SAN MIGUEL Corp. (SMC) has assured that there is no shortage of products such as hotdogs and luncheon meat amid supply concerns raised by some groups due to higher meat material prices and import restrictions.

SMC President Ramon S. Ang said in a statement on Wednesday that the products of its food unit, San Miguel Foods, such as refrigerated meats and canned products will remain available in supermarket shelves and other retail outlets.

“Since the start of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, our food business has strived to make our supply chains more agile and resilient. As a result, we have expanded our raw material supply sources, and have also increased our flexibility in terms of production,” Mr. Ang said.

According to SMC, San Miguel Foods is not only one of the largest local producers of poultry and pork but is also a major importer of meat materials, using around 100,000 metric tons (MT) per year.

The company said its supply of raw materials was also affected by price hikes, tight supply, and import restrictions due to the pandemic, African Swine Fever, and avian influenza (bird flu).

However, SMC said that with quick adjustments in its production and anticipation of global trends, it can ensure the availability of its products for consumers.

“When you have enough meat and packaging materials, along with ample manufacturing capacity, you can ensure continuous supply. As we have done throughout the period of this pandemic, we can continue to provide for the needs of our consumers despite the present challenges,” Mr. Ang said.

Further, Mr. Ang said SMC’s strategy is focused on its integrated value chain, which allowed the company to use more of its internal raw material sources for value added meat production.

“Food security is always one of our top priorities. With our consumers’ needs always top of mind, we want to assure everyone that they can continue to enjoy their hotdogs, luncheon meat, chicken nuggets, bacon, and corned beef,” Mr. Ang said.

Sought for comment, Philippine Association of Meat Processors Inc. (PAMPI) Vice-President Jerome D. Ong said in a mobile phone message that the price of imported mechanically deboned meat (MDM) of chicken used in processed meat products has increased.

“The price used to be $0.50-0.60 per kilogram up to third quarter last year, but it is now more than $1.50 per kilogram and increasing further,” said Mr. Ong said, who is also president of CDO Foodsphere, Inc.

As a result, he said the retail prices of processed meats sold in local markets might increase by 20%.

“With supplies severely curtailed as a result of bird flu related bans, prices from the few remaining sources have really skyrocketed,” he added.

“But because of competition, [the increase] will be gradual, and barely enough to cover the impact of higher material costs. At the moment, the only thing that can be done to avert price increases and product shortage is for supply of major raw materials, particularly MDM, to ease,” he added. — Revin Mikhael D. Ochave