost, fast, and onsite services will accelerate licensing procedures and enhance capacity of resource poor enterprises to meet basic food safety and quality requirements of bigger and more lucrative markets.

Services of the MoLab include; a) Basic Analytical Laboratory for water potability tests, physico-chemical analysis and microbial analysis; b) Food Technician Support Services; and c) Food Safety Resource Center.

The project aims to improve global competitiveness of the fresh and processed marine and tropical fruit supply chains in Mindanao particularly their capability to meet market access requirements of the EU Food market.

This would contribute to promoting pro-poor growth, equitable distribution of incomes for male and female-owned enterprises and food security goals in a sustainable basis as well as address consumer concerns related to food safety and quality.

It has been observed that markets are increasingly concerned with a) quality and safety which is based upon product and process controls; b) conformance with social and environmental standards; c) traceability and authenticity; d) reliability and guaranteed supply in order to avoid stockouts; e) just-in-time delivery; and f) product differentiation and innovation as a means of adding value and margins.

The EU funded project is focused on improving access of enterprises particularly those in rural communities to food safety laboratories. (PIA XI) [top]

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