San Miguel to buy excess carabao milk from farmers’ cooperatives
MANILA, Philippines – San Miguel Corporation (SMC) said on Saturday, May 30, that it will buy the excess carabao’s milk of farmers' cooperatives affected by the coronavirus pandemic.
SMC said in a press statement on Saturday that the milk will be donated to poor communities and food banks in Metro Manila.
SMC said the decision was prompted by information that smaller carabao-based dairy farmers have been forced to dump their excess milk, since there were no buyers.
“It’s heartbreaking. There is so much excess milk that goes to waste, instead of getting them to where they are most needed. By buying their excess milk, we are hoping to help not only our farmers stay in business but also get these produce to food banks and communities to help address the growing food insecurity facing the poorest families,” said SMC president and chief operating officer Ramon S. Ang.
“We believe this will be a big help to many of our farmers, who are struggling and looking for ways and markets to sell their produce. At the same time, it will also help keep many of our less-fortunate citizens – children and the elderly – nourished and in good health,” he added.
Ang said SMC will identify the farmer-cooperatives that will supply the milk.
SMC said it is eyeing to donate the milk to hard-hit communities and feeding centers in Bulacan, Navotas, and other areas in Metro Manila. Carabao milk is high in calcium and low in cholesterol compared to other kinds of milk.
The company said it will carry out the program in coordination with the Department of Agriculture, the Department of Health, and the Department of the Interior and Local Government.
When Metro Manila and other areas were placed under lockdown, SMC had said that it would help the agricultural sector by buying more local produce.
Last week, SMC announced that it bought 69 million kilos of corn from various corn producers throughout the country. This is on top of the 92,000 kilos of corn it earlier bought from farmer-cooperatives in Central Luzon and Pangasinan, which were identified by the DA.
SMC had given P487 million worth of food donations in relation to the coronavirus lockdowns as of May 12. At the time, its total COVID-19 response was at P13.08 billion. – Rappler.com