Healthy Sweets owned by Ms. Betty More started processing coconuts and other fruits with less than P200,000 invested in a small processing plant and equipment. They started processing manually in CY 2000 but after three years, they were able to acquire a mechanized cooker with stirrer under the Small Enterprise Technology Upgrading Program (SETUP) of the Department of Science and Technology. Today, the company produces organic coconut sugar, ginger/guyabano/turmeric candies and teas, and cacao nibs coated.
The firm is one of the beneficiaries of the project entitled “S&T Intervention to Level-up Small and Medium Food Industries (SMEs) in Davao” under the Consultancy for Agricultural and Manufacturing Productivity Improvement (CAMPI) Program Implementation in Region XI. CAMPI provides consultancy services in improving the firms’ processes and facilities. The assistance of TAPI under the CAMPI program is very timely because of the increasing demand from the foreign and local buyers. This was attributed to the current Good Manufacturing Practices (cGMP) that they are implementing in their processing plant under CAMPI. According to Ms. More, “foreign buyers usually inspect first the plant before they negotiate for the price. If they are impressed and the plant passed their standards then you can get more orders”. The foreign buyers also share with them their experiences with other companies that they visited in the Philippines. They said that “if companies just follow the GMP then they could also have taken orders from them”.
Through CAMPI interventions in order to be GMP compliant, Healthy Sweets invested an amount of P20,000 to improve the plant structure. As a result, the market order increased, thus, expanding the production area and cost them P500,000 as additional investment for the coconut syrup production plant. The company was able to comply and implement the food safety requirements and was issued a License to Operate (LTO) and current Good Manufacturing Practices (cGMP) issued by the Food and Drugs Administration (FDA). Net income increased from P548,598 to P575,000 in CY 2015 and generated an additional employment of 12 workers.
Now, there are new demands in the local and international market that they have to respond. More Japanese buyers are becoming interested with their coconut sugar and other coco sugar-based products. Healthy Sweets need to expand their processing plant and acquire additional tools and equipment to increase their production. (by Rosemarie L. Olaer/Rhoalyn De La Rosa)