PIA Press Release
Sunday, January 29, 2012
Banana export firm gets PhilGap certificationby Carina L. Cayon
DAVAO CITY, Jan. 29 (PIA) -- A banana producer and exporter in the region was recently bestowed of the Philippine Good Agricultural Practices (PhilGAP) certification for meeting high quality standards in its operations.
The Tagum Agricultural Development Company Inc. (TADECO) announced that it is now PhilGAP-certified starting Jan. 4 until Jan. 3, 2013, after embracing PhilGAP requirements in assuring food safety.
The Bureau of Agriculture and Fisheries Products Standards (BAFPS) of the Department of Agriculture awarded the certification to TADECO after verifying on the firm’s compliance to food safety standards.
TADECO quality management system manager Reagan Navarro confirmed this saying that TADECO vice president for research, information and compliance division Dr. Benny M. Corcolon received the certification from DA-BAFPS director Angelina Bondad.
Navarro said that PhilGAP’s programs are parallel to the aspirations of the company, which is “being a good corporate citizen.”
She explained that the PhilGAP standards are primarily designed to reassure consumers about how food is produced on the farm.
Aside from assuring food safety, the requirement is also set at minimizing detrimental environmental impacts of farming operations, and ensuring a responsible approach to workers’ health, safety, welfare and hygiene.
Navarro said that TADECO has complied with the PhilGAP standards saying that the company has established several programs related to food safety.
She cited one program such as the installation and enhancement of facilities for workers health, safety and hygiene.
Programs and policies for environmental protection have also been established, documented, implemented and maintained, she stated.
Another best practice of the company is the strengthened partnership between the management and the workers that “solidifies good labor relations,” she added.
Navarro said that ensuring food safety has been one of the priorities of Tadeco “in order to become competitive in the global market.”
“That is why it invested considerable economic resources in food safety protocol to ensure that the produce items have met the highest quality standard,” she stated.
TADECO becomes the first producer and exporter of Cavendish bananas to acquire PhilGAP certification in the country, Navarro claimed.
“With a holistic approach in implementing quality management system, the PhilGAP certification further solidifies the tagline of TADECO that says total quality is our way of life,” she stated.
PhilGAP standards have been set by DA-BAFPS that is mandated to formulate and enforce standards of quality in the processing of agricultural products.
Last year, Navarro said that DA-BAFPS has undertaken visits and inspections at Tadeco’s packing houses, warehouses and field operations to check on the firm’s compliance to PhilGAP and the sustainability of its programs. (PIA-11)