The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) is hosting a webinar on September 8 to assist food entrepreneurs in food product and process standardization following the rise in food sector population seen during the pandemic.

Jonathan David Laxamana of DTI MIMAROPA estimated that around 60 to 70 percent of micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in the region shifted to the food sector from the non-food businesses.

The webinar, he said, will help entrepreneurs particularly those emerging businesses to assure consistent and quality products.

“Nakita namin na maraming entrepreneurs ang nag-shift sa food. Like for example, ang mga nagbibenta ng mga non-food product under handicraft, parang nag-shift sila sa food. We wanted na maging aware sila sa safe na paghahandle ng food. Since pandemic, malaki rin (role) ng sanitation and food safety, handling, ‘yon ang kailangan tutukan din,” he said.

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According to the DTI, the change was driven by the pandemic and travel limitations, which provided little profit to non-food businesses. Food is readily eaten and does not require a bigger market.

“In a way, advantageous din sa kanila na food naman ang ibenta kasi ‘yong (kakulangan) ng turista so kailangan mag-adjust sa ino-offer nila na product,” he said.

Entrepreneurs that are going into the food industry are a mix of those with physical shops and those in the internet market.

The DTI expects 100 people to attend the webinar, which will also be part of the inaugural training on food safety and sanitation. It is also open to new participants, including those from foreign countries.

Interested participants may register through this link – https://tinyurl.com/4BFoodProcess

“Ito ay para ma-maintain ang quality ng product kasi for example, may products kasi na ngayon masarap siya kapag binili mo, sa susunod na araw ay parang hindi na crunchy, hindi consistent doon sa pag-process ng food. Itong webinar ay magfo-focus siya kung paano i-ensure na consistent ang processing at quality din ng product, it will be the same kung ngayon mo siya iko-consume o sa susunod, same pa rin,” he said.

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is one of the senior reporters of Palawan News. She covers agriculture, business, and different feature stories. Her interests are collecting empty bottles, aesthetic earrings, and anything that is color yellow.