Vitarich remains determined to expand poultry operations despite bird flu concerns

Vitarich Corp, a manufacturer of animal feed and food products, is planning to expand its poultry business in Luzon despite the ongoing bird flu threat in the country.

Ricardo Manuel Sarmiento, the president and CEO of Vitarich, recently announced that they are considering opening more physical stores in Central Luzon. He aims to have the company’s products available in every major grocery store by the end of the year.

While online expansion may be challenging in provinces like Pampanga and Bulacan, Sarmiento believes that it would be better suited for the National Capital Region.

Currently, Vitarich’s frozen chicken products are mostly found in the Visayas and Mindanao, as well as in Central Luzon, Bicol, and Isabela province in Luzon.

However, the company needs to take into account the potential impact of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) on its poultry business.

According to the Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI), HPAI is still present in Cordillera and Central Luzon, which are Vitarich’s main targets for expansion.

Despite this, Sarmiento remains optimistic and assures that their partner breeders and broiler farms have not been affected by bird flu.

“We will continue to implement strict biosecurity measures and, with some luck, I believe we will be fine,” he said.

Currently, Vitarich is in the planning phase for its target output this year. Sarmiento stated that they need to increase their chicken production to support their expansion plans and value-added products.

At present, Vitarich harvests approximately 4 million kilograms of chicken per month nationwide.

Last week, the company also announced its plans to enter the hog production business, despite the continued threat of African swine fever. Sarmiento anticipates the recovery of the industry next year and intends to venture into piglet production.

He added that hogs should be available before July 2024. INQ

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