Food product innovations are vital for any business enterprise to survive competition and the current economic crunch. Given today’s challenging economic times, food companies, especially SMEs, should consciously continue to invest in innovation to stay competitive. On the other hand, consumers are also increasingly concerned about the safety of the food they eat. It is important to make food supply chains well integrated, more effective, reliable, and safer.
To cater to these rapidly expanding needs of SMEs specifically in the food-processing and food manufacturing industry, the Asian Productivity Organization (APO) implements multi-country projects on food product innovation, food safety management and good hygiene practices. And so this was the focus of the echo session organized by the Development Academy of the Philippines – APO Liaison Office last September 30, 2010 held at the DAP’s Audio-Visual Room, with the theme “Innovations in Food Products and Safety Standards”.
Four grantees were invited from the food processing and manufacturing industries to share their learning on the topic. They are: Ms. Minica B. Jobo, Quality Specialist, Monde-Nissin Corporation, participant of APO Food Safety Management System Auditors Course in Malaysia; Dr. Mary Jean G. Bulatao, Faculty, UP Los Banos College of Agriculture, a participant of APO Good Hygiene Practices for Food-processing SMEs Seminar in Thailand; Ms. Helen H. del Rosario, General Manager, Soyuz Foods Inc., and Mr. Brian C. Tan, General Manager, Bethany Management- who both attended together as participants in the APO Study Mission to the U.S.A. on Food Product Innovations.
Among those discussed in the session are the Basic Concepts and Principles of the Food Safety Management System, Good Hygiene Practices (GHP) in Meat Processing, and Approaches and Techniques for Introducing Innovation in Food Products. The highlight of the activity is a virtual tour of New York City’s Summer Fancy Food Show, the renowned Dean & Deluca- a multichannel retailer of fine food, wine, and kitchenware, Trader Joe’s grocery chain known for its core philosophy and history of community involvement, and Rutgers Food Innovation Center in New Jersey.
A total of 23 participants from DAP and Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) companies benefited from this echo session.