CALAMBA CITY, Laguna– Five farmer groups in the Calabarzon (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal, and Quezon) region aim to reach a wide market as soon as the Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) certifies their products as safe and compliant to standards.
In an interview Friday, Rodel Llagas, regional information officer of the Department of Agriculture (DA) Calabarzon said that the five farmer groups have just finished their three-part training Thursday on food processing and safety at the Lipa Agriculture Research and Experiment Station (LARES) in Maraouy Village (barangay), Lipa City, Batangas
“They can widen their market base since some buyers require a License to Operate from the Food and Drugs Authority,” Llagas explained.
Among the topics covered in the training were basic food handling skills, sanitation standard operating procedures, current good manufacturing practices, product traceability, hazard analysis, and critical control points, among others with some of the main outputs of the training were the Good Manufacturing Practices manual and the Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) Plan.
The five farmer groups include Aga Farmers Multi-Purpose Cooperative (coffee), Magsasakang Tanaueño Agricultural Marketing Cooperative (mango puree), and Tanauan Organic Natural Farming Association (banana chips), in Batangas province as well as Quezon Federation and Union Cooperatives (VCO) in Quezon province and Luisiana Cacao Grower Producers Cooperative (tablea) in Laguna.
Accordingly, these farmer groups are assisted and monitored by the Department of Agriculture -Philippine Rural Development Project (DA-PRDP) Calabarzon with the participation of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) in the region as resource persons.
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