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DOST trains Camiguin cacao processors on Food Safety

Camiguin cacao processors

THE Department of Science and Technology (DOST) trained cacao processors in Camiguin on Food Safety and current Good Manufacturing Practices. The two-day training was conducted on January 24-25, 2024 at Maslog, Balbagon, Mambajao.

Eager to upskill employees directly involved in its daily processing, Mama Jita’s Food Processing enrolled 18 of its employees in the training, seven of whom are males and 11 are females.

Mama Jita’s Food Products are known for its cacao-based products such as tablea (chocolate tablet) and choco drinks, prioritizes yearly training to ensure top-notch food safety standards.

Troy Anthony A. Omol, Science Research Specialist I and member of the DOST-10 Food Safety Team served as a resource speaker on basic food hygiene, food safety hazards and current Good Manufacturing Practices (cGMP). Included in the topics shared were basic food hygiene, food safety hazards and cGMP.

Camiguin cacao processors

Omol emphasized the importance of adhering to these practices to produce quality food products. “As food handlers, you must strictly adhere to the food safety standards to ensure your consumer’s safety. Remember that your consumers are the lifeblood of the business,” he added.

Company owner Julieta Dela Cerna expressed her gratitude during the training where she highlighted the relevance of the training in the continuous improvement of her production operation. She guaranteed the DOST that what her employees have learned will be strictly applied in their business.

“I am grateful to DOST Camiguin for the opportunity they provided in lending their time to conduct Food Safety Training in my business. This highlighted the significance of improving the production process in my production area and in emphasizing the importance of food safety in the production of chocolate tablets,” she said. DOST Camiguin Director Joanne Katherine R. Banaag also shared a reminder to all the participants of the training. “Food Safety is everybody’s responsibility. All of us should be responsible for preventing food-borne illnesses across the supply chain. This will then assure the safety of the food supply, as a whole,” she said. The firm is also a beneficiary of the Small Enterprise Technology Upgrading Program (SETUP) of DOST.

Camiguin cacao processors

Aside from the technology upgrading, DOST has also provided experts to help improve the productivity and efficiency of the firm through the Manufacturing Productivity Extension Program (MPEX) of the Consultancy and Training Unit of the agency.

Mama Jita’s Food Products has also recently partnered with the DOST Technology Application and Promotion Institute (TAPI) for the Venture Financing Program, where they have secured funding for the required raw and packaging materials relative to the surge of purchase orders they had received. Through these science and technology interventions, the firm has recorded 22% increase in sales, 20% increase in productivity. Through innovation, they have also produced Ice Sikwate (Choco drink) as their new product variant.

Mama Jita’s has provided nine employees in her production area and nine employees on her farm totalling, eighteen (18) quality jobs since their upgrading in 2021.

The DOST Camiguin continues to support MSMEs on the island through the SETUP program. Interested MSMEs may reach the office by visiting them at Government Center, Lakas, Poblacion, Mambajao or through their Facebook page, DOST Camiguin.

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