Philippine Tuna Processors to Increase Exports to EU

Next week General Santos City in the Philippines will be the venue of a conference on European Union food and seafood standards and regulations training, courtesy of the Philippines' Department of Agriculture, the European Consortium and European Commission. The training, from April 22 to 24, will be attended by 60 overseas representatives and 150 industry experts from the Philippines.

Part of the agenda is EU standards and regulations. The event also will feature case studies to help the Philippine seafood industry understand the EU market.

General Santos Mayor Pedro B. Acharon Jr. has directed local government bodies like Bfar-12 (Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resource, Central Mindanao) to make sure the event will benefit the region's fishing industry.

Confirming Mayor Acharon's statement, Sani D. Macabalang, the regional Bfar director, noted that the conference would open the EU market to local fishing products. Macabalang added that the EU granted certifications to several General Santos tuna processors last year.

The city is committed to increasing exports to three major markets - the EU, Japan and the United States. General Santos has invested U.S.$33 million on a 32-hectare extension of the General Santos Fish Port Complex at Barangay Tambler. The project included stretching the dock to 1,500 meters and building a wastewater treatment plant and power station.

Total Philippine tuna exports last year were 400,000 metric tons valued at U.S.$432 million. About 85 percent of exports is exported to Japan, the United States and the EU, the latter accounting for 40 of tuna exports from the Philippines.


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