DAVAO CITY: The country’s largest breeder, processor and exporter of premium milkfish products is expanding its market in the Middle East this year.
Jose Maria Cabrera, export manager of Alsons Aquaculture Corporation, said the company is opening new markets in the Middle East for its branded milkfish products under the Sarangani Bay trademark.
He said they have existing markets in Dubai, Qatar and Saudi Arabia.
The expansion primarily targets the huge Filipino community given that Bangus is a comfort food for many of our kababayans.
“We will be joining the biggest Dubai Seafood Show again in October 2017, where buyers, suppliers, and distributors around the world converge for business matching,” he said.
It was also in the same exhibition three years ago where they met their existing partners in the Middle East.
The Sarangani Bay brand was first exported in the US and then in Canada and Australia and recently, United Kingdom and Italy.
Cabrera said the prospect for milkfish products is good this year because of the emerging new markets and that includes Singapore, Malaysia, and other European countries.
The production area for milkfish is in Alabel, Sarangani Province and Roxas in the Visayas with total shipment of 10 to 12 20-footer container vans every month to foreign markets.
He said the company’s total production last year was at 3,000 metric tons for export and 2,000 metric tons for the local market.
The Sarangani Bay Prime Bangus goes to the export market while the local market is also supplied with the global brand and other products like Pampano, Sea Bass and the White Shrimp.
With this development, Cabrera disclosed they would hire more workers when their export volume increases but they will tie up with two cooperatives in the area for manpower support.
He said there are 1,600 regular employees of the cooperatives. Of this number, 1,000 are with the aquaculture production while the 600 workers are in the banana farms.
Cabrera further said their operation is full cycle, from fingerlings growing to the finish product, which includes the feed mill production.
He said they produce 62 percent of the feed mill requirements in their fish production.