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PIA Press Release

Benguet to consider adopting provincial branding scheme for local products

by SC Aro

LA TRINIDAD, Benguet (6 October) -- It is high time that the province will adopt a branding scheme that would mark the seal of excellence of products associated to the area which is now being adopted by other provinces gaining recognition and marketing opportunities not only locally but internationally.

Presented during the forum on the Development of a Provincial Brand for Benguet Products held last week at the Benguet State University were the experiences of other provinces with product brands which obtained good results.

These were outputs of postgraduate students of the Benguet State University under the tutelage of BSU Director of the Institute of Social Research and Development, Dr. Marie Klondy Dagupen. Corollary to this, Dagupen also presented the results of the study on "The Ideal Vegetable Attributes Based on Consumer Requirements."

An important strategy for growth and development, branding accordingly enables premium pricing, makes widespread distribution easy to achieve and helps sustain profitability.

For the Bataan experience with a "Galing Bataan" seal, it has mustered gains such as achieving a high level of recognition in the market and increased market foothold not only locally but internationally as well.

Aside from positive feedback from customers, it has also expanded market opportunities and established market linkages.

Relative to Bulacan's "Tatak Bulakenyo" experience, it has increased income generation among micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) as it was put up to complement livelihood programs for the people. The seal signifies a product standard, assurance that the product is safe for consumption, product competitiveness, and quality.

But this takes a concerted effort which the provincial government cannot do alone. Based on the experiences in the other provinces, the success of the implementation of the project were through the collaborative efforts of government and private sectors.

BSU presented some recommendations which the province may consider. One of which is mental recall on the preference of highland agricultural products. This could be substantiated with Dagupen's study associating the product to its origin and the growing awareness on organically produced highland vegetables which are product attributes consumers prefer.

Dagupen's presentation took carrots and cabbage as sample products among 342 respondents. For carrots, 75 percent prefer carrots from Baguio-Benguet due to its low price, smooth skin and big size. Likewise for cabbage, more than half (55.2%) prefer those coming from Baguio-Benguet associating it to its low price and having a rounded feature and are organically grown.

Aside from other stakeholders, BSU could also share their technical expertise. To complement the existing cold chain program, they also recommend the establishment of a packaging research and development facility at BSU to assist in developing individual producers.

Establishment of a toll packing facility that will package products with a provincial brand or quality seal is also recommended. (PIA-Benguet) [top]

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