Following years of negotiations, the Philippines was granted access to South Korea’s $300-million fresh frozen chicken market, the Department of Agriculture (DA) announced on Wednesday.
Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala said that the Korean Quarantine Inspection Agency (QIA) has finally given the go-signal for the Philippines to send its fresh chicken products to South Korea starting this month.
Alcala said that the positive development should encourage other Filipino processors and integrators to enhance their food quality and safety standards, and expand their capacities so they could also export to South Korea.
“We have worked hard for this. So, we invite the private sector to take advantage of this access and start the negotiations with Korean buyers,” Alcala said.
In a report to Alcala, the country’s Office of Special Agricultural Attaché based in Bangkok said that the Korean QIA granted accreditation to Bounty Fresh Food Inc., one of the three processing plants inspected by Korean QIA personnel in October this year. Bountry Fresh’s facility is located in Barangay Tenejero, Pulilan in Bulacan.
Two other inspected facilities—Johanna’s Chicken Processing Food Inc. and Integrated Meat and Poultry Processing—are awaiting accreditation pending the submission of or compliance to additional requirements set by the Korean QIA.
“We are confident that the two facilities will eventually get QIA’s seal of approval,” Alcala said.
Carl Chung, assistant vice president for operations at Bounty Fresh, said that the company is still in the middle of planning for next year, saying that it is now looking at chicken wings, specific cut up parts, and value-added items for possible export to South Korea.
Chung also noted that the company is still assessing capacity of their plants for exports, but said that it more focused in its operations in areas affected by Super Typhoon Yolanda.
With this development, the Philippines becomes the only Asian country to export poultry products to the lucrative South Korean market, further cementing its status as a reliable source of safe and quality meat products.