Faced with the dilemma of hog oversupply, the farmers of Buklod-Unlad Multi-Purpose Cooperative (BUMC) in Taysan, Batangas decided to venture into meat processing. But the coop Cerdo Real was confronted with yet another problem, an oversupply of processed meat products.
Created in June 1991, BUMC was initially a family enterprise of the Malaluan clan but in 1993 membership was opened to the public, including overseas Filipino workers, farmers, and businessmen, among others. BUMC obtained its Cooperative Development Authority accreditation in 1997.
Its chairman, Angel Garcia, said that businessmen are crucial in their membership because they help in the capitalization of the cooperative.
The goal of BUMC is to strengthen agriculture and trading by farmers through financing and new farming techniques. In 2008, the cooperative launched its Alagaan Pangkabuhayan, an integrated pig production program which espouses the “from conception to consumption” system. Some farmer-members are into planting of cassava and corn which the cooperative uses for feed mill while others are into hog-raising.
The coop consultant suggested that the coop venture into meat processing to cushion the adverse impact of the market movements. Thus, when the price of hogs is low, the coop can earn through processed meat products.
Initially the coop could hardly turn up a profit because of the huge cost in labor and quality of their processed products.
They sought the help of a nutritionist who helped them achieve the consistency in the processed product’s taste. From then on their meat products like their best seller siomai and hotdog were being sought for in the markets.
The BUMC also availed of the assistance of DOST’s Industrial Technology Development Institute (ITDI) in packaging Cerdo Real, through its Small Enterprise Technology Upgrading Program (SETUP).
SETUP helps SMEs utilize and adopt technological innovations and scientific processes to improve business efficiency and productivity.
Through SETUP, BUMC acquired a meat grinder, mixer, cooking vat, vacuum sealer, and freezer that increased their production and income. The coop is now producing 2.5 tons of meat products per month.