Cebu producers vow to boost supply of pork in Luzon
CEBU CITY — While there has been a reported decline in the supply of pork in Luzon, the surplus in the stock of hog meat in the Visayas will allow local producers here to come to the aid of their counterparts in the north.
This was pointed out by Rolando E. Tambago, immediate past president of the Central Visayas Pork Producers Cooperative (CeViPPCo), who disclosed that his contacts in Luzon have been reaching out to him since September to help address the dwindling pork supply in the region.
Tambago said the opportunity was timely because, while Luzon is experiencing shortage in the supply of pork, Cebu has been enjoying a huge surplus of both live hogs and meat since the market demand has slowed down due to the pandemic.
“We see this as both beneficial to Luzon and Cebu, and we are willing to support Luzon with their shortage as long as we have enough here until the market in Cebu normalizes,” said Tambago, who is president of Virginia Farms, Inc.
Virginia Farms is the oldest and currently the biggest integrated farm-to-table swine business in Central Visayas which operates a 360-hectare farm in Asturias town, Cebu. Virginia Farms also owns The Pork Shop, the biggest pork retail chain in Cebu.
Tambago said Virginia Farms has initially shipped 1,600 prime live hogs to Luzon, and has received more orders for live hogs and frozen carcasses.
He said that Cebu’s local pork consumption has decreased since March during the onset of the coronavirus disease (COVID19) pandemic.
The demand for pork in Cebu may start to normalize in December, Tambago said.
Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI) Director Dr. Ronnie D. Domingo was thankful for Cebu’s help as pork demand in Luzon will further soar with the onset of the “ber” months.
Tambago reiterated the importance of keeping Cebu free of the African swine fever (ASF).
“Cebu is the fourth largest pork producing province in the country with the local hog industry valued at 111 billion. The farmers here produce 53,890 metric tons of pork annually and with major producers in Luzon and Mindanao already affected by ASF, it is important that we protect Cebu, it being the remaining major producer of pork with no ASF cases in the country,” Tambago said.