TUGUEGARAO CITY ---- Sales of various dairy products here rose by 20% as a result of better quality processing using the new dairy processing equipment of shared service facilities (SSF) provided by the Department of Trade and Industry.


These dairy products include local delicacies like pasteurized milk, flavored milk, pastillas and milk candies, according to Juan Agabin, manager of Integrated Farmers’ Cooperative (IFC), one of the several dairy cooperatives in Cagayan Valley region.


Agabin said they were not expecting too much when the cooperative ventured into dairy processing, but after joining the industry cluster under the National Industry Cluster Capacity Enhancement Project (NICCEP), things began to change for them. The NICCEP is a joint project of DTI and Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).


“We’ve always believed everything will happen through the concerted efforts of every member of this cooperative. The NICCEP made this happen because its programs and activities taught our members the value of cooperation, understanding and consultations,” Agabin said.


One of the dairy cooperative’s biggest dreams was to become a large supplier of dairy milk products. The IFC knew this was not easy because they lack the technology and dairy processing and packaging equipment to achieve that goal. After going thru the various NICCEP projects and activities as an industry cluster member, the IFC found out it was qualified to be a beneficiary of SSF, sharing the use of dairy processing and packaging equipment to produce various kinds of quality milk products under its own brand.


As a dairy producer, Agabin said the cooperative was first hampered by the lack of storage, processing and packaging equipment, until the SSF finally changed everything for them. “We’re so thankful for being a beneficiary of the SSF. We’re able to penetrate the large markets here in Lallo and Tuguegarao in Cagayan Valley and Cabagan in Isabela province, Our cooperative is now supplying large quantities of milk products to Alcala Sweets and Lighthouse Coop, both retailers here in Tuguegarao,” Agabin said.


The IFC got the following milking equipment to be shared by all its members: portable milking machine, vacuum sealer, foot stamping sealing machine, auto-cup sealing machine and stainless milk cans.


Another dairy cooperative, the Dairy Multi-purpose Cooperative (DMPCI), also received stainless milk cans, portable milking machine and four chest coolers. (Philpress News)