Report: Enhancing Access to Agrifood Products in Germany Study Mission, October 9-14, 2017, Munich and Cologne, Germany


The lack of awareness of global food safety and quality standards, insufficient understanding of the requirements for certification, high cost of certification, and low levels of market access information are among the typical challenges for agrifood industry enterprises in the Asian region. International private food standards such as Global Good Agricultural Practices (GAP), ISO 22000, IFS and Food Safety System Certification (FSSC) 22000 are aimed at ensuring safety and are mandatory for the export of products. In addition, there are also product claims like Halal and organic that needs to be verified through inspection of compliance to standards. Producers and exporters of agrifood products in Asian countries need to know and understand the standards and requirements for certification of importing countries and the opportunities for their products in the European market. The mission will provide Asian participants with an opportunity to learn about the latest trends in the German agrifood industry as well as state-of-the-art food quality, safety, and inspection systems. Participants will also visit the Anuga Food Fair 2017, the world’s leading food and beverage fair for the retail trade and food service and catering markets, which covers all aspects of agrifood products.


a. Learn about the latest trends in the EU and German agrifood markets, policy and institutional settings regulating the import/export of agrifood products, and key success factors for enhancing the market access of Asian products to those markets;

b. Expose participants to state-of-the-art food value chains, emerging eco-friendly agrifood products and packaging, future food themes, modem food safety and food traceability systems, etc., through observing the operations of relevant organizations; and

c. Strengthen food industry SMEs in member countries for promoting inclusive growth.


Executive Director, Bureau of Agriculture and Fisheries Standards
Department of Agriculture

a) To learn food value chain and food safety systems which start from the quality of soil and water; and the production of eco-friendly and organic products are related to nutrient cycling and conversion of farm wastes;

b) To study how certain farms/agri-business were able to sustain their operations, specifically the production of organic food, for several decades;

c) To learn the process of organic and global GAP standards development including the formulation of technical regulations and implementation of conformity assessment procedures such certification and accreditation;

d) To gain a wider perspective and knowledge on traceability system, packaging and labeling of fresh produce and processed food.


Through the assistance of APO Program Officer, Mr. Sheikh Tanveer Hossain, there were 17 participants in this study mission from Cambodia, China RO, India, Indonesia, Iran, Nepal, Pakistan, Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam.

Participants from the Philippines are the following:

a) Ms. Helen Del Rosario (President, Philippine Calamansi Association, Inc);
b) Mr. Anthony Rivera (Assistant Director, Department of Trade and Industry-Export Marketing Bureau);
c) Ms. Karen S. Bautista (Executive Director, Bureau of Agriculture and Fisheries Standards, Department of Agriculture)


A combination of lectures, discussions and site visits was used to facilitate the conduct of study mission. Topics were delivered through a lecture by technically competent personnel.


In Munich, there were also visits to a biogas plant, the wholesale market “Großmarkthalle” and retail shops in Munich such as “Hofpfisterei” (a traditional stone-oven bread bakery, manufacturing and shop) and basic AG (a retail chain company for organic food products ). In Cologne, the Chamber for Agriculture, Research Centre Horticulture which has green houses and rain shelters for growing organic and conventional crops was visited by the group.

Anuga Fair (October 11, 2017)

During the Anuga Fair, delegates were grouped into four and tasked to answer the questionnaire based on the interview and questionnaire. The major observations are as follows: a) the fair was organized into ten trade shows with a special focus on emerging trends and innovations; b) the exhibitors put more emphasis on their certifications that they have obtained as an assurance to their products‟ quality, safety and traceability; and c) the new exhibitors‟ objective is to introduce their products while for regular exhibitors, the objective is to expand their markets and maintain good relationship with existing customers.


Karen S. Bautista

“I gained a wider perspective on the importance of transparency and integration along the supply chain to ensure the production, processing and trading of safe and quality food. There are public and private food safety certification systems that operators need to comply to combat food fraud. In addition to national and international regulations, operators should strive to have their farms, processing units and products certified in accordance to a set of standards. Based on what I have observed in the Anuga Fair, most of the companies are certified to several food safety systems and they took pride on this. In the future, it may be possible that compliance to standards and conformity assessment procedures like certification and accreditation will no longer be voluntary but it may become mandatory for food producers, processors and traders. In addition, support to farmers/producers/processors in trading their products should be in place.

Naturlands‟ operation became sustainable because of the marketing support that they have provided to their members as well as transparent relationship with their long-term clients. In the visit to the Research Center on Horticulture, I observed that rain shelters and greenhouses have simple design but it is applicable in the tropics. Organically grown tomatoes are grown in greenhouses while conventionally grown berries are grown in rain shelters. Since food safety starts from the soil, I observed that they put significance on soil health by favoring organic production practices in terms of fertilization and pest management over conventionally grown practices. Very competent personnel from Global G.A.P. and IFOAM Organics International explained standards and certification system including relevant technical regulations that will have effects on the development of the organic agriculture sector and promotion of GAP worldwide.

In terms of the relevance of topics in the program, I found that the lectures on organic guarantee systems and GAP are the most relevant and contributed to my knowledge while the lecture on DEG financing is the least relevant considering that Philippines is not included in their area of operation in the ASEAN region. In terms of time management, the allocated time for open forum after the lecture on the future of food safety regulations was very limited. For the farm visit, in addition to the biogas plant, there should be a visit in an organic vegetable farm or organic livestock and poultry farm. I think an additional two hours should be allotted to discuss how to prevent fraudulent practices along the food chain.

In general, the whole study mission was well-organized by APO through Mr. Shaikh Tanveer Hossain and the Organic Services through Mr. Gerald Herrmann. The project objectives were met. My objectives for participating in this study mission were 95% met.”


a) General recommendations to APO and APO member countries related to the project outcome

In the next study mission to be organized, in additional to GAP and organic, it is suggested that a lecture/discussion on Halal food should be considered because of the expanding market for Halal certified products. For the visits, it is better if a representative organic vegetable farm or organic livestock and poultry farm as well as a processing facility could be visited to see the entire supply chain (from farm to market shelf). Aside from visits to retail shops selling exclusive organic products, a visit could also be carried out in a regular supermarket selling both organic and conventional products to observe handling and retailing practices and how commingling is avoided. In the ASEAN region, this is more relevant considering that retail markets are selling both types of products in one store. Moreover, there should be additional time allotted for open forum on the future of food safety regulations.

b) Recommendations on potential action steps to be taken by the Philippine NPO (DAP), Philippine Government and organization

In terms of increasing the number of Filipino farmers certified to GAP (which is quite few compared to Thailand), on the part of the Philippine government, there is a need to develop incentive systems to encourage more farmers to produce safe and quality food. Considering also that there is no premium price for GAP certified products, it is necessary to intensify IEC activities not only for the producers but also for the retailers and consumers. If the demand will increase for GAP certified produce, the market price could increase. At present, the GAP certifying body is the Bureau of Plant Industry (BPI) however, it is not yet ISO 17065 accredited it has to align its standard to Global G.A.P. and become one of its partners. In terms of organic agriculture, the global market is growing annually and there is a price premium for organic products.

The Philippines has the largest organic area in the ASEAN region and plays an important role in the export of organic products. However, to ensure that production demand is met, there is a need to increase organic crop productivity while ensuring optimum soil and water quality. Training on the use of software on monitoring organic integrity and food safety could be considered by DAP in the future. This is crucial to enable regulatory agencies as well as certification bodies to carry out surveillance audits on organic operators and food producers/processors/traders.

In addition, an info-seminar on the certification requirements for GAP, Halal, Organic and food safety systems (of U.S., E.U., Japan and Middle East) could also be carried out to assist exporters of agricultural products.

On the part of my organization (Department of Agriculture), we will continue to do R&D projects on improving the quality of organic fertilizers and increasing yield of crops under organic production systems. Growing organic crops in greenhouses will be further promoted (as seen in the Research Center on Horticulture that we have visited). As one of the implementing agencies of the National Organic Agriculture Program, the institution (Bureau of Soils and Water Management) will apply as a member of the IFOAM Organics International to participate actively in the discussions on various concerns of the organic sector.

For more details about the program, you may e-mail APO grantee Ms. Karen Bautista at karensbautista917 @



Highlights: 2nd International Conference on Biofertilizers and Biopesticides, Aug 8-11, 2017, Taichung, ROC


The Asian Productivity Organization (APO) in collaboration with the Council of Agriculture (COA), Executive Yuan, China Productivity Center (CPC), and Agricultural Technology Research Institute (ATRI) organized the 2nd International Conference on Biofertilizers and Biopesticides in Taichung, the Republic of China (ROC), from 8 to 11 August 2017 (hereafter called “The Conference”).

The Conference commenced on 8 August 2017. COA Deputy Minister Dr. Chin-Cheng Huang attended the opening ceremony and delivered the inaugural address. Director-General Dr. Chih-Sheng Chang of the Department of Science and Technology and President Dr. Wen-Chuan Lee of ATRI presented welcome remarks on behalf of their organizations. Opening remarks were also given by Director Eugene Lin of the Integrated Business and Training Services Division, CPC, and Director Dr. Muhammad Saeed of the Agriculture Department, APO Secretariat.

More than 200 professionals, representing the biofertilizer and biopesticide (BB) industry, academia, agricultural extension services, NGOs, and practitioners from 11 APO member countries attended. Twenty-three overseas participants were from Bangladesh, Cambodia, the ROC, India, IR Iran, Malaysia, Pakistan, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Thailand, and Vietnam. Nine resource persons from Australia, the ROC, India, Malaysia, and Thailand gave presentations and served as discussants.

The Conference was a follow-up to the first (1st ICBB) in 2016 on the same topic with the objectives of sharing recent initiatives in R&D and national regulations on BB, discussing successful models of scaling up BB applications, and formulating strategic action plans to accelerate cooperation among Asian countries for BB development. The conference consisted of thematic presentations by resource persons, sharing of country experiences by participants, panel discussions, open discussion forums, and field visits.

Conference coverage included global trends in R&D on BB; role of industry in conducting R&D and commercialization of BB; latest regulations on BB (i.e., problems and solutions of BB regulations, registration procedures, and auxiliary policies) in APO member countries; and regional and international cooperation to expedite BB product commercialization, registration, and application. To observe activities relating to BB R&D and use in the host country, the participants visited: 1) Taichung District Agricultural Research and Extension Station of the COA, Dacun township, Changhua county; and 2) Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Demonstration Field of Jia-Non Enterprise Co., Ltd., Sioushuei township, Changhua county.

Participants reviewed the recommendations of the 1st ICBB held in 2016 and progress on the follow-up to those recommendations. The participants agreed that many of the recommendations of the 1st ICBB were still valid and relevant and their implementation could go a long way toward the development and expanded use of BB in Asia and the Pacific. Participants also updated some of the recommendations of the 1st ICBB and suggested new ones.


1. Research

a. Multiple microorganism consortia have proved to be more effective compared with single-microbial inoculants. Therefore, there is a need to undertake coordinated research to develop multimicroorganism commercial products.

b. Coordinated research among member countries is needed to create synergies and avoid wasting resources due to duplication of efforts.

c. Industry participation is crucial for the commercialization of technologies. Therefore, sustainable industry–researcher partnerships in product development leading to stable products with long shelf-lives are critical.

d. Smart agriculture is key for the development of sustainable agriculture to feed around 9.5 billion people in 2050. Therefore, smart technologies need to be integrated with microbial technologies to develop effective smart packages.

2. Development

a. New BB technologies in the form of liquid inoculants, gel beads, and lyophilized cultures are emerging frontiers. Member countries need to establish participatory partnerships with industry to assess the suitability and economic viability of such technologies.

b. Member countries have developed various BB technologies. To consolidate the information and move forward, it is necessary to develop an e-document on recent R&D in BB fields with the participation of all APO countries.

3. Regulatory Framework

a. APO members are in different stages of BB regulatory development. Harmonization of such regulations is required at the regional level. For this purpose, the OECD guidelines and harmonization for microbial control agent document could be taken into consideration as a reference.

b. There is a need to constitute a group of experts on biopesticides, which could develop common guidelines for developing a regulatory framework for all Asian countries. The APO could facilitate the creation of such a group.

4. Networking

a. During the 1st ICBB, it was suggested that a forum be established under the name ACOBB to consolidate efforts on R&D and regulatory issues among Asian countries. Initially, a web platform could be created where experts of all member countries could participate and develop an appropriate understanding of the need for such a platform. The COA of the ROC could take the lead, and the APO could assist in publicizing the availability of the network.

b. A database should be prepared on this web platform on various issues such as research with the participation of relevant institutes, developmental issues with the participation of industry, and regulatory issues involving regulatory authorities and promotional bodies. Such platform would be vital to: 1) initiate on-line dialogue for removing transborder restrictions on movements of knowledge, technologies, microorganisms, and commercial products; and 2) develop draft action plans and status papers for the way forward. The APO might request member countries to nominate nodal officers for such collaboration

5. Follow-up Face-to-face Multicountry Activity

a. The host country proposed that it would like to host conferences on different aspects of BB up to 2020. Participants endorsed that proposal and added that the continuation of such programs was important to monitor and assess the progress in implementing recommendations and analyzing case studies based on best practices.

b. Participants suggested that a change in the format of the conference could be considered to include a concurrent industrial exhibition and poster session including BB technologies, products, research findings, examples of commercialization, etc.


Ms. Irene A. Papa
Project Leader/University Researcher II
The National Institute of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology
University of the Philippines Los Baños
College, Laguna

Dr. Mannix S. Pedro
University Researcher III/Program Leader
Biotechnology for Agriculture and Forestry Program
National Institute of Biotechnology and Melecular Biology,
University of the Philippines Los Baños,
College, Laguna

The BB industry in the Philippines has grown considerably with the encouragement of government agencies, leading research institutions, and private-sector enterprises. The Organic Agriculture Act of 2010 or Republic Act 10068 further promulgated R&D on and the use of BB.

The Fertilizer and Pesticide Authority (FPA) ensures that the agricultural sector has an adequate supply of fertilizers and pesticides at reasonable prices. The FPA rationalizes the manufacturing and marketing of BB, as well as protects the public from and educates them on the risks inherent in fertilizer and pesticide use. Generally, BB are registered with the FPA but when intended as organic agricultural inputs, they are registered under the Bureau of Agriculture and Fisheries Standards.

Strategies to promote the development and use of BB in the Philippines include: promoting public–private partnership; a focus on demand-driven development and use of BB; capacity-building training of farmer leaders and field technicians; an incentive program for cheaper, simpler registration and certification of BB; encouraging university and private company collaboration to attract private investment for manufacturing and commercialization; and grants to research institutions to create establishments to serve as factories for BB and plant mixing.

Published by: Asian Productivity Organization (APO), 2017


Report: International Forum on Productivity, Sep 12-14, 2017, Malaysia

Attended by 36 representatives from 15 APO member countries

The forum brought together stakeholders with global perspectives to share experiences, address policy challenges to productivity growth, and discuss the implementation of productivity-enhancing policies. Specifically, the forum tried to serve as a platform to address the following objectives:

A. Review the trends in and the future of global sustainable productivity.
B. Analyze sources of productivity growth in a knowledge and technology driven economy.
C. Understand the role of public institutions and policies in enhancing productivity.
D. Discuss best practices and frontier-research findings on productivity.

There were 13 papers presented with different themes but centrally focused on productivity.


I applied for qualification to attend the said forum because of the following objectives and expectations:

A. Awareness and understanding of the latest trends on world class sustainable productivity.
B. Additional skills and tools on finding productivity improvement opportunities.
C. Benchmark from other industries on best practices on productivity improvement.
D. Interaction with fellow participants of the same field of interest.

I find the forum relevant to my industry and my work because productivity is a key metric in our operations.


The activity was massively attended by around 300 productivity practitioners all across Malaysia. Of the 300 participants, 36 are representatives from the 15 APO member countries who joined.

Philippine participants

OIC, Policy Coordination and Monitoring Division

Executive Director

Manager, Systems Engineering and Operations Metrics

Team PVT (Philippines, Vietnam, Thailand)


The 3-day forum have 2 days spent on presentations of subject experts and culminates on the third day with a workshop with the 36 participants from the 15 APO member countries tackling key insights and action steps moving forward. All presentations of the subject experts culminate with a question and answer portion where participants has the opportunity to clarify thoughts on the subject and or share experience. Aside from the individual presentations, every end of the day, a panel discussion is also facilitated discussing the subjects presented earlier in the day.

During the workshop, I was a member of the PVT (Philippines, Vietnam, Thailand) group and I delivered the report of our group.

The subjects presented by the resources persons are listed below.

1. Sustaining Productivity Growth: The key in meeting global challenges


Mr. Scott Jacobs
Managing Director
Jacobs, Cordova & Associates

Highlight: Key facts and trends in regulatory practices and their implications to productivity including overall quality of regulations. Issues on regulatory institutions and regulatory environment, reforms needed to improve productivity, innovation and diffusion of public policies and services/programs, etc. was stressed to understand the challenges in sustaining productivity growth both from national and global perspectives.

2. Reflection on Taiwan’s Higher Education Policies Towards Productivity Growth


Professor Chuing Prudence Chou
Department of Education
National Chengchi University (NCCU) Taiwan
Republic of China

Highlight: The presentation illustrated how Taiwan’s higher education policies have responded to the forces of globalizaton, the neo-liberal economic ideology, and the worldwide trend towards greater international competition in higher education and in the last two decades and its implication to productivity growth and economic prosperity.

3. Regulatory and competition issues in ASEAN and its implications to Productivity Growth.


Dr. Sufiah Jusoh
Investment Law and Policy Expert
The World Bank

Highlight: The presentation discusses how regulations are made in the ASEAN region and the application of the Good Regulatory Practice (GRP). The discussion focused on the GRP initiative in ASEAN and how it is being implemented in certain member states. The paper looked into the application of the GRP in the formation of investment policies in Myanmar and Laos PDR and their potential impact on the private sector investments.

4. Monitoring Organizational Performance and Its Implications to Sustainable Productivity.


Mr. Mohan Dhamotharan

Highlight: The presentation highlights the importance of organizational performance for strengthening capacities for sustainable productivity. It focused on a holistic perspective on key dimensions of organization performance referring to individual competencies as well as organizational capabilities. Mechanisms and challenges for monitoring organizational performance was also discussed.

5. Radical Approach to Regulatory Reform to Achieve Productivity Growth and Competitiveness: Korean Experience


Professor Jin-Wook Choi
Department of Public Administration
Korea University

Highlight: The presentation introduced the regulatory reform efforts of the Korean government to cope with the slowdown in growth potential. In doing so, the presentation showed the attempts to assess the achievements and remaining challenges of regulatory reform strategies in Korea.

6. Smart Community 2050


Ms. Hazami Habib
Chief Executive Officer
Academy of Science Malaysia

Highlight: It is a presentation of Malaysia’s vision to be among the global elites and the recognition that it is only achievable through its people, the decisions made today and leveraging on Science, Technology and Innovation (STI). Malaysia 2050 comprises of Smart Communities where people live in harmonious, prosperous and sustainable milieu. ASM (Academy of Sciences Malaysia) has started this since 2009 to help Malaysians achieve the vision.

7. Restructuring Existing Workforce Towards Higher Skilled Workers


Mr. Muhamed Ali Hajah Mydin
Chief Executive Officer
Penang Skills Development Centre (PSDC)

Highlight: It introduced the concept of Industry 4.0 and the different fields of expertise that is essential to it. The current fields of electronics, electrical, mechanical engineering, pneumatics and so on will not be enough for employees working in an Industry 4.0 factories. The topic discussed the nine (9) pillars of the Industry 4.0 and what type of skills and methods need to be adopted to have a successful up-skilling and reskilling of employees.

8. Productivity Gains of Industry 4.0 and the Chemical Industry


Mr. Lim Yew Heng
Partner and Managing Director
The Boston Consulting Group (BCG)

Highlight: It explains what Industry 4.0 is and why is it changing the manufacturing of chemical industry. It addressed the question on how industry players harness Industry 4.0 to improve productivity. The presentation includes examples of concrete cases and learning lessons for people keen to drive productivity improvement via Industry 4.0.

9. Mind the Gap: How Inter-Industry Linkages Promote Productivity


Dr. Mohd Yusof Saari
Senior Lecturer
Universiti Putra Malaysia

Highlight: Emphasized the interconnected of the different industries in an economy. Growth in one sector also means growth in other sectors involved in the supply chain of that sector. It is important to note of this linkages to be able to pinpoint specifically the needed interventions by sector.

10. Empowering Associations to Support Enterprise-Level Productivity


Mr. Michael Tan
Chief Executive Officer
Singapore Productivity Centre (SPC)

Highlight: It stresses the importance of sector productivity and ultimately enterprise level productivity as key drivers of country level productivity growth in these times of increased velocity and complexity. It cites as an example a small nation called Singapore where the need for “all hands on deck” is greater to help enterprises transform to be more lean and competitive. In the enterprise transformation journey, it has identified the role of associations as vital being the receptacle, multiplier and enabler to support enterprise level productivity. Big portion of the presentation was spent on the changing roles of association and how they support enterprises under the key transformation pillars.

11. Future-oriented Competency Development


Mr. Mohan Dhamotharan

Highlight: It stresses the demand for rapid change at all levels of a society given the global challenges, economically and socially. This economic and social conditions we are in we describe as VUCA (volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous) necessitates a future centered competency development of professionals. This requires a multi-dimensional understanding of competency as well as innovative competency development interventions.

12. Big Data: Internet of Things and its Implications to Sustainable Productivity Growth


Professor Dr. Khong Kok Wei
Faculty of Social Sciences, Nottingham
University Business School, Malaysia

Highlight: The presentation presents an overview of big data and the state of data science. It also looked into the state of IOT (Internet of Things) and the sources of data available in this present time. It further delves into the components of a high performance-data-driven digital enterprise as an essential business model to enhancing productivity and growth. It culminates with the discussion on the emergence of machine learning in data analytics and its implications to sustainable productivity and growth.


The activities were facilitated smoothly by the host organization and host country. Time frame was followed and the objectives of the different sessions I think were met satisfactorily.

Below are my insights coming out of the International Forum on Productivity.

1. The government plays a key role in driving national productivity. Policies that hamper productivity needs to be revisited and changed for the better. Policy makers are drivers of national productivity.

2. Industry 4.0 is the economy of the future. This is where countries will be heading to. While it has the potential to drive productivity significantly, most countries are not ready yet. Good thing though that most has drafted their own road map towards Industry 4.0.
3. One of the biggest gaps towards Industry 4.0 is the competency of the human capital. There is a gap between what the industry needs and what the academe produces. This is a big challenge for the educational sector.

4. Economic growth is interconnected. Growth of one sector means growth also of other sectors that’s included in the supply chain of that sector. It is very important to take a systems view on productivity improvement to identify the small pieces that makes up the entire system so that specific interventions can be made. When you improve one sector, it will drive also other sectors. The linkage is very important.

5. Productivity improvement will not happen solely by people at the top. Government alone cannot make it. Empowering different sectors to improve sectoral productivity to enterprise level will drive total productivity. Talking to people (teams, associations) and working with them on solutions is key.

Awarding of Certificate handed by APO Industry Program Officer Dr. Jose Elvinia


Given the insights I got from the forum, my recommendations are:

1. APO to come up with a common metric for Industry 4.0. Each member country will do a baseline study relative to the common metric.
2. Member country to draft a road map to Industry 4.0.
3. APO to come up with a system on how to foster commitment from member countries.
4. Use “big brother-small brother” approach to level the grounds towards productivity improvement.
5. Increase frequency of knowledge exchange and transfer including technology exchange for APO member countries.


Del Monte Philippines, Inc.

(to know more about the forum, please contact Mr. Arsua at arsuabl @

Report: Modern Food Quality Management Systems Multicountry STudy Mission, Jul 24-29, 2017, Japan

Group photo with Dr. Saeed, Director of Agriculture Department, APO (Center)

Protecting consumers is the primary objective in the establishment and in implementing quality and food safety system. The series of incidents related to food poisoning and food contamination worldwide and particularly in Asia heightened the level of consumers awareness on food safety and likewise cause distrust on some food items unless or otherwise proven as safe due to the a complex food value chain. The issue on food traceability is a major concern that has to be addressed and in order to establish accountability in the event that problems occur along the distribution channel.

This is a call for the review of existing laws and standards on food safety. Various government bodies are now putting in place policies, rules and regulations that will institute appropriate food control regulations and incorporating therein the traceability requirement. Implementing a good quality management system ensures the production and distribution of food products that are of good quality and safe for the consumers. While food quality may be associated with sensory, taste and cost, food safety will be of utmost importance. It must be based on scientific knowledge and not on economic views.

SMEs in Japan are implementing good quality management system to ensure protection of consumers and gaining their trust which will also translate to profitability to the company. However in other Asian countries, due to lack of understanding of the system and the limited financial and human resources, SMEs have difficulty implementing a modern food quality management system that is at par with the Japan’s SMEs. However, the concepts and principles are the same. It’s the equipment and infrastructure that differs. Thus, through this program we will have the opportunity to learn the Japanese modern food quality and safety management system with the end in mind of sharing such learnings and experiences to our respective SMEs.


1. Enhance my understanding of the modern food quality management system through the visits, observational tours and technical sessions with experts and SMEs in Japan that has successfully practice such system;

2. Establish network and possible partnership with other participants who are involved in the food industry and learn from the sharing of experiences and practices.

3. Based on my learnings, come up with an action plan on how these can be shared, adopted and implemented by Philippine MSMEs to improve the productivity and competitiveness of local MSMEs.


The training program was attended by 17 participants coming the Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Iran, India and Taiwan. Participants are coming from both the government and private sectors. There are two (2) participants from the Philippines. The private sector is represented by:

Technical Supervisor
Mardak Global Export, Inc.
8001 Dalhia Street, Aranzazu Subd., Rodriguez, Rizal, Philippines 1860


The topics discussed were focused on the following areas of concerns:

1. Emerging trends in food quality management system in Japan;
2. State of the art Japanese policies and institutional settings for effective implementation of modern food quality management systems by SMEs
3. Presentation of cases of successful implementation of modern food quality control regulation and food safety management system;
4. State-of-the –art digital food traceability system for SMEs
5. Challenges and options for private sector SMEs in implementing modern food quality control regulations and food safety management system

The Observational Study Mission involves the following training methodologies:

1. Plant tours and visits of selected companies with lectures and Q&A from technical personnel;
2. Visit and technical session with government regulatory agencies;
3. Lectures and presentation of technical papers from industry experts;
4. Group Discussion and Action Planning

The training program was formally opened by Dr. Muhammad Saeed, Director of Agriculture Department of the Asian Productivity Organization and was followed by an APO orientation as well as a review of the training program by Mr. Mitsou Nakamura, Program Officer, Agricultural Department of the Asian Productivity Organization. This was followed by a series of lectures and technical sessions.

There were 11 Technical Lecture Sessions and 9 Sites Visits:

Presentation 1: Institutional Framework for Managing Food Quality
Dr. Teiji Takahashi
Former Lecturer, Graduate School of Agricultural and Life Sciences
The University of Tokyo, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo

Presentation 2: Food Safety Management System: Some Case Studies from Japan
Dr. Goichiro Yukawa
Professor, Safety Management in Food Supply Chain Research Center for Advanced Science and Technology, Tokyo University of Marine Science and Technology inato-ku, Tokyo

Presentation 3: Current Food Safety Issues in Asian Countries
Dr. Yasuhiro Inatsu
Team Leader, Food Hygiene Laboratory, Food Safety Division
National Food Research Institute
National Agriculture and Food Research Organization
Tsukuba, Ibaraki Prefecture

Presentation 4: Managing Food Safety by the Japanese Food Processing SMEs
Mr. Shigeru Yoshida
Managing Director
QAS, Food Safety Auditor
IRCA Food Safety (ISO22000) Provisional Auditor
Kamaichi Co., Ltd., Kawaguchi, Saitama Prefecture

Presentation 5: Emerging Trends in Food Quality Management Systems in Japan
Mr. Mitsuo Nakamura
Program officer, Agricultural department
Asian Productivity Organization (APO)

Presentation 6: Future Food
Dr. Muhammad Saeed,
Director, Agricultural department,
Asian Productivity Organization (APO)

Presentation 7: Food Safety Management: Prediction and Precautions with Risk Analysis
Dr. Yoko Niiyama
Professor, Ritsumeikan University

Presentation 8: Traceability in Food Chain: Experience in Japan
Dr. Yoko Niiyama
Professor, Ritsumeikan University

Presentation 9: Current Trends and Best Practices of Cold Chain Logistics for Food Quality Management in Asia
Dr. Takayuki Mori
Professor, University of Marketing and Distribution Sciences

Presentation 10: Closed Environment Agriculture with Emphasis on Plant Factory
Dr. Toyoki Kozai
Professor Emeritus of Chiba University
Japan Plant Factory Association

Presentation 11:
Regional Brand of High Quality Kobe Beef in Japan
Mr. Tetsunori Tanimoto
Head of the Secretariat, Kobe Beef Marketing and Distribution Promotion Assn
Kobe City, Hyogo Prefecture


Visit 1: Doi Shibazuke
Food Processing Company, Japanese pickles
Kyoto City, Kyoto Prefecture

Visit 2: Marumasa Food
Food Processing Company, Pre-cut vegetable factory
Sakai City, Osaka Prefecture

Visit 4: Mishima Food
Food Processing Company, Pre-packaged food and rice seasoning
Sakado City, Saitama Prefecture

Visit 5: Shinmei Kitchen
Rice Milling Company
Kawaguchi City, Saitama Prefecture

Visit 6: Food and Agricultural Materials Inspection Center (FAMIC)
Saitama Shintoshin, Saitama Prefecture

Visit 7: Plant Factory, Chiba University
Kashiwa City, Chiba Prefecture

Visit 8: Meiji Moriya Factory
Dairy products Company,
Moriya City, Ibaraki Prefecture

Visit 9: Kikkoman Corporation
Soy sauce, Soy Sauce-based Seasonings
Noda City, Chiba Prefecture


The 17 participants were divided into 3 groups and a rapporteur was selected per group. Each group was made to select a at least 2 topics from among technical sessions and site visits attended and come up with a country specific action plan related to the said topic. Below are the country groupings:

Group 1: Pakistan, Sri Lanka, India, Iran
Group 2: Cambodia, Thailand, Laos, Indonesia
Group 3: Malaysia, Vietnam, Republic of China, Philippines

Group 3 Paper and Action Plan (Philippine Grouping)

The topics of interested selected by our group are a. Food Quality and b. Risk Analysis

A. Food Quality, SME should move forward as base on the following tract:

• Meet standards and market requirement
• Meet specifications of raw materials
• Gain organic certification
• Take responsibilities from food supplier original
• Establish food defense, food fraud system
• Establish food safety and quality monitoring plan

B. Risk Analysis, Contribute to assurance of food safety and consumer trust

• Base on scientific knowledge not on economic views
• An excellent tools to decide the policy priority base on risk probability and severity
• Determine acceptable level for identified risk
• Address uncertainties
• Communicate to stakeholders sincerely


Participation to this program provided me the opportunity to know and be familiarized with the Modern Quality Management System being implemented in Japan through the technical sessions with experts and through the observations made with SMEs that are implementing and adopting good quality management system. While SMEs in Japan are more advance in terms of technology and equipment, the principle in the establishment of quality control and food safety management system are the same. Through the sharing among the participants who are also experts in their respective countries and practitioners of quality management system, lot were shared and learned.

The training program was indeed a very holistic learning experience and the objectives set were met. It also enhance my understanding of the modern food quality management systems through the visits, observational tours and technical sessions with SMEs in Japan that has successfully practice such system.

Likewise, it provided me the opportunity to establish network and possible partnership with other participants who are involved in the food industry and learn from the sharing of their experiences and practices. Based on my learnings, I am now in a better position shared and teach the new concepts and approaches to MSMES and help them implement a good quality system with the end in mind of improving their productivity, enhance product acceptability and increase their competitiveness level.

The experts and lecturers were good and that the technical sessions provided me a good learnings experience and insights on the various aspects of the modern quality management system in Japan. It also gave us a clear understanding of the concepts and approaches. The choices of the firms that were visited were also good, as these SMEs were very much engaged and very serious in the implementation of their respective quality management system. Very notable is the willingness of the SMEs to share their practices and learnings and on how they were able to implement the system.

I would also like to thank the APO facilitator and coordinator for excellent arrangements all throughout the study mission.


Assistant Regional Director
Department of Trade and Industry – Region 11
Davao City

(To know more about the APO workshop, please contact Mr. Banquerigo at edwinbanquerigo @


Report: Emerging Roles of Producers’ Associations and Farmers’ Cooperatives Workshop, Apr 23-27, Bangladesh

The Inaugural Program, April 23, 2017

The training discusses on the Roles of Producers’s Organization and Farmers’ Associations in a wide range of forms.  It is acknowledged that producers & farmers organizations have played a major role in economic development and reduction of poverty especially in the underdeveloped and developing countries.   They also served as conduits for technical and financial assistance from governments and financial institutions.  They provided inputs and technology, facilitated information transfers, and offered marketing services and venues for networking and knowledge sharing to small farmers.

In recent years, the number of such organizations has, however, been declining and their roles have been changing as many small farmers have direct access to farm input providers and markets for their produce.  Farmers Associations/Cooperatives are facing new challenges and unprecedented demands driven by aging farming communities, lack of interest of youth in farming, shortages of labor in rural areas, and high fluctuations of prices of agricultural commodities.  Consumers are increasingly demanding safe, high-quality food produced in environmentally and socially friendly ways.  Agriculture is known to be the sector most susceptible to the effects of expanded regional/world trade.  In addition, state of the art innovative technologies are restructuring the architecture of conventional farming methodologies. People must buy agrifood items produced in distant unknown sites.

Thus, it is critical for producers’ associations and farmers’ cooperatives as types of businesses and enterprises, to be aware of changing trends and think outside of the box to stay relevant to the fast-changing needs of their members and clientele.  Thus, this training is beneficial to the facilitators of development across all sectors to be updated and enhance professional growth on the emerging roles of the producers and farmers organizations especially in the agriculture sector.


• The tremendous economic, political and environmental changes over the past four decades, had affected the roles played by different stakeholders in agricultural and rural development;

• Trade liberalization and globalization are powerful means for some developing countries to eradicate poverty and promote economic growth and development and so many governments reduced investment in agriculture and withdrew from many rural areas.

• Private sectors such as producers and farmers’ organizations play a big role in providing agricultural services, gain skills, build enterprises, process and market agricultural produce for their individual farmer members. How could the organization help or contribute increase income of their farmer members and what strategy they will adopt to infuse changes?


a. To acquire knowledge and ideas on the new and emerging trends in agriculture industry;

b. To be able to rationalize the roles and involvement of the producers’ and farmers’ organizations in promoting smart agriculture and how are they able to address changes that affect them;

c. To share the learnings acquired from the five (5) day training to our assisted farmers and Farmers’ Organizations through feedbacking and integration of the topics to other relevant training programs that are conducted by the undersigned;

d. To experience and observe on how producers/farmers and farmer organizations of Bangladesh contributed to economic development and reduction of poverty in rural communities;

e. To increase awareness on the roles of farmers and farmers/producers’ organizations in other participating countries and their successful stories;

f. To know more about Bangladesh, its people, culture, and history.


There are twenty-three (23) participants coming from the thirteen (13) participating countries who were APO members of the  United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UN-ESCAP).  Participants  are composed of 18 Males and  5 Females where 11  delegates came from the Government Institutions, 8 from various Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), 1 from Financial Institution (FI) and 3 from the Academe.

Filipino participants are as follows

Senior Agrarian Reform Program Officer
Department of Agrarian Reform – Region 6

Managing Director
Vizcaya Fresh Organic Advocates Inc.

Agriculture Technical Supervisor
Lamac Multipurpose Cooperative


Methodology of the training were lecture-discussion, interactions of ideas between speakers and participants on the different roles of farmers, sharing different experience and approaches through country paper presentation, case study workshop and learning visit to SHISUK (Shikha Shastha Unnayan Karzakram), which stands for Education, Healthy and Development Program, an independent,  nonprofit NGO that was organized in 1994.

SHISUK’s women in their Bamboo Weaving Livelihood Project where women gets a net income of US$30 per delivery . The project is an alternative source of income of the households

SHISUK’s women in their Bamboo Weaving Livelihood Project where women gets a net income of US$30 per delivery . The project is an alternative source of income of the households

The training incorporates socialization activities during the Welcome Dinner hosted by the  APO and Thanksgiving Dinner given by Md. Mosharraf Hossain Bhuiyan NDC, Senior Secretary, Ministry of Industries & APO Country Director where the undersigned was given the opportunity in behalf of the twenty-three (23) participants to express our heartfelt thanksgiving to the host country for the warm hospitality and commendable accommodation given to the contingents.

The “Delta Group” discussed the case of SHISUK


1. Trends in agriculture is concentrated on food system to respond to population growth, and needs of the people;

2. Issues on infrastructure, climate change, land availability and access to technology must be addressed to respond to the above needs;

3. Actors on food value chain have critical role to play;

4. Farmers and farmer producers/organizations involvement are critical for development.

5. Worth noting are the emerging trends in other countries and around the world that change the shapes of the food and agriculture industry which become them more competitive.

6. Technology, machinery, policies, and preparedness of each player are critical factors that can make or break roles in the food and agriculture industry.

The dinner was hosted by Mr. Md Mosharraf Hossain Bhuiyan NDC, Senior Secretary, Ministry of Industries & PO Country Director for Bangladesh. Thanksgiving message was delivered by the undersigned


a. Training held outside the country is another form of an incentive or a reward given to the participants. It is a recognition of the job well done that with the opportunity given, it  will enhance the professional growth of the participant.  The five (5) day training exposure in Bangladesh for the member country’s participants was another noteworthy effort and achievements by APO in cooperation of the NPOs. Accommodation and the hospitality  of the host country was commendable where participant’s security and welfare were their concern.   The hotel offered a various choices of food and desserts that APO/NPO very well considered for  the comfort of the participants.

b. Duration of the training was a  bit short comparable to the topics presented and the exposure was very limited when the project has more to offer to maximize opportunities seen in learning.  Nevertheless,  training was just properly managed and finished with objectives attained satisfactorily.

c. I am happy to note that as an alumni of APO project, there is an APO’s Grantees Forum in the Philippines that serve as a venue to  interact and exchange information of the latest and best practice on productivity and quality management.

d. With the sophisticated technology and the introduction of social media, it opened up a platform where agricultural extension officers, farmers, agricultural institutions, academe, government and non-governments organizations utilize to disseminate and exchange agricultural information.  Similarly, APO develop a community and share a story in a way that was never done before.

The Closing Ceremony was graced by Mr. M. S. Ashrafuzzaman,, Director and Joint Secretary National Productivity Organization (NPO) Bangladesh, Ms. Jisoo Yun, Program Officer, Agriculture Dept. APO with the Resource Persons


1. APO through NPO to continue building capacities of the farmers, farmer/producer organizations and development facilitators of any sectors;

2. To sustain initiatives and gains of the project through provision of information, training and education;

3. To strengthen diplomatic relationship with member countries in order to promote sustainable human development and global competitiveness in agricultural productivity;

4. Be proactive in providing guidance and mentorship being an advocate of change for agricultural productivity;

5. Continue to share knowledge and information to its less fortunate member countries through subsidized learning programs and activities to widen its coverage thus economies of scale of development may achieve.

7. Learnings and ideas gained from this training will be shared/incorporated to the development works performed by the undersigned under the Agroenterprise Development, Social Enterprise Programs and other relevant activities performed to the assisted farmers and farmers organizations.

8. Action plans formulated to use and disseminate lessons learned in promoting sustainable agriculture and rural development.


Senior Agrarian Reform Program Officer
Department of Agrarian Reform – Region 6

(To know more about the APO workshop, please contact Ms. Andres at enujyram_ilo @ or rssd_dlr6 @


Report: Sustainability Assessment of Agribusiness Enterprises Workshop, Nov 28 to Dec 2 2016, Indonesia

Group Photo

The Asian Productivity Organization (APO), in partnership with the Agency for Agriculture Extension and Human Resources Development of the Ministry of Agriculture and the Directorate General of Training and Productivity Development of the Ministry of Manpower of Indonesia, initiated the Workshop on Sustainability Assessment of Agribusiness Enterprises. This is one of the answers to the worldwide agreement at the 1992 Earth Summit of achieving sustainable development.

Assessment on sustainability will help a particular company or producer in determining its sustainability performance in terms of environmental integrity, economic resilience, social well-being, and good governance with reference to a sustainability assessment system like the Sustainability Assessment in Food and Agriculture (SAFA) System of the United Nation Food and Agriculture Organization, and through the use of sustainability assessment tools like the Response Inducing Sustainability Evaluation (RISE) and the Sustainability Monitoring and Assessment Routine (SMART) of the Sustainable Food Systems (SFS), as well as the common metrics and indicators on sustainability assessment designed by the Committee on Sustainable Assessment (COSA™).

Once companies or producers are assessed, the necessary measures to overcome the weaknesses and threats could be identified for continuous improvement and for a much sustained operation.


The objective of the undersigned for participating in the workshop is the improvement of skills in undertaking developmental actions for the agribusiness sector in the province through actual exposure on tools and methodologies on sustainability assessment and strategic action planning. It is also expected that familiarization to these approaches will be undertaken through workshops and exercises, as well as through sharing of experiences and practices of other Asian Countries to facilitate the learning.


There were twenty four (24) participants in the workshop who represented fifteen (15) Asian countries like Bangladesh, Cambodia, Fiji, India, Indonesia, Islamic Republic of Iran, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Mongolia, Nepal, Philippines, China, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Vietnam. The undersigned was the sole participant from the Philippines and just one of the two (2) participants who belong to the Trade and Industry Department of their respective government. Eight (8) of the trainees were from the Agriculture Department, six (6) were from the Academe, and seven (7) were from the private sector.


The 5-day activity was conducted through lectures, sites visits, presentation of country paper by participants, group workshops and group presentations.

For the lectures, the organizers invited experts on Sustainability Assessment to discuss related topics.

Dr. John Reid, a Senior Research Fellow of the Ngai Tahu Research Center, University of Canterbury in Christchurch, New Zealand – The Center was founded “to create intellectual capital and leadership able to lead and support tribal development”. Hence, he is very much concerned about the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). He focused his lecture on the seventeen (17) SDGs adopted by the United Nation (UN) on September 2015.

Mr. Moritz Michael Teriete, General Manager/Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Sustainable Food Systems (SFS) in Ackerstrasse, Frick, Switzerland: – Using the Sustainability Monitoring and Assessment Routine (SMART) tool in sustainability assessment, SFS can “scientifically determine the sustainability of an enterprise and help find efficient solutions. They create the basis for a professional sustainability management and make the company fit for the future.

Mr. Teriete discussed the Models, Standards, and Approaches for Sustainability Assessment. He started by giving the rationale behind the campaign for the Sustainability Assessment in the Food and Agriculture Sector. He mentioned that there is really an increasing yield for different products but always at the expense of nature. He also emphasized the findings that motivated young farmer is now a scarce resource.

One of the important reasons why sustainability assessment is important was the result of the World Footprint analysis to determine if we are all fit on earth. According to the Global Footprint Network, humans are currently using an equivalent of 1.6 earths for the production of resources that we need, and at the same time to absorb our waste. If this trend continues, by 2030, we will need an equivalent of 2 earths to support our needs, and since we only have one Mother Earth, then this is a call for us to protect it.

Dr. Gayatri Ramnath, the Regional Research Coordinatorfor Asia of the Committee on Sustainable Assessment (COSA™) in Brisbane, Australia was the third speaker: The COSA™ is a “global consortium of institutionsfostering effective ways to measure and understand sustainability in the agri-food sector. COSA has developed a transparent meta-tool (common framework and indicators) to understand the costs and benefits of sustainability in a globally consistent and scientific manner”.

The organizer also invited two (2) speakers from Indonesia, one of which discussed a case which could be used as sample on Sustainability Assessment. The discussion was focussed on the Palm Oil Industry of Indonesia. The resource person, Ms.Emmy Hafild, is the Vice President of the Professional Certification Agency in Nusa Tenggara Barat.

The other speaker discussed how to assess and evaluate the performance of cooperatives, giving Indonesian cooperatives as samples. The resource person, Dr.Ir. Lukman Mohammad Baga, is a Lecturer from Bogor Agriculutral University in Bogor, Indonesia. He presented some of the important facts and information in his dissertation on the Agribusiness Cooperatives in Bogor.


Two (2) firms were visited, the Wiguna Makmur, Limited and the PT Sayuran Siap Saji in the Province of Bogor in Indonesia. Both companies are producers of various freshly cut and freshly produce vegetables like broccoli, potato, tomato, cucumber, lettuce, onion, spring onion, celery, carrot, green pepper, rice, mushroom, beans, corn, peas, cabbage, and more. They were assessed by the participants in terms of sustainability through actual interview of managers and employees during the visit.

The Wiguna Makmur is an ISO 22000 registered firm, and its customers include McDonald’s Indonesia, Burger King Indonesia, A & W Group of Restaurants, Wendy’s, and other local fast food chains and restaurants. To ensure sustainability of production and product quality, they are adopting both the Global Good Agricultural Practices (Global GAP) and the Indonesian GAP, as well as Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) and Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP). They spent 20 milllion rupiah for this certification, and 50 million rupiah for other certification like Halal for its processed pickled cucumber. They are targeting in 2017 the certification from Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI). The Operations Manager mentioned that Certification is being done to increase market access and once achieve, increase in volume of production to meet the demands of customers are being worked out through sustainability management. He also mentioned that in order to avoid resignation of employees, they observe government regulations on minimum wage, as well as provide health and work insurances.

The PT Sayuran Siap Saji on the other hand started its trial operation in 2011, and became fully operation in 2013. Usually, they seek for long term contracts with Malls and maintain regular transaction with McDonald’s and Burger King in Java Island, as well as with Hoka-Hoka Bento, Kentucky Fried Chicken, Pizza Hut, A & W and Seven Eleven. To ensure product quality, they are adopting Food Safety system like the Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP). To meet the demands, they are adopting practices like 2:00 am distribution schedule to avoid traffic, buying 20% to 30% of their requirements from the local market during rainy season, hiring of extension workers who monitors the farmers daily to address problems, inviting experts from abroad for training sessions with farmers every six (6) months, and extending loan to farmers without interest in times of disaster like floods.


Part also of the activities was the Presentation of the Country Paper of each participant. As the representative from the Philippines, the undersigned prepared a more focused presentation so that questions regarding the matter could be answered thoroughly. The paper entitled, “The Agribusiness Industry in the Philippines (with focus on the Pineapple Industry of Camarines Norte)”, covers the production and processing of pineapple into food and non-food products in the province. The interventions provided to sustain the project, as well as the impacts of these interventions were discussed. Challenges and opportunities, including the recommendations on how to overcome the challenges were likewise presented.


On the last afternoon session, participants were divided into three (3) groups for the Group Exercise with the instruction to select one case study from the country presentations. After the selection of the case study, supply chain was mapped, boundaries were set using the decision tree approach, tools and indicators were likewise selected by choosing from the sub-theme indicators of each sustainability dimensions, assessments were undertaken and ratings were given to plot the sustainability polygon, and it ended with the analysis of the resulting spider web figure. The reporting of each group was undertaken the following morning.

The undersigned was included in Group 3, together with the representatives from Mongolia (1), China (1), Thailand (2), Vietnam (1) and Indonesia (2). The Case Study that was prepared on the Pineapple Industry in Camarines Norte was chosen unanimously by the group members to be the focused of the exercise. The resource persons also agreed but required the identification of just one (1) enterprise engaged in Pineapple Production and Processing since according to them, assessment could not be undertaken on an Industry-wide level, but on a firm level. The operation of the Labo Progressive Multi-Purpose Cooperative suits the requirements set by the speakers, hence, it was chosen as the enterprise to be assessed. Reporting of the output was also done by the undersigned.


The objectives of the workshop of reviewing different models, standards, and approaches for assessing the sustainability of agribusiness enterprises and their applications based on the socio-economic and environmental dimensions of operations, as well as promoting the adoption of principles of sustainable development by farm and agribusiness enterprises, in particular SMEs in Asian countries were achieved. Participants to the workshop are one in saying that there is really a need to assess the sustainability of agribusiness enterprises through the use of various approaches presented, and the need as well to promote such learning to SMEs in their respective country.

The objective of formulating strategic action plans to promote the sustainability of agribusiness enterprises, will be realized after the assessments are undertaken. Since once the hotspots are identified, it is only then that the appropriate interventions could be identified.

The objective of contributing to achieving the targets of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development could be felt once the action plans are implemented and resulted to positive impacts.

The personal objective of the undersigned in participating to the workshop was also met since the tools and methodologies on sustainability assessment were discussed through lectures and were applied through a group exercise conducted. The resource persons are really experts on this field and have presented various cases where sustainability assessments were actually done. The resulting analysis of the sustainability polygon will be of great help in the formulation of effective action plan for a specific concern.


It is recommended to APO and APO member countries to conduct the same workshop to other member and non-member countries who failed to send participants in Bogor, Indonesia, and if possible lengthen the duration of the training to enable the conduct of a more thorough exercise. The effective way of allowing the participants to learn the approach is through experiential learning.

It is recommended to the Philippine NPO, the Development Academy of the Philippines (DAP), together with the Philippine Government, specifically the Agriculture and Trade and Industry Departments to undertake the same training in the Philippines, with focus on just one assessment tool, either the Sustainability Monitoring and Assessment Routine (SMART) of the Sustainable Food Systems (SFS), or the common metrics and indicators on sustainability assessment designed by the Committee on Sustainable Assessment (COSA™). Although discussions and application through an exercise was conducted, only the basic essential elements are learned, which is not enough for the participants to actually do the same in the field. The Philippine Government could also fund the conduct of an actual sustainability assessment by either SFS or COSA to one specific enterprise or sector in the country with team members coming from the DA and DTI as understudy.

To disseminate the knowledge gained from the workshop, the undersigned is committed to do the following:

1. Present to my colleagues, and the Provincial Government of Camarines Norte, specifically the Office of the Provincial Agriculturist about the information, knowledge and inputs I received from the workshop;

2. Visit a relevant association or group and hold discussions with them on how they can promote Sustainability of Agribusiness Enterprise based on the findings of the workshop;

3. With the permission from my superiors, support APO/DAP projects by committing our organization as potential site visits for APO foreign or local participants during conduct of projects here in the Philippines;

4. With the permission from my superiors, make myself available to DAP/APO as resource person/consultant to some of its activities/projects/advocacies, and share my technical expertise/skills as part of the NPO pool of productivity experts.


Supervising Trade Industry Development Specialist
DTI Camarines Norte

(To know more about the APO training, please contact Ms. Rivera at christie.rivera @

Report: Mainstreaming Climate Change Adaptation in Agriculture Workshop, April 25-28, 2016, Bangladesh

Ceremonial Photo

Ceremonial Photo

The changing environmental conditions such as rising temperatures, changing precipitation patterns, and increasing recurrence of extreme weather events can have a serious implication on food security due to the adverse effects of climate change on crops and livestock production as well as on forests and marine resources. The negative impacts of climate change can be addressed through mitigation and adaptation approaches. However, while both approaches are important and interdependent, adaptation approaches should be given greater focus because it involves all measures aimed at reducing the negative impacts of climate change as well as the identification of new opportunities and benefits associated with the new climatic conditions.

Agriculture being highly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change necessitates the development of adaptation approaches to enhance crop resilience and strengthen the capacity of farmers to cope with the negative impacts of climate change. Moreover, actions should be taken to mainstream climate change adaptation strategies into agricultural policies and programs. Thus, the following objectives for this workshop:

a. To assess the current status of climate change (CC) adaptations in agriculture and share the best cases of CC adaptations;
b. To review strategies and approaches to mainstream CC adaptation measures, techniques, and activities into the national agricultural development programs; and
c. To formulate strategic action plans to promote mainstreaming of CC adaptation in agriculture.


The adverse impacts of climate change will continue to become the major problem in the agriculture sector as this affects production and threatens food security. As an employee in an institution that is committed to ensure food security through advancement of research that enhances crop performance and productivity, the unpredictability of the effects of climate change is a big challenge that has to be addressed. Climate adapted crops may be developed but without enabling policies to mainstream adaptation strategies, this may be inadequate or even useless. My participation in the workshop will help equip me with useful information on mainstreaming climate change adaptation strategies on other sectors such as the livestock, forestry, marine/aquatic, and complement this with my knowledge on adaptation strategies for crops.

APO WSP on CC in Agri, 2016 3

There were 23 participants coming from Mongolia, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Cambodia, Thailand, Indonesia, India, Lao PDR, Nepal, Vietnam, Bangladesh and the Philippines. Participants come from various sector that include the academe, agriculture, environment, forestry, water and climate, etc. Participants are either director or head of their climate change center, faculty, researchers or extension workers in their home countries. Aside from me, there was one other participant from the Philippines. She is an Associate Project Officer under the Sustainable Human Development Program of the Development Academy of the Philippines.


The resource persons presented topics on the impacts of climate change on productivity and food security; short term challenges and long term opportunities for mainstreaming climate change adaptation into agricultural planning; agricultural finance policies and possible platforms for financial aid; strengthening agricultural food supply chains against the impact of climate change; OECD experiences in reaching synergies between agricultural production, adaptation and mitigation; and the role of governments in stimulating CC adaptation in agriculture focusing on the experiences of SEA and OECD countries.

The workshop participants also presented a broad range of subject matter covering topics on mainstreaming climate change adaptation on crops, forestry, livestock and pasture, and on land and water resource management; the use of models and early warning systems in predicting/forecasting potential climate related disasters; extensions models to promote climate change adaptation; hydrology models for forecasting/predicting efficient water management; Biodiversity and natural resource ecology management as a tool for successful rehabilitation of low rainfall areas; Integrated Cropping Calendar Information System.

Ms. Annalissa L. Aquino presented a paper on Monitoring the Responses and Productivity of Annual Field Crops and Development of Intervention Strategies to Enhance Crop Adaptation to Climate Change. Since this is a newly started research and data on crop responses are still not available she presented more general information on the current status of farmer strategies to adapt to climate change which include direct seeding of rice, planting high yielding short duration crop varieties, planting drought tolerant crops, relay cropping, and organic farming. The report also presented government and institutional initiatives in response to climate change. Some of the initiatives mentioned in the paper were the development of climate change adapted rice varieties, promotion of organic farming and climate change researchers that include studies on adjusting the cropping calendar and modification of crop management practices.

Philippine delegates Dr. Lisa Aquino of UPLB and Ms. RL Oliva of DAP

Philippine delegates Dr. Lisa Aquino of UPLB and Ms. RL Oliva of DAP


There was a great deal of learnings from all the presentations. My objectives in attending the course and my expectations as a participant were more than met. As a crops person, I learned so much from the presentations on climate change adaptation on livestock, forestry, and the use of extension models to promote CC adaptation as well as the use of hydrology models for efficient water management. Some of the approaches and tools can be modified under Philippine condition and incorporated in future climate change researches. The topics were all interesting and informative and the discussion and exchange of ideas among participants facilitated greater learning not just on the topics presented but on the experiences of the participants and the current situation of each country. The topics presented by the resource persons were equally interesting and informative, which stimulated so many questions from the participants. Moreover, all of the resource persons are very knowledgeable in their respective topics, thus discussion was very stimulating.


The following are the recommendations of the participants related to the project outcome:

a. Develop a national plan for climate change adaptation and integrate the plan with existing agricultural policies.
b. Establish a platform for a more effective dissemination of climate change adaptation strategies.
c. Develop an insurance and financing scheme to help minimize the impact of climate change.
d. Strengthen multisectoral coordination and partnership on climate change mitigation and adaptation.
e. Enhance farmer capacity to use up-to-date information and farm-level decision making on climate change adaptation.
f. Initiate and support researches related to climate change adaptation and mitigation.

Being involved in a multidisciplinary project which focuses not only on crop response/performance to extreme climate events but also on the adaptive practices of farmers, I will share with our farmer partners some of the successful climate change adaptation practices that I learned during the workshop. I will encourage them to modify and try the best practices to find out which are suitable and appropriate to their condition. Helping farmers capitalize on their strengths and encouraging them to innovate on what is already proven effective can be a way to influence change and generate multiplier effect.


University Researcher II
College of Agriculture
University of the Philippines Los Baños
Email: zen.aquino.314 @


Report: Food Safety Management System along Food Value Chains Multicountry Study Mission, May 23-28, 2016, Japan

Group photo with APO Secretary-General Mari Amano

Group photo with APO Secretary-General Mari Amano

Food safety is a worldwide concern. The importance of food safety cannot be overemphasized. The number of food safety crises occurring worldwide in recent years has eightened consumers’ food safety awareness and caused public distrust of increasingly complex global food value chains. Against this background, the food-processing industry has been developing diverse management systems to control food safety and quality along value chains. However, due to a lack of clear understanding of these systems and limited financial and human resources, food-processing SMEs have difficulties in establishing and operating them. With a special cash grant from the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries of Japan, this study mission is aimed at deepening the understanding of modem FSMS.

The participants were expected to enhance understanding of modem food safety management systems (FSMS) inclusive of HACCP, ISO 22000, and food traceability systems, examine the challenges and opportunities in enhancing such systems; and formulate strategies for adopting the lessons learned from the experience of Japan in other participating countries.

The observational study mission includes field/company visits, resource paper presentations, sharing of country experiences, and individual/group exercises. On Modem FSMS, Food traceability systems, and challenges and options for the private sector in implementing FSMS and traceability systems, especially for SMEs.


As the current Director of an institute mandated to provide technical assistance to the general public on food safety by providing appropriate training programs to suit the needs of the food industry, the objectives of this project totally exemplifies the primary role, our organization plays in the society. Enhancing our understanding on food safety management systems in the food value chain will strengthen our role in the promotion of food safety to the general public, especially our students. This observational tour will also give me a different perspective on the strategies and challenges other countries are facing, and apply the effective management tools and lessons learned from those experiences. The exchange of information among different participating countries is an opportunity to formulate a food safety management system suited to our personal experiences in our own country considering the big postharvest losses in the food value chain. I believe that adopting a food safety system will greatly help both from the perspective of the economy and food safety.

It is also worthwhile to note that although there are companies capable of embracing modern food safety management system such as HACCP, ISO 22000 and food traceability systems, majority of the food companies in my country are still lacking information and even implementation programs with regards to this system. These food companies often belong to the SMEs. I am expecting to learn strategies on how to help even those small food industries compete with the big companies by implementation of such programs in a manner highly adaptable to them.


This study mission tour was participated by a diverse group involved in Food Safety Management System in their respective countries. There are 18 participants (10 male and 8 female) distributed as 10, 5 and 3 participants coming from government agencies, academic institutions and owner or officers of private companies, respectively. The following are the participating countries:

Bangladesh – Ms. Parag
Additional Secretary
Ministry of Industries
Government of the People’s Republic Of Bangladesh

Cambodia – Mr. Phanith Him
Deputy Director
National Productivity Center of Cambodia
Ministry of Industry and Handicraft

China, Republic Of – Ms. Yen-Chi Tung
Specialist, Poultry Industry Section
Department of Animal Industry
Council of Agriculture, Executive Yuan

IR Iran – Dr. Farzaneh Anssari
Head, Food Industry and Agriculture Faculty in Standard Research Institute
Institute of Standards and Industrial Research of Iran (ISIRI)

Dr. Soheyl Eskandari Gharabaghlou
Faculty member and Head of Food Chemistry with Animal Origin Laboratories
Food and Cosmetic’s Supervision and Evaluation
Ministry of Health and Medical Education

India – Dr. Anurag Singh
Assistant Professor
National Institute of Food Technology Entrepreneurship and Management

Dr. Naresh Kumar Sharma
State Nodal Officer (Food Safety)- Punjab
Commissionerate Food and Drug Administration Punjab, India

Indonesia – Mrs. Dini Ririn Andrias
Lecturer/Secretary of Bachelor Degree Program of Public Health, Faculty of Public Health,
Airlangga University

Malaysia – Mr. Bin Ahmad Rumzi
Economy Affairs Officer
Muda Agricultural Development Authority (MADA)

Mongolia – Ms. Ariuntuya Batjargal
Officer, Department of Strategic Policy and Planning
Ministry of Food and Agriculture

Nepal – Mr. Shreeran Neupane
Food Research Officer
Department of Food Technology and Quality Control
Ministry of Agriculture Development

Pakistan – Mr. Kamran Ahmed Siddiqui
Manager of Compliance and Food Regulatory Affairs
Young’s Private Limited

Mr. Waqar Ali Khan
Joint Secretary
Ministry of Industries and Production

Philippines – Dr. Lotis E. Mopera
Director and Assistant Professor
Institute of Food Science and Technology
College of Agriculture
University of the Philippines Los Baños

Sri Lanka – Mr. Lal Keerthi Amarairi Gunawardhana
Chairman, Lucky Lanka Milk Processing Co. Plc.

Thailand – Ms. Pimpan Ngoented
Standards Officer, Professional Level
National Bureau of Agricultural Commodity and Food Standards (ACFS),
Minsitry of Agriculture and Cooperatives

Dr. Suwimon Keeratipibul
Department of Food Technology
Faculty of Science, Chulalongkorn University

Vietnam – Mr. Huu Huyen Tran
Quality Assurance and Testing Center 1


Several methods of learning were utilized during the observational tour. Table 1 below shows the different topics covered during the study mission. The program started with series of lectures from highly qualified resource persons. The lectures started with the landscape of several food safety policies in Japan as well as concrete examples on the adaptation of those policies and the modifications made by the policy makers together with food manufacturing companies. Food safety in general is monitored by at least two government agencies namely: the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF) and the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare (MHLW). Certifications of the SMEs were facilitated by the local government unit of each prefecture. However, only the structure of the Tokyo local government on food safety accreditation was discussed. This was complemented by the observational tour which includes different companies in 5 prefectures. The field visits allowed the participants to realize the implementation of the food safety management system in Japan. Further, the field visits as well as the lectures covered the entire food value chain, from the farm to the consumers which exemplifies the implementation of the FSMS in Japan. The participants were allowed to ask question at the end of each lecture or tour.

The participants were divided into groups at the beginning of the tour and were allowed to discuss learning experiences derived from the program. A presentation was made on the last day. Each group was obliged to choose three topics and requested to present country experiences and action plan related to the topics discussed.


Recent Trends of Food Safety: Policy in Japan
Dr. Goichiro Yukawa
Research Center for Advanced Science & Technology,
Tokyo University of Marine Science and Technology

Introduction and Promotion of HACCP and Food Safety Management Systems in Japan
Dr. Yoshihisa Onishi
Technical Adviser
Japan Bentou Association

The Experience of the Japanese Food Processing SMEs on Food Safety and Quality Management
Mr. Shigeru Yoshida
Managing Director
Kamaichi Co., Ltd.

Undertakings to Ensure Hygienic Vegetable Production in Japan and Other Countries
Dr. Yasuhiro Inatsu
Leader of Food Hygiene Laboratory
National Food Research Institute (NFRI),
National Agriculture and Food Research Organization (NARO)

Food Safety Management -Prediction and Precaution with Risk Analysis
Dr. Yoko Niiyama
Agricultural Economics and Food Systems
Division of Natural Resource Economics
Kyoto University

Traceability in Food Chain; General Principles and Status in Japan
Dr. Yoko Niiyama
Professor of Agricultural Economics and Food Systems
Division of Natural Resource Economics
Kyoto University

APO MOSM on FSMS, 2016 3


  • Mishima Foods, Kanto Factory,
  • Food and Agricultural Materials Inspection Center (FAMIC)
  • Meiji Naruhodo Factory Osaka
  • Graduate School of Agriculture, Kyoto University
  • AEON Agri Create Co., Ltd., Mikisatowaki Farm
  • Yamasa Kamaboko Co., Ltd, Yumesaki Factory
  • National Agriculture and Food Research Organization (NARO)
    (i) Research Institute of Food and Agriculture
    (ii) National Institute of Food Research

Megumilk Snow Brand Co., Ltd, Ami Plant

APO MOSM on FSMS, 2016 2

The archipelagic nature of Japan proved to be a challenge in the implementation of the food safety program of the government. However, this disadvantage was not reflected in several companies that we have visited. The central government has managed to cascade the responsibility of handling food safety concerns to the local government down to the small companies and retailers. It enables the participation of the municipality in the implementation of food safety programs mandated by law through a certification system monitored by national government agencies. Through this system the objectives of the government in achieving food safety throughout the country is translated to everyone. From my point of view as an educator, it is important. A highly inclusive program will enhance cooperation amongst the member of the community. This is what makes a FSMS effective. Community involvement also make is easier to control quality assurance concerns in term of food safety. Farmers for instance are well aware of their role in the entire food value chain. Everyone’s role is important and accounted for. This is the Japanese way and is an effective one.

This highly organized food safety management system of Japan was well presented in this study mission. Particularly noteworthy is the fact that the Japanese have manage to modify some international guidelines on Food Safety and have adopted such in their own country. Not forgetting globalization, most companies adopt the HACCP as well as ISO programs but they have incorporated certain modifications such as incentivizing and constant retooling of their employees for their awareness of food safety system.

These simple methods of compliance to the companies regulations on food safety system allowed the participants to realize that implementation of food safety programs are possible even if highly sophisticated equipment are absent. But of course, those equipment are completely necessary for companies who catered to a bigger market. For instance, mechanized air curtain/blower before entry to the production area is a must for most companies we visited in Japan. In the Philippines, only multinationals or big companies can afford to employ such inside the workplace. The use of PPE, which is high adaptable in the Philippines, can be imitated for implementation food safety system. Although most companies in the Philippines as well aware of ISO and HACCP, I have only visited a few food companies who adopt the complete PPE uniform to comply to ISO or HACCP.

The visits to the companies were complemented by the lecture before the field visits. The lecturers were very effective in providing an understanding of how the Japanese laws, policies and guidelines have evolved through the years with food safety of the general public in mind and how the Japanese government addressed those issues. The traceability within the food value chain was well articulated particularly by the Prof. Niiyama of Kyoto University. She emphasized the importance of having a food safety management system to stay on top of the situation in case there is a deviation from the implemented food safety system. Her examples as well as the examples of the other speakers gave a comprehensively describe the entire food value chain together which makes it easier for the participants to understand the observational tour later in the program.

The participants were also given the chance to interact and share their own experiences. In general, majority of the ASEAN countries shared the same challenges as the Philippines. Implementation of FSMS, however, varies per country depending on the policies of the government.

All the companies and resource persons were one and the same in saying that a comprehensive food safety system should be implemented by 2020 in time for the Tokyo Olympics, again, the Japanese had public safety in mind, the very reason why a food safety management system should be in place.


Majority of the participants from the member countries concluded that Food Safety Management is not a task by a single agency rather it requires a multidisciplinary (involving the food sector, health sector and agriculture and other related agencies) approach to formulate an effective program. In general, it is recommended that APO and its member countries should consider the role of SMEs in the implementation of a Food Safety Program. The APO can participate in educating the policy making bodies in the formulation of guidelines for food safety management by conducting similar training programs.

In the Philippines, a Food Safety Act with Implementing rules and regulations have already been released. However, this information is probably not known to almost all of the SMEs in the country. The NPO should take part in the promotion and education about the Food Safety Act and probably help capacitate some SMEs in terms of finances for adopting a Food Safety Program. The NPO should also encourage the participation of government agencies with capabilities to conduct training programs on Food safety management system. NPO should also participate in conducting training programs for farmers, entrepreneurs, processors, LGUs, etc. to encourage participation in implementing the provision of the Food Safety Act. In addition, the implementation is a function not only of the DOH who is in charge of the implementation of the law but requires the participation of other agencies as well. Just like the system in Japan, the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare together with the Ministry of Agriculture, Fishery and Forestry should be take part in monitoring and evaluation of the provisions of the Food Safety Act. On this note, UPLB, specifically the Food Science Cluster have always take part in the process of policy making by attending forums and writing position paper on the implementation of certain provisions.

The knowledge gained from this study mission can easily be disseminated through the students in various courses handled by the institute. These students will used the knowledge gained in their respective workplace usually in food companies and other academic institutions upon graduation or even in their own food businesses. Extension activities like preparation of IEC materials like videos, poster together with the students can also help in promoting food safety systems. The FSC also helps SMEs in laboratory analysis and gives technical advice for product registration as part of the implementation of the Food Safety Act.


Assistant Professor and Director
Institute of Food Science and Technology
College of Agriculture
University of the Philippines Los Baños
Email: lemopera @

Report: Labor-Management Relations for Policymakers, Labor Unions and Top Management Forum, May 17-19, 2016, Japan

Forum delegates group photo

Forum delegates group photo

Labor-Management relations refer to the system in which employers, workers, and their representatives, and, directly or indirectly, the government, interact to set the ground rules for the governance of work relationships.

Maintaining sound industrial relations while companies grow is beneficial to both labor and management.  Needless to state is the fact that the whole nation stands to gain from this, too. Companies with good productivity records provide a link between labor-management relations and growth.  Thus, there is an increased interest in finding the key towards good labor-management relations and economic growth.

This, in essence, is the central theme of the Forum – attaining sound and stable industrial relations and improved productivity using Japan’s success story as a model and rallying point. Japan successfully shifted from tumultuous industrial relations to a harmonious one with accompanying boost in productivity for the entire nation.  This story is worth taking a serious look at for from it, valuable lessons could be learned and adhered to.

Organized and implemented by the Asian Productivity Organization (APO), the Forum was a three-day gathering aimed to identify the roles of government, national trade unions, and employers/management in promoting constructive labor-management relations for productivity improvement.


I am directly involved in the maintenance of harmonious labor-management relations through conciliation-mediation of labor disputes and I inevitably touch on and impact their (labor and management) relationship through policy formulation and program development relative to labor-management relations and dispute prevention and settlement.  Policies and programs are geared towards a shift in labor-management relations from adversarial to a more cooperative and participative relationship.  This is achieved through the promotion of social dialogue, tripartism, and alternative dispute resolution schemes such as conciliation-mediation and bipartite mechanisms like grievance machinery and labor-management council/committee where labor and management settle their differences through negotiation, dialogue, and mutual agreement.

Thus, my participation in the Forum was premised on the knowledge and deeper appreciation that I would gain on the  labor-management relations as well as labor legislation in Japan, distinct links between labor relations and productivity, innovative ways to enhance labor-management relations and productivity, and ways to improve government services towards maintenance of stable labor relations.  I would love to hear and learn from the experiences of Japan and my co-participants in managing labor-management issues and enhancement of labor relations and productivity.


Thirty-two men and women from government, union, management, and private organizations of 16 participating countries in the Asia Pacific region participated in the Forum.

The Philippines was represented by Mr. Alan A. Tanjusay, Policy Advocacy Officer of the Associated Labor Unions – Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (ALU-TUCP), Ms. Pag-asa L. Dogelio, Program Officer IV of the Development Academy of the Philippines, and the undersigned, Maria Teresita L. Cancio, Acting Deputy Executive Director of the National Conciliation and Mediation Board, an agency attached to the Department of Labor and Employment.


The Forum was conducted using interactive presentations, exchanges of information and experiences, discussions on case studies, group discussions and workshops, and site visits on the seven topics:

1. Productivity Movement and Labor Management Relations in Japan
2. Current Issues on Industrial Relations in Japan and Asian Countries
3. Management Viewpoint and Task for Constructive Japanese Labor Management Relations
4. The Role of Trade Unions for Constructive Industrial Relations among Japanese Multi-national Companies in Overseas especially in Asian Countries
5. Labor Policies and Measures on Industrial Relations in Japan
6. Site visit at JTUC-RENGO, Activity and Present Situation of RENGO and Task/Challenge/Role of RENGO
7. Site Visit at Suntory Co., Ltd, In-company Communication such as Labor Management Joint Consultation

Site visit at JTUC-RENGO

Site visit at JTUC-RENGO

Learning Points and Personal Insights

Essential points taken from the presentations, discussions, and site visits include the following:

1. Labor and management relations have always been adversarial.

This is so because the two take each other as natural and perennial enemies.  Management regards labor as an entity that is out to demand every conceivable thing, thus, eats away profits of the company.  Labor is seen as a rival in the control and running of the company’s operations.  On the other hand, labor sees management as uncaring and insensitive to its plight and disregards its rights to just and fair share of the fruits of production.

Japan had its share of labor disputes with some ending in protracted battles and strikes with one lasting 120 days before it was finally settled.  These disputes wrought havoc on Japan’s economy.

2. The need to shift from confrontational relationship to a more collaborative one should be a prime objective of every company and country.

Undoubtedly, this entails hard and persevering work.  One must remember that cooperation is never possible in an environment of mistrust and doubts. Sincere and effective communication and information sharing are vital to building trust which is the foundation of cooperative action.    Thus, trust building must be a continuing activity.

Cooperation should be evident in every company undertaking – from formulating goals and working to achieve them, identification of problems and finding solutions, improvement of work processes, eliminating/reducing wastage to fun activities like sports fest and company outings.  Cooperation is proof that workers’ voice is heard and listened to, considered and reflected on, counted and respected.

As demonstrated and confirmed by the Japan experience, cooperative action is vital in the attainment of growth and development of firms and industries, which, in turn, should lead to the improvement of working and living conditions of workers.  Development that does not yield any positive change on the lives of workers is a hollow one, and will, sooner than later, blow up as one big farce.

3. Enactment of labor laws was not enough to assuage labor and halt labor unrest.

In Japan, three important labor laws (Trade Union Law, Labor Standards Law, and Labor Relations Adjustment Law) were passed and freedom of trade union activities was guaranteed, but still, labor disputes continued to break loose.

Labor unrest could not be totally contained by passage of significant edicts as there is more to it than could be addressed by laws.  Labor disputes arise not only for economic reasons but for psychological, ideological, and political causes as well.  These can never be countered and fulfilled with laws alone but are best resolved through a host of other interventions, foremost of which is direct engagement with workers.

Workers must be accepted, motivated, and appreciated as worthy contributors to the growth of the company.  They should be given opportunities to participate in the management of some aspects of their employment through consultation on matters that affect them.  Their demand for greater economic security which translates to job assurance must likewise be looked into, thus, avenues for discussion of issues that lead to termination have to be in place.  All these spell recognition of the workers’ voice and immediate response from management.

4. There is not a single way to lift a country from its dire situation.

In 1945, Japan was, literally, in ruins.  This reality was made worse by labor unrest.  Labor laws and policies were not enough to lift the country from the doldrums.  Japan used not a single tactic to rebuild itself.  To reconstruct its economy, it used a combination of measures, namely, productivity movement, quality improvement of products, and infrastructure development.

Japan’s success shows that growth and development cannot come from working on just one aspect of a nation’s existence.  For development to be possible, sustainable, and inclusive, there must be a system of interrelated schemes that supports and backs the others.  The proper approach must be holistic, complete, and full.

5. Japan’s Productivity Movement

The Productivity Movement which is one of the three pillars of Japan’s economic prosperity is anchored on three guidelines: management development, constructive industrial relations, and fair distribution of productivity gains.

Management development recognizes that experienced and skilled workers are assets of a company, thus, they should be protected and assured of their jobs.  Hence, laying or firing off of workers should not be a resultant activity in any productivity improvement program.

To attain constructive industrial relations, both workers and management must recognize their roles in maintaining stable labor-management relations.  Both should work hand in hand to achieve mutually defined and desired goals.  Workers and management must continuously build and enhance their relationship based on mutual respect and trust.  In other words, cooperation and partnership through information sharing must be the basis of their relations.  Labor-Management Joint Consultation System moves towards this end.

Whatever gains that may come from productivity initiatives must be shared with the company/management, the workers, and the consumers.  This means that while the company continues to grow, the workers enjoy salary increases, more and improved benefits, and good working conditions.  At the end of the continuum are the consumers who come home with quality goods in their bags and excellent service.  This is the only way for productivity to be truly felt by every stakeholder.

6. Concept of productivity

The technical definition of productivity is expressed in the equation Output/Input where output represents product/services, profit, and value added and input refers to labor, raw materials, machinery, system, facilities, and capital.

Productivity is more than this stiff and limiting definition.  It is more of an attitude where one seeks to continuously improve from yesterday’s performance.  It is embracing the fact that possibilities abound and that one should not be restricted to try new and innovative ways to self-expression through the world of work.  Productivity is changing, transforming, converting, and moving towards improvement.

Productivity is everyone’s concern.  It is management’s as well as labor’s responsibility.  It is likewise a country’s accountability.  Thus, for productivity to be achieved, the call for collaboration of everyone must be sounded and responses should be forthcoming.

7. Labor-Management Joint Consultation

LMJC is not a mandatory scheme that workers and management have to adhere to.  It is voluntary and there lies its efficacy in bringing about good labor-management relations.  LMJC brings out sincerity, respect, and trust of both labor and management in dealing with each other.  It lays on the table the parties’ (workers and management) needs, wants, intentions and the same are considered without having to look and be bothered by legalities.  Open discussions are held without fear of retribution and reprisal.  These are the essential elements and the kind of setting conducive to settlement of day to day issues and concerns confronting the two.

LMJC pursues common interest, productivity increase, and enlargement of the economic pie for distribution and sharing.  It is grounded on key concepts:

• Labor and management are social partners;
• Communication and Information sharing are essential to the parties’ relationship; and
• Labor and management relations must be founded on mutual trust, respect, and sincerity.

8. Problems are part and parcel of the world of work and its concomitant industrial relations.

Despite its stature in the global community and the success of its productivity movement, Japan is not immune to problems in industrial relations as it continues to have its share of problems.  Some of the current issues in the country are:

• Increase in the number of non-regular workers;
• Rapid aging of Japanese workers;
• Gender issues;
• Increase in individual labor disputes; and
• Foreign workers issues

Government, labor, and management must work together to resolve these     problems.  The three must keep themselves abreast with the latest and come up with out     of the box solutions, otherwise, they will lose their     relevance. Remember, industrial     relations is dynamic.  One must always be in step and keep pace with it.

9. Achieving and maintaining constructive industrial relations entail hard and unceasing work.

Sound and stable labor-management relations is not a one shot deal.  It is a continuing process of enhancing trust, ensuring respect for the other party, forging understanding, recognizing rights, and supporting programs to achieve mutually defined goals.

Programs and measures to attain harmonious relations in the workplace, industry level, and the overall industrial climate in a country may vary in countries.  This is because of the differences in culture, social values, religious beliefs, and economic realities of the people.  Nevertheless, what is important is there are undertakings towards the achievement and maintenance of industrial peace.  Common to these undertakings are constant dialogue, opportunities for cooperation and partnership, and recognition and respect for the rights of each other.

10. Government, management, and trade unions have their respective roles to play in the realization of constructive industrial relations and productivity.

Management’s Role

• Provide wages and benefits in accordance with law, or, if it is within its capacity, more than what the law requires.  Share the fruits of production with labor.
• Provide working environment and conditions that are safe, healthy, and conducive to productivity.
• Provide trainings and other learning opportunities for employees’ skills enhancement and professional growth.
• Respect workers’ rights, especially the right to self-organization and collective bargaining.
• Address fairly, objectively, and immediately issues, problems, and concerns raised by labor.
• Open communication lines with workers and share relevant information especially on matters affecting them.
• Provide opportunities for labor to participate in decision making process through regular consultations, meetings, and discussions of day to day issues and concerns in the company especially those that directly affect labor.
• Provide opportunities and activities for trust building and cooperative action.
• Accept and acknowledge workers as partners in the growth and development of the company.

Trade Union’s Role

• Capacitate and empower workers by conducting seminars and trainings on their rights, duties, and obligations as well as the company’s rules and policies and pertinent labor laws.
• Promote workers’ rights and interests.
• Advocate and work for higher wages, improved benefits, and safe and healthy working conditions of workers through genuine collective bargaining negotiations and with regard to management’s financial capacity.
• Open communication lines and share information with management.
• Cooperate with management in enhancing employee productivity and overall company productivity.
• Support activities geared towards trust building and cooperative action.
• Accept and acknowledge management as its partner in the company’s growth and development and in improving the lives of workers.

Government’s Role

• Enact laws that promote and protect both workers’ and management’s rights.
• Empower labor and management through the conduct of seminars, trainings, forums, and symposia on labor laws and policies.
• Develop programs that highlight labor-management partnership towards good relations, productivity, and occupational safety and health.
• Develop a good system of dispute prevention and settlement.
• Provide just, impartial, and speedy means of resolving labor disputes.
• Advocate harmonious labor-management relationship by:

 Granting incentives to companies that adhere to and respect labor laws;
 Granting incentives to companies with best practices/programs on worker empowerment, productivity, safe and healthy workplace, and labor-management partnership and cooperation; and
 Granting incentives to companies and labor unions with best practices on grievance handling and 100% settlement rate of labor disputes at the company level.

• Provide an environment where social dialogue and tripartism are integral to the whole industrial relations system of the country.

Labor-management relations is dynamic. It changes overtime and across nations. Be that as it may, what remains unchanged is the fact that it is shaped by its main actors – labor/workers, management, and government.  For labor or industrial relations to be harmonious and stable, the positive and healthy interaction of the three stakeholders, especially, labor and management, must be maintained as this is paramount.  The three must efficiently and effectively play their respective roles in the drama of labor relations in the stage of the world of work.  This is the stage where the curtains remain open for as long as the world exists.

At Suntory Co. Ltd.

At Suntory Co. Ltd.


Constructive labor-management relations is not new in the Philippines.  As far back as the 1970s, the country has labored to bring about congruence and harmony in its industrial relations climate.  Several laws and orders have been passed towards this end, foremost of which is the Philippine Labor Code of 1974.  The Code stands as the law governing employment practices and labor relations in the country.

Throughout all the efforts, however, industrial peace remained elusive as labor unrest continued to haunt the country.

In 1987, by virtue of Executive Order No 126, which called for the reorganization of the Department of Labor and Employment, the National Conciliation and Mediation Board (NCMB) was created.  And this was when things started to turn right.

NCMB, with its programs on conciliation-mediation of labor disputes, voluntary arbitration, grievance machinery, and labor-management cooperation, has turned the tide of numerous labor disputes and strikes.  From a high of 581 strikes in 1986 to only 5 in 2015, NCMB has indeed found its mark!   The alternative dispute prevention and settlement system that the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) and NCMB have set and pushed is working its wonders.  Thus, the country has been enjoying relative industrial peace for the past nine years.

Against this backdrop and to sustain harmonious industrial relations, DOLE has re-energized its efforts to improve productivity.  Not that this important aspect has been relegated to the backburner.   On the contrary, higher levels of productivity have always been encouraged especially with the enactment of the Productivity Incentives Act of 1990.

Today, maintaining good labor-management relations and enhancing productivity go hand in hand as companies with Labor-Management Cooperation Councils/Committees (LMCC) are encouraged to establish Productivity Subcommittees.  On the other hand, companies with Productivity Committees are urged to form LMCC.  At the forefront of these twin tasks are the men and women of DOLE, NCMB, and the Regional Tripartite Wage and Productivity Board (RTWPB).

With the system on constructive industrial relations in place in the country, my action plan remains simple:  to continue NCMB’s work in facilitating LMCCs with subcommittees on productivity/LMCCs and Productivity Subcommittees, operationalization of grievance machineries, and conciliation-mediation of labor disputes.  But as a direct output of my participation in the Forum and as added impetus to the cause of industrial harmony and improved productivity, I will be preparing a PowerPoint presentation on the link between LMR and productivity focusing on the successful Japan experience.  This will then be presented to my colleagues and other stakeholders.


Acting Deputy Executive Director IV
National Conciliation and Mediation Board
Department of Labor and Employment
Email: tec_cancio @

Report: Best Practices of Knowledge Management Implementation in NPOs Workshop, June 14-17, 2016, Mongolia

Workshop delegates

Workshop delegates

The APO KM framework was developed to provide a common understanding of KM among member countries, and in particular among NPOs. The framework was designed based on practical experience in KM from several countries in Asia, along with best practices from the USA, Australia, and Europe. NPOs are expected to have adopted and applied the KM framework in their organizations and should have produced appreciable results. Different NPOs may have pursued specific goals and used various tools and techniques in implementing KM. It is therefore relevant to share those experiences and best practices so that other NPOs can learn and possibly adopt them.


This training will help the participant understand the broader context of KM in varied setting and conceptualize as to how the best KM practices from other organizations can be blended into the diverse nature of the Graduate School.

3. Participants

Bangladesh – Mr. Md. Razu Ahammed
Research Officer
National Productivity Organisation,
Ministry of Industries

Cambodia – Mr. Um Serivuth
Deputy Director
National Productivity Centre of Cambodia,
Ministry of Industry and Handicraft

China, Republic of – Ms. Pei-Chun Chung
Associate Administrator
China Productivity Center

Fiji – Mr. Ashwin Gounder
Head of Training
Executive Management
National Training & Productivity Center

IR Iran – Mr. Hassan Rostami Kelishomi
Education and Research
National Iranian Productivity Organization (NIPO)

Lao PDR – Ms. Alounni Sisavath
Deputy Director of Division
Productivity Division, Department of SME Promotion
Ministry of Industry and Commerce

Malaysia – Ms. Wan Fazlin Nadia Wan Osman
Malaysia Productivity Corporation

Nepal – Mr. Prabin Kumar Acharya
Branch Chief
Productivity Promotion Division
National Productivity and Economic Development Centre (NPEDC)

Sri Lanka – Mr. B.M.S. Balasuriya
Productivity Development Officer
National Productivity Secretariat

Thailand- Ms. Dujdao Duangden
Senior Consultant
Thailand Productivity Institute

Vietnam – Ms. Nguyen Thi Van
Ho Chi Minh Branch
Vietnam National Productivity Institute (VNPI)


Topics discussed and key inputs delivered by resource persons Importance of KM to productivity and quality improvement initiatives:
KM applications in international development organizations;
KM applications in private business organizations;
KM applications in public organizations;

Selected models and best practices of KM in NPOs; and
Strategies to intensify KM applications and adoption in NPOs.


Expert presentations, country case studies, site visits, and workshop.
Highlights of the Philippine country paper
The Philippine country paper focused on the actual and technical application of the KM tools in the Graduate School thru the creation of a Learning Management System (LMS).

The other countries presented the current status of their country’s KM office. They have also discussed the KM trainings which their offices have conducted and how they managed to boast the income of their office thru these trainings.

APO WSP on KM in NPO, 2016 2


I am entirely grateful for the opportunity that APO had given me when I was allowed to join the KM workshop at Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia last June 14-17, 2016. In so far, the workshop managed to provide the participants new knowledge on the nature of KM, as well as enlighten us to the best strategies and practical benefits that KM has offered to offices of various natures in the Asian Region. The workshop also provides an avenue for all participants to establish camaraderie and exchange information on the KM proceedings in their own countries.

Generally, I find the workshop worthy of every minute that we have spent within the four corners of the classroom wall.


I have divided my action plan into two since I originally belong to the Graduate School of DAP and not in the APO itself. Apparently, APO and DAP, as a whole, already have a concrete plan on Knowledge Management and as a holistic institution, we are united in our efforts to promote the mandates of APO and assist in every way we can towards attainment of the laid-out plan and goals addressing Knowledge Management.

On the part of the Graduate School, as soon as I arrived in my home country, I am planning to do the following:

  1. Conduct re-echo of learnings on KM best practices to colleagues and superiors;
  2. Promote institutionalization of Learning Management System of the Graduate School as practical and technical application of KM in the NPO.


Learning Manager
Graduate School of Public and Development Management
Development Academy of the Philippines
Email: baltazara @