The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Region 2, supporting its Buy Local advocacy, conducted a series of product development initiatives for its food and non-food sector beneficiaries on 24-30 September 2021.

This activity aimed to help the micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) build their capabilities and improve their products to meet the requirements and needs of their buyers.

DTI Regional Director (RD) Leah Pulido Ocampo emphasized in her message the different interventions in enabling business opportunities and the activities of DTI R2 that led to the strengthening of the Buy Local campaign. She also mentioned the support of the United Nations Women as they plan to partner with the agency in making the said advocacy replicated nationwide.

Buy Local webinar with Region 2 MSMEs

“This is the reason why we are conducting this product development effort – to further build your capabilities to supply to a much wider market.  While we push your products in a wider arena, your products should also level up to respond to the demands of the market,’’ said RD Ocampo.

Likewise, Ramil Garcia, Chief of the Small and Medium Enterprise Development Division, echoed the objective and importance of the said initiative and encouraged the MSMEs to maximize the activities in the improvement and development of their products to become more competitive.

“This is actually a parallel effort of DTI. While we are expanding your market by helping and mandating government instrumentalities to buy from you, our dear MSMEs, we are also helping you on the other side to meet their requirements so that all can get the best benefits out of DTI’s Buy Local Advocacy program,” said Garcia in his closing remark.

The 30 MSMEs (20 food sectors, 10 non-food sectors) from the different provinces of Cagayan Valley and beneficiaries of the Buy Local campaign underwent a thorough evaluation in the areas of branding, packaging, labeling, sensory, and production process through the assistance of tapped consultants and experts for the food and non-food sector.

Buy Local webinar with Region 2 MSMEs

The sessions were completed with the expertise of Kenneth Mendoza, Product Development Specialist of San Miguel Foods Inc., and food experts in the person of Krischen Austria, Melanie Arugay, and Johnmel Valerozo.

Meanwhile, Paul Henry Abad and Jefferson De Jesus, designer-consultants from Ritepak Packaging Solutions were also present in the sessions for the non-food sector.

The conduct of this session is in preparation for the succeeding phases of the project which will be the presentation of mock-up digital designs and product design execution. ♦

Date of Release: 4 October 2021