MANILA — The Gokongwei-led Universal Robina Corporation (URC) has inaugurated a new mill in Davao to meet the country’s growing demand for high-grade flour.
“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,” URC Flour and Pasta Division Business Unit General Manager Ellison Lee said in a statement on Thursday.
The Philippines expects wheat imports to grow to 6.3 million metric tons this year from 5.98 million metric tons 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,” Lee said.
The new plant raises production in Davao from 300 metric tons per day to 900 metric tons, widening its coverage and support volume growth in the area. That brings URC’s total milling capacity to 2,150 metric tons, with the output from Manila.
“This plant expansion is also part of our ambition to become globally competitive and cater to the needs of a growing sophisticated market,” Lee added.
He also stated that the higher flour output would allow 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.
It 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 further enhance the quality of the wheat and flour processed at the facility.
The expanded capacity of the plant features milling and blending facilities and an advanced, quality-control laboratory that works on improving flour for a better yield, as well as customizing products to meet the customers’ specific needs.
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.
The URC Flour and Pasta Division is one of the country’s top flour millers. Its mill in Davao is currently the only flour mill in Southern Mindanao.
It started commercial operations in 1970 with its first plant in Pasig. It opened a second plant in Davao 23 years later, followed by another one in Pasig in 2003.
URC supplies the country with flour regarded as the best in Southeast Asia.
It has also been active in supporting the communities that surround its mills. It adopted six schools in Davao through its Flourish Pilipinas campaign, providing multi-media toolkits for senior high-school teachers and students for their bread and pastry production. (PR)