THE Cold Chain Association of the Philippines is expecting to grow by eight to 10 percent annually over the next five years.
Anthony Dizon, president of the Cold Chain Association of the Philippines, said the group’s latest survey shows that the current capacity of the cold chain industry in the Philippines today is estimated at 550,000 pallet positions, or equivalent to a holding capacity of about 500,000 tons of various food products.
While cold chain requirements are already enough in highly urbanized areas, Dizon said there’s a need for additional capacity in areas not covered or serviced by cold chain (warehouse) operators.
“There are studies that have been conducted that pinpointed specific areas in the country where cold chain development would be beneficial to economic progress in those locations and, therefore, we are closely looking at these localities to determine whether the environment there is encouraging enough for new investments in cold chain facilities,” he said.
The cold chain’s industry growth over the years will be largely driven by the growth in population, shifting consumers preference to frozen products and reopening of the export markets.
“Despite the difficulties encountered in these challenging times, the cold chain looks upon the current situation as positive indicators for industry development as the reality of the benefits of cold chain intervention sink in,” said Dizon.
“As we look forward to a post-Covid-19 scenario, we are optimistic that the traditional factors of population increase, economic recovery etc. will go hand in hand with the new normal and jointly contribute to the continuing growth of the cold chain industry,” he added.
At the height of the pandemic, when movement was heavily restricted, the cold chain has become an indispensable component in the overall strategy for food sufficiency and food waste reduction, according to Dizon.
“It is now widely understood that keeping food products in controlled temperature conditions sustains food freshness, protects food quality and serves to stabilize food availability against seasonality, climate change or supply aberrations,” he said. (KOC)