There is some good news for the country's sugar planters. Amid issues of a
declining sugar industry because of the preference for the cheaper imported
corn syrup there is a multinational company that is making a big leap, a
big sacrifice actually, for the sugar farmer.
There have been issues of declining product patronage that have caused the
local sugar industry to slump. In recent months, industries using sugar in
their products have been importing the cheaper corn syrup to replace raw or
processed sugar, and sugar farmers have asked for government intervention
on their plight.
Coco Cola Femsa Philippines pledged to help out the sugar farmers by buying
more sugar from them. Atty. Adel Tamano, Vice President for corporate
affairs and Juan Lorenzo Tanada, Corporate Director of Coca Cola Femsa
informed Agriculture Secretary Manny Pinol about the company's decision.
However, the company would need a six-month period to be able to install
new clarification equipment that can process raw sugar into corn syrup.
When Coca Cola Femsa Philippines goes into this deal, the company will have
to spend a few million dollars to go into the necessary conversion. The
company executives however said that the company is willing to make this
sacrifice in order to be able to help the Filipino sugar farmers and
Philippine agriculture in the long run.
Agriculture Secretary Manny Pinol is concurrently the Chairman of the Sugar
Regulatory Board. Prior to the visit of the two Coca Cola executives, Sec.
Pinol has been in serious talks with Coca Cola Femsa Gen. Manager Diego
Granizo about the situation of the sugar industry and the impact of Sugar
Order No. 3.