In photo: Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Secretary Fred Pascual and Baladna Board Member Aidan Tynan

DOHA, QATAR — On 16 May, Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Secretary Fred Pascual engaged with officials of Baladna to discuss their potential investment in establishing a large-scale, fully integrated dairy facility in the Philippines. He cited that this strategic investment aligns with the country’s pursuit of self-sufficiency in food and milk production.

“The Philippine government stands ready to support Baladna to realize its planned investments in the country. Through a whole of government approach, the DTI and the Board of Investments are ready to facilitate business-to-business meetings and introductions to potential joint venture partners for Baladna. Additionally, the Department of Agriculture (DA) is actively identifying suitable locations for the proposed dairy facilities,” Secretary Pascual said.

Baladna is a trusted milk, dairy, juice, and food brand in Qatar. With its commitment to bringing fresh and nutritious food choices to its consumers, the brand has been known for its progressive product research and innovation, aiming towards a healthier and more sustainable future. As part of its contribution to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, Baladna has extended its expertise and resources to countries such as Malaysia, Uzbekistan, Algeria, and the Philippines through strategic partnerships and knowledge sharing.

During the discussion, Secretary Pascual also underscored the substantial demand for dairy products in the Philippines, with imports nearing PHP 3 billion. He cited that addressing this demand while supporting local production is a key priority for the current administration.

To further bolster the dairy sector, the delegation outlined regulatory support for labeling fresh milk, UHT milk, and imported frozen milk concentrate, emphasizing the clear definitions provided by the Philippine National Standard.

Recognizing concerns about mislabeling raised in the Philippine National Dairy Roadmap 2020-2025, the National Dairy Authority and the Food and Drug Administration are committed to ongoing discussions and reviews of the PNS. This collaborative effort aims to ensure fair competition and protect consumers by maintaining clear and accurate labeling standards within the dairy industry.

The DTI chief also emphasized that the Department will collaborate with the DA to craft policies that create a level playing field for all milk and dairy producers in the country.

With Baladna’s potential contribution to the growth of the Philippine dairy industry, Secretary Pascual stressed, “We look forward to the realization of this landmark investment. We are confident that together, we can Make it Happen in the Philippines.” ♦

Date of release: 17 May 2024