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.