For many countries, food security has been their topmost concern, especially with the major economic and climate crises we have been experiencing, which have also exacerbated global concerns with food. Such concerns are still being aimed to be addressed with the pursuit of the second of United Nations’ (UN) Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) — to end hunger and achieve food security and improve nutrition.
According to the World Economic Forum (WEF), the dilemma facing global food security is that by 2050, 9 billion people must be fed and food demand will increase by 60%. Adequate and proper food storage plays a big role in addressing these demands. By preventing deterioration, proper food storage is necessary for preserving nutritional worth and the quality of foods people consume. Moreover, safe food storage can aid in preventing hazardous bacteria that comes from food.
Among the companies actively doing their part towards addressing the country’s food sufficiency needs is First Atkins Holdings Corp., a company that specializes in importing and distributing high-quality meat products from several countries.
Participating in the country’s food security plan, the company recently launched the largest continuous cold storage facility in Southern Luzon, with the intention to deliver their commitment to food security and empower the local community.
“Food security and rising demand for logistics services are a critical issue facing our country today, and it is a privilege for our company that we are able to help take significant steps towards addressing it,” First Atkins President and CEO Gabriel Ang said.
Last March 24, First Atkins opened its cold storage warehouse facility located in Cavite Technopark, Brgy. Sabang, Naic, Cavite. The company held a ribbon cutting ceremony on the economic zone, which is operated by Ayala Land Logistics Holdings Corp.
According to the First Atkins’ Deputy CEO Hillary Kay Ang and Strategy Officer Gavin Christian Ang, the newly opened facility can produce roughly 65,000 metric tons of meat.
“As a significant contributor to the country’s food industry, First Atkins has always believed in the capabilities and contributions of cold storage facilities in extending the shelf life of perishable goods and maintaining their quality, while also reducing food waste and ensuring that consumers have access to quality meat products at more affordable prices,” Ms. Ang and Mr. Ang said in the opening remarks.
“With this facility alone, our group can now contribute around 65 million kilograms more of frozen meat products, bringing our average estimated turnover to date to around 176 million kilograms on an annual basis,” they added.
The plant is also equipped with 1,776 solar panels that have a 1-megawatt capacity. These renewable energy sources are expected to save around 30% of the total energy output of the facility.
The cold storage warehouse is just ten minutes away from the anticipated Bataan – Cavite Interchange Link. Once completed, First Atkins group’s delivery time from the facility going to Bataan and adjacent cities will be cut down from five hours to 40 minutes.
The ceremony was attended by heads from different national government departments, such as Department of Agriculture Sr. Undersecretary Domingo F. Panganiban, Department of Trade and Industry Assistant Secretary Atty. Claire Cabochan, and Philippine Economic Zone Authority Administrator Atty. Norma Tañag, to name a few.
Local government officials of Naic were also present. Among those officials, Vice-Mayor Junio C. Dualan has expressed his extreme gratitude for the success of this project and thanks the respective partners and shareholders of the project as well. He congratulated First Atkins for building the largest cold storage facility in Southern Luzon, as this does not only contribute in addressing food supply constraints but also helps with employment in the municipality.
“The cold storage facility is a statement to ensure our commitment to food security. I am confident that this facility will ensure food security,” Ms. Ang said during the launch.
After the opening remarks, the First Atkins Group received licenses and awards from the National Meat Inspection Service in order to operate and store food products. First Atkins received a Triple A certification for Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP), which is the highest accreditation level. The HACCP system is a widely accepted set of guidelines and requirements for safeguarding food production, food processing, and food distribution from any contamination and other potential dangers in the food process.
In addition to upcoming projects, First Atkins is also in the process of building a food storage for meat products and onions located in Nueva Ecija.
“Our commitment will not stop at the operation of this facility. Soon we will be undertaking another project that will be in line with our goal to have food sustainability in the Philippines. By next quarter, I would like to announce, that we will break ground another cold storage, this time located in Nueva Ecija” said Mr. Gabriel Ang in his closing remarks.
First Atkins Group CFO Myk Gamora said that the next project in Nueva Ecija will not only serve as storage for meat products, but also for onions. Onions now are priced at P100.00 per kilo, but has once reached as high as P500.00 per kilo due to supply constraints.
Similar to the one in Cavite, the facility in Nueva Ecija will also make use of solar energy for operating.
First Atkins Holdings Corp. is the parent company of meat importation and distributor Atkins Import and Export Resources, Inc., cold storage operator First Meycauayan Cold Storage and Leasing Inc., real estate arm First Inland Kingdom Resources, Inc., logistics firm Trident Supply Chain Solutions, Inc., and ready-to-cook and packaged food manufacturer First Gablen Trading Corp.
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