Milk is an essential part of everyone’s diet. However, Filipinos have limited access to the freshest, best-quality milk possible. With the country importing 99% of its dairy, most of us aren’t drinking milk at its peak freshness and most nutritional form. This is what Manuel V. Pangilinan’s newest holding company Metro Pacific Agro Ventures (MPAV), partnered with the Israel-based LR Group, is driven to change. They believe we need to make farming FRESH again and feed our people first, starting with Philippine dairy.
They are here to make world-class quality dairy and its other derivatives closer and more accessible to Filipinos here in the Philippines. By modernizing and advocating the underserved agricultural industry as a whole, Filipinos will have better access to the power that a glass of high quality fresh milk can provide for the body.
Fresh milk and dairy products are necessary for a healthy diet. An eight-ounce serving is considered a complete meal. It is a good source of protein, filled with anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and immune-boosting effects. It contains 18 out of the 22 essential nutrients humans need, such as Vitamin D, potassium, and zinc. One glass of fresh milk a day can lead to healthier, stronger Filipinos. It’s time for Filipinos to taste Philippine dairy at its best—and it all starts with happier, healthier cows to get the best possible dairy yield.
One of the fundamental steps in helping advance the Philippine dairy industry is the joint venture between MPAV and LR Group that aims to establish the Metro Pacific Dairy Farms (MPDF) that will create a step change in the PH dairy farming industry. Breaking ground last December 22, 2022, the event marked a fresh start for Philippine dairy.
MPDF was introduced during an inauguration featuring premium products from Metro Pacific Agro Ventures such as Carmen’s Best Premium Ice Cream and Holly’s Fresh Milk, set against the idyllic backdrop of the Laguna countryside. This agribusiness heralds itself as a champion for local dairy by creating improvement in the Philippine dairy process and advocating for world-class quality fresh milk.
“The agricultural sector presents a wide range of possibilities that can help us achieve several goals—to strengthen the food supply chain and augment the accessibility of resources for all Filipinos as well as provide more opportunities for growth in an otherwise underserved business,” Pangilinan mentioned in a Philippine News Agency report. “Ultimately,
the country should aim for substantial independence in food. And we must feed our people first,” he added.
This #FreshForward beginning already has wonderful, concrete steps in place. MPDF plans to increase the country’s fresh milk yield, from eight to 10 liters a day to 30 liters a day. This will be made possible by keeping MPDF’s 1,000 cows, 600 of which will be milking cows, and the farmers who care for them happy and taken care of through modern farming practices.
MPDF aims to do whatever it takes to maximize fresh milk’s shelf life through highly mechanized and automated operations, which will ensure adherence to quality and safety standards. It will also be equipped with solar farms that will produce power for the dairy facility, a water treatment plant that will provide human-grade drinking water for the cattle, and a waste management facility that will allow the facility to produce fertilizer.
Addressing the local dairy sector’s pressing problems isn’t just for the benefit of our local agriculture, but also for the farmers and producers who dedicated their lives to the industry. Apart from helping pave the way for the Philippine dairy industry, MPDF also plans to solidify a relationship with local corn farmers. They will help and work with local corn farmers for the cattle feed rations. They also aim to be a future training facility for future farmers and experts in agriculture, in partnership with academic entities.
With these sustainable innovations in mind, consumers can expect healthy, high-quality, and delicious options for all their dairy needs. These modern farming practices are aimed to go beyond fresh milk. The facility will also have processing plant capabilities integrated that will allow the production of fresh milk and other milk-derivative products such as low-fat milk, chocolate milk, yogurt, and other popular dairy products for the local market.
Improving Philippine dairy production and consumption doesn’t happen overnight. It takes sweat and perseverance from creative, innovative minds who are passionate about improving our current agricultural sector. MPDF is committed to making significant, positive changes happen for the betterment of the Filipino people’s overall health and our country’s economy and food security.
We deserve a self-sustaining dairy-producing Philippines; better accessibility to nutritious food, better jobs for our steadfast farmers, and a FRESH perspective on what Filipino farming could be. It’s an agricultural change not only for one but for all. This is what the #FreshForward movement is all about—making farming fresh and exciting again!
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