Universal Robina Corp., the food manufacturing arm of the Gokongwei group, inaugurated a new mill in Davao to meet the country’s growing demand for high-grade flour.
URC said in a statement the new plant would increase production in Davao to 900 metric tons (MT) from 300 per day, widening its coverage and support volume growth in the area.
This will also bring URC’s total milling capacity to 2,150 MT, including the output from Manila.
“We are bullish because we are buoyed by the prospects of the continued forecast of growth for wheat demand in the Philippines in the coming years,” said URC flour and pasta division business unit general manager Ellison Lee.
The Philippines expects wheat imports to increase to 6.3 million MT this year from 5.98 million MT last year.
“We remain steadfast in our commitment of using only imported high-quality wheat to mill in our plants, following stringent standards and control, to ensure the achievement of desired quality and consistency for our customers’ needs,” said Lee.
Lee said the expansion was also a part of the company’s ambition to become globally competitive and cater to the needs of a growing sophisticated market.
The expansion will also enable URC to tap into markets abroad.
Designed and supplied by Swiss tech firm Buhler, the new plant is among the most modern to come online.
The plant is fully automated, from wheat intake to bagged flour palletizing. It uses state-of-the-art equipment and machines, including longer roller mills, plant sifter and purifier that enhance the quality of the wheat and flour processed at the facility.
The plant also has a color sorter responsible for wheat cleaning that is made possible by a custom-built high-resolution camera to detect different color variations, spot defects and foreign materials.
URC’s mill in Davao is the only flour mill in Southern Mindanao.