Manila – The COVID-19 pandemic has brought with it significant changes to the market and the food supply chain. Many farmers and other food producers are also being adversely affected as they continue to experience challenges firsthand.

With governments continuing to find ways to address the issues brought about by the pandemic, Cargill Philippines, the local subsidiary of the global food and agriculture company, has remained in operation to help ensure food production and supply in the country.

“We recognize the role we play in food security, and at the onset of this crisis, we knew we could not simply stop operations especially at a time like this. Equally important, we value our employees and keep their personal safety and livelihood as our top priority. Comprehensive measures have been taken to ensure their safety in and out of the workplaces,” said Sonny Catacutan, President and CEO of Cargill Philippines.

Cargill Philippines operates five business units across the country, including poultry meat production, animal nutrition, and grains and oils. Across its operations, Cargill Philippines has applied strict precautionary measures including work from home arrangements, quarantine measures, rotating skeletal workforces, providing disinfection and sanitary kits for all locations, as well as equipping employees with appropriate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).

In Sto. Tomas, Batangas, where the company’s poultry meat production plant, C-Joy, is operating, the company continues to produce at levels consistent with market demand, providing shuttle services and on-site accommodations to its employees. While keeping its commitment to institutional markets, Cargill PH has also entered the retail space and stretches its service to commercial outlets and grocery stores to make its products available to more consumers in need.

In addition to supporting customers on meeting market needs, Cargill PH also worked very closely with other vital parts of the agriculture supply chain, ranging from coconut farmers and poultry growers to transport and logistics companies, in this difficult time. Together we help to ensure not only a resilient supply chain, but also the livelihood of people in this whole supply chain.

Cargill PH partnered with Rise Against Hunger (RAH) to distribute food packages that have
benefited frontline health workers at the Philippine General Hospital, and C-Joy has provided over a half a million eggs to its employees and the Jollibee Group Foundation to benefit hospitals and communities. This came on top of the donation of over 60,000 live chickens to beneficiary families as both a means for livelihood and household nutrition.

According to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations, there are four dimensions to Food Security: Physical Availability of Food, Economic and Physical Access to Food, Food Utilization, and the Stability of the other dimensions over time. Of these four, Cargill is most integral to the first two: Availability and Access.

“It’s critical that we keep the market open as farmers are dependent on this for their livelihood. People and animals rely on companies like ours for their food and nourishment, and availability and access are the first steps to ensure food security.

“We will continue to adapt to the changing conditions of this pandemic, and as we move towards General Community Quarantine, we are looking forward to collaborating even more with the government and other industry players to help ensure food security. Our commitment is in helping Filipinos have access to safe, nutritious and sustainable food as far as our businesses are concerned, and provide assistance where we can especially as we forge towards recovery,” Catacutan concluded.