“Proud Harvest” veggie-enriched canton noodles to hit TN outlets

Vegetable-enriched pancit canton noodles with product label “Proud Harvest” will soon be made available at “Tindahan Natin” outlets, initially in CAR, Regions I, II, and NCR after its launching on July 30, 2008.

Photo: President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo beams as she hands a certificate to operate a “Tindahan Natin” to Brgy. Chairperson Aurora Morales during her visit at Brgy.636 in Nagtahan, Manila.

This, as the Arroyo government, in collaboration with private noodle manufacturers, intensifies the production of vegetable noodles through the “Benguet Vegetable Processing Center Project” of the Benguet State University (BSU) aimed at providing nutritious yet affordable food alternatives, especially for the Filipino poor, improve the income of vegetable farmers, and solve the storage problems of vegetables that are by nature quickly perishable.

The “Proud Harvest” squash-enriched pancit canton noodle, the first commercial scale product of BSU’s three-year “Benguet Vegetable Processing Center Project”, will be officially launched at the Dagonoy Public Market, San Andres, Bukid, Manila on July 30, 2008.

President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo will grace the ceremony and endorse, in a symbolic turn-over, the “Proud Harvest” veggie canton noodles to ‘Tindahan Natin’ (TN) operators which will mark the start of the distribution of these products to TN outlets through the National Food Authority (NFA) and DSWD at a lower than market price per 250 gram pack.

The squash-based pancit canton noodle will also be sold at existing commercial markets.
Smaller noodle sizes, other veggie formulations like carrots, saluyot, among others, and instant pancit canton for daily consumption, as well as a variety of other veggie products will also be produced later on.

The beginnings

During the visit of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo to La Trinidad, Benguet on March 22, 2008, the Chief Executive gave a P10-Million financial assistance, sourced from the President’s Social Fund, to Benguet State University (BSU) as the proponent of the ‘Benguet Vegetable Processing Center Project’ with Presidential Management Staff as project oversight and Philippine Center for Entrepreneurship – ‘Go Negosyo’ & RFM Corp. President and CEO Joey Concepcion as private sector partner and mentor in brand-building, marketing and distribution.

Included in the P10-Million fund released by the President is the construction of a two-storey post-harvest processing center in the BSU for the research, development, and commercial production of vegetable noodles and other vegetable-enriched products like meats, sausages, juices, among others.

With the aim of accelerating the production of veggie noodles, the BSU was assisted by the Inter-Agency Group (IAG) created by President Arroyo in May 2008. The IAG is headed by the DOST-Food and Nutrition Research Institute (FNRI), and composed of BSU, DSWD, DA, DTI, Benguet Provincial Government, the private sector – represented by the Philippine Center for Entrepreneurship (PCE) – ‘Go Negosyo’, RFM Corp., and Liwayway Marketing (OISHI).

Through the creation of the IAG, with the technical assistance of other commercial noodle makers like Monde Nissin (maker of “Lucky Me”), small-scale noodle processors in CAR, Regions I and II, and other government agencies, an immediate plan was developed to accelerate the project.

This involves tapping existing noodle adaptors/ processors of FNRI in Regions CAR, I, and II, who along with BSU and the RFM, will produce veggie-enriched pancit canton noodles using FNRI’s tested noodle technology, for distribution to Tindahan Natin (TN) outlets and commercial markets.

To be able to launch the vegetables product commercially, private companies were tapped in providing not only the needed financial resources and production capacities, but also the business mentorship and expertise in brand-building. Food and beverage company RFM Corporation is facilitating the manufacturing, marketing and distribution of Proud Harvest nationwide. RFM will be sourcing its noodles from BSU and small-scale processors under a toll processing arrangement, which will guarantee a fixed tolling fee income and relieve them from financing the trade and marketing requirements.

Aside from RFM, Liwayway Marketing Corp (OISHI) and Nissin Monde Corporation were also tapped to develop their respective vegetable-based snack and instant noodle products.

Varieties and Raw Materials

Other than the squash-enriched pancit canton noodles, the project, with the help of the IAG, will also develop instant pancit canton as well as other noodle varieties, and other veggie or root-crop-enriched products like flour.

In fact, BSU has already started developing noodle varieties enriched with vegetables spinach, bell pepper, malunggay, carrots, and saluyot.

The raw materials that will be used for the production of the vegetable noodles and other veggie products can be sourced from the ‘Salad Bowl of Cordillera’ and the ‘Pinakbet Bowl of Pangasinan’.

Targeted Benefits and Outcomes

With the implementation of the plans and activities of the “Benguet Vegetable Processing Center Project” from 2008-2010, it is expected to reduce the per kilogram post-production cost of the vegetable-enriched products.

Since the project’s product will be enriched with vegetables, the increase in the consumption of vegetables especially of the poor families through affordable prices per kilogram is also being eyed.
Aside from these benefits, the project will also help in the employment preservation of farmers and food handlers and manufacturers, and generate an jobs in three years. (PIA)

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