BOI advances PHL plant-based foods industry

The Philippine Board of Investments (BOI) is moving towards the right direction to advance the country’s plant-based foods industry.

In collaboration with the University of the Philippines Diliman College of Home Economics (UP CHE), the BOI conducted a Rapid Industry Appraisal (RIA) of the Philippine Plant-Based Foods Industry and hosted a National Stakeholders Consultation recently to gather ideas and recommendations for the industry’s development and roadmap creation.

The RIA involved Focus Group Discussions with industry representatives, consumer groups, government agencies, and academic institutions, and its findings were presented during a virtual National Stakeholders Consultation.

The participants and various stakeholders aimed to create a roadmap by 2024 for the Philippine plant-based food industry aligned with the BOI’s goal of fostering globally-competitive and innovative industries.

The event also highlighted the industry’s small size but promising prospects, emphasizing the significance of healthy lifestyle branding, support for local farmers, information campaigns, and collaboration among stakeholders.

Moreover, pertinent government agencies discussed available incentives and programs to support prospective investors.

Dr. Shirley Guevarra, Dean of the UP College of Home Economics, expressed optimism that the ideas and comments shared during the consultation would contribute to formulating appropriate recommendations for the industry roadmap.

“The exchanges of ideas and comments are expected to help in crafting appropriate recommendations towards the creation of the Philippine plant-based food industry roadmap” said Dr. Shirley Guevarra said in her welcome message.

Meanwhile, Executive Director Ma. Corazon Halili-Dichosa of the BOI Industry Development Services emphasized that the RIA serves as a crucial initial step towards the development of the Philippine plant-based food industry, aligning with the administration’s food security goals.

“This initiative is BOI’s contribution in achieving food security which is one of the aspirations of the current Administration,” remarked Executive Director Dichosa.

Dr. Maria Patricia Azanza, the Consultant for the event, provided insights into the global situation of the plant-based food industry, key players in the Philippines, and the factors impacting the industry’s micro and macro environment.

The presentation included food industry’s global situation analysis, key players and micro/macro highlighted the industry’s current small size but emphasized its growing potential.

Panelists from different clusters offered their reactions to the RIA results. Dr. Dave Centeno from UP Diliman Virata School of Business highlighted the growing trend of healthy lifestyle branding and product positioning among consumers.

Ms. Kate Lupango, representing the consumer cluster, stressed the need for government support in transitioning local farmers to climate-smart agriculture for a sustainable plant-based food industry.

Industry stakeholders from organizations such as the Philippine Association of Food Technologists (PAFT) Inc., The Good Choices PH, and Worth the Health (WTH) Foods also presented their perspectives.

Their discussions included the importance of information campaigns, support for micro and small enterprises (MSEs), and collaboration among stakeholders to drive industry development.

Representatives from relevant government agencies, including the BOI, DOST Industrial Technology Development Institute (ITDI), and DOST Philippine Council for Industry, Energy and Emerging Technology Research and Development (PCIEERD), shared insights into available fiscal incentives, the integration of the plant-based food industry in development plans, and the establishment of enabling policies.

The virtual consultation witnessed the active participation of more than 60 attendees. Dr. Mary Delia Tomacruz, Associate Professor of UP CHE, provided a summary of the consultation and emphasized the bright future of the Philippine plant-based food industry.

Mr. Francis Peñaflor, Acting Chief of the BOI IDS Agri-Based Industries Division, expressed gratitude to the panelists and participants for their valuable insights and reiterated the BOI’s commitment to transforming the RIA into a comprehensive industry roadmap by 2024 as the event came to a close.