By Revin Mikhael D. Ochave, Reporter
COCA-COLA Beverages Philippines, Inc. (CCBPI) said that the local food and beverage (F&B) industry requires at least 450,000 metric tons (MT) of premium refined sugar in order to serve the orders of customers amid tight supply and high prices.
“We have shared with the President (Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr.) that the industry needs at least 450,000 MT of premium refined bottler grade sugar to utilize 100% of its manufacturing capacity for the balance of the year and serve the orders of customers who are depending on our products for their sales and income,” the beverage manufacturer said in a statement released over the weekend.
Recently, beverage manufacturers — namely CCBPI, Pepsi-Cola Products Philippines, Inc., and ARC Refreshments Corp. — announced that they are experiencing a shortage of premium refined sugar that is used for production of their products.
According to CCBPI, F&B manufacturers require premium refined sugar to maintain the quality of their products.
“We’d like to emphasize, however, that not all sugar is the same. Food and beverage manufacturers need premium refined sugar to maintain high-quality products,” the CCBPI explained.
“Currently, there is approximately a 400,000 MT gap on top of a starting gap of 200,000 MT of the local sugar supply for 2022. This is based on a projected demand of 2.3 million metric tons for 2022 for the entire country,” it added.
On Aug. 18, Press Secretary Rose Beatrix Cruz-Angeles announced that Mr. Marcos, Senate President Juan Miguel F. Zubiri, and sugar stakeholders had agreed to import 150,000 MT of sugar in a bid to address low supply and soaring prices.
Mr. Marcos is currently the head of the Department of Agriculture and the chair of the Sugar Regulatory Administration (SRA). Mr. Marcos previously rejected the SRA’s plan to import 300,000 MT of sugar.
The Office of the Press Secretary on Aug. 19 also disclosed that big supermarkets — particularly Robinsons Supermarket, SM Supermarket, Puregold Supermarket, and S&R Membership Shopping — would reduce their selling price of sugar to P70 per kilogram, down from as high as P110 per kilogram, in a bid to help consumers.
Meanwhile, CCBPI said that it is implementing “various efforts” to reduce the effect of the premium refined sugar supply shortage to its business.
“As always, we are keeping our consumers, customers, and our people front and center,” the company said.
“We and the broader industry look forward to continuing to work with the President and all relevant government offices to address the situation and deliver a sustainable solution as we get back to delivering our full line-up of beverages and supporting the country’s economic recovery,” it added.