Pampanga meat processing firm bags award

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CITY OF SAN FERNANDO, Philippines—Madrid-based Business Initiative Directions (BID) gave the Century International Quality Era (CQE) Gold Award to meat processing company Mekeni Food Corp. during its 14th convention on March 11 in Geneva, Switzerland.

Prudencio Garcia, Mekeni president, shared the news last week in a letter to Levy Laus, chairman of the Pampanga Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PamCham).

“We would like to share with you and our PamCham members the good news that once again Mekeni Food Corp. had scored another first in the Philippines’ food industry by being awarded the Century International Quality Era-Gold Award,” Garcia said.

The award, he said, put Mekeni in the league of top global corporations that have been recognized for quality.

In a statement, Laus lauded Mekeni, saying it now serves as a model to Kapampangan and Filipino businessmen in terms of product quality and corporate excellence.

BID, a private organization, selects the winners through the principles of a quality model being implemented by companies in more than 100 countries.

Criteria include customer satisfaction, communication strategies, benchmarking, information and data analysis, leadership, planning and decision making, human resources, processes and production, financial outcome and business results.

The awards are divided into the gold, platinum and diamond categories. Votes from winners came from the BID council, previous winners and online polling.

Garcia said the award was another testimony to Mekeni’s continuing adherence to the highest standards of food quality and safety.

Felix Garcia and his wife, Medicia Santos, both public school teachers, began Mekeni in 1986 as a home-based enterprise making chicharon (cracklings) and tocino (sweetened meat).

They processed the meat from the poultry and piggery in Barangay (village) Balubad in Porac town that they helped manage.

The company was devastated by the eruption of Mt. Pinatubo in 1991, prompting Felix to ask his sons to return from well-paying jobs abroad to rebuild the company and help their town rise again.

When Mekeni got back again on its feet 10 years after the disaster, it put up a modern plant using a loan from the Development Bank of the Philippines.

Since then, it has aimed to be world-class, earning quality and food safety accreditation as well as the loyalty of its customers.

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