North Star Meat Merchants Inc., one of the biggest fresh frozen food retailers found in modern trade, signed an agreement with the Department of Agriculture (DA) to support small sized pig farmers in the hopes to bolster the local pig farming economy and help them recover from the onslaught of the African Swine Fever (ASF).
This agreement was made possible through the DA’s Integrated National Swine Production Initiatives for Recovery and Expansion (INSPIRE) and Bantay African Swine Fever sa Barangay (BABay ASF) program.
Under the recently signed Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), North Star will be allowed to purchase hogs from small sized pig farmers. This agreement allows North Star to take care of butchering, blast chilling or freezing, cold storage, cold chain logistics, butchering, retailing and distribution of pork to more than 300 branches of SM Markets (Supermarket, Hypermarket, Savemore), Waltermart, and Alfamart nationwide.
“Despite unfavorable conditions, the resilience our farmers have shown inspired us to work with the Department of Agriculture to provide the assistance they need on their road to recovery,” said North Star Founder & CEO Anthony Ng in a statement. “We are committed to sustainably purchase, process, and distribute their production to our retail channels so more local pig farmers can remain confident in providing the public with quality meat products.”
With pork producers in the frontline of the country’s goal of food security and food self-sufficiency, the MOU will give local farmers more confidence in maximizing the production capabilities of their farms and maintain the steady supply of pork to the market. Furthermore, this MOU can also be of assistance in lowering the price of pork and in easing inflation.
“The Department of Agriculture understands the importance of linking various stakeholders in order to achieve our objective of supporting the welfare of our local producers and consumers,” says Secretary of the Department of Agriculture William Dar. “We believe that our partnership with North Star, an end-to-end fresh frozen meat retailer, will allow us to enhance the capacity of our local producers while helping in ensuring food security for Filipinos.”
North Star boasts of a Triple A rated and HACCP Certified Cold Storage Warehouse and Meat Cutting Plant in Tabang, Bulacan that promises safety across the supply chain. With this storage capacity expected to increase to 6.4 million kilos in 2022, the company is in the position to support more pig farming communities as they slowly recover from the pandemic and the ASF.
“Our partnership with the Department of Agriculture is one of the steps being taken by the company to ensure that we are within industry standards to promote food sustainability within the country,” says Ng. “We firmly believe that through our collaborative efforts, we will be able to achieve our goal of sustaining the country’s food safety, availability, accessibility, and affordability.”
North Star Meat Merchants Inc. (“NSM”) is the largest end-to-end fresh frozen meat retailer, operating in all SM Markets (Supermarket, Hypermarket, Savemore), WalterMart & Alfamart across the Philippines.
Founded by businessman Anthony Ng, North Star has over 20 years of industry experience in the areas of sourcing, processing, and logistics to retailing to bring meats safely to the public.