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Mega Prime expects slower growth for the year

MEGA PRIME Foods, Inc. is expecting slower business growth this year amid market uncertainties, the top official of the canned sardines maker said on Wednesday.

“This year the market isn’t good, but hopefully next year we’ll be getting better,” Mega Prime’s Chief Executive Officer and Chief Operating Officer Michelle Tiu Lim-Chan told reporters on the sidelines of a company event.

Ms. Lim-Chan added that amid the closed fishing season for sardines, the company would have ample supply to keep up with demand.

“The closed season of fishing happens every year so that is already forecasted,” she said. “We have a lot of local sources.”

“We will give the local fishermen livelihood, so we will buy their fish. We have [about] 1,200 fishermen. There are also a lot of local fishermen in the Zamboanga area, so we’d like to help them also during the off-season,” she added.

Mega Prime Chief Growth and Development Officer Mavin Tiu Lim said the company is expecting a stable supply of sardines.

“We still have a month left of fishing,” he said, adding that it is not at the “optimal level that we want it to be.”

“We are sourcing from other regions in the Philippines,” he said.

The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources said earlier that sardine fishing would be closed from Nov. 15 to Feb. 15 the following year.

Mr. Lim added that Mega Prime is expecting further growth from its other products, amid the limited supply of sardines. He said in the past, the company’s non-sardine stock-keeping units had posted double- or triple-digit growth.

“So we are very hopeful that aside from sardines, our other product will have stronger growth,” he said.

Meanwhile, the company launched on Wednesday the fifth year of its Mega Bigay Sustansya program in partnership with the Department of Education, the Department of Science and Technology, the European Chamber of Commerce, and Reach Out and Feed Philippines, Inc.

Mr. Lim said that the company is seeking to “progressively expand” the program nationwide.

“Next year, hopefully, we can visit more regions,” he said. “Year on year, the budget [for the program] is growing, so we really pour in extra funds for [it],” he added. — Adrian H. Halili

Neil Banzuelo

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