Bangus branding to start in La Union, not DagupanBy Yolanda Sotelo
Inquirer Northern Luzon
DAGUPAN CITY—Expect industry-certified fresh bangus, complete with its own brand name and logo, to be out in the market by December.
But the milkfish on display may likely come from Sto. Tomas town in La Union instead of the Pangasinan towns that have shaped the bangus industry for decades.
The news was spread at the 19th Fishery Industry Stakeholders Forum held here on Friday.
Nestor Domenden, Ilocos director of the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR), says his office intends to develop the brand in this city, which had earned a reputation for producing tasty bangus.
“This [slow pace of adjustment to the process] is a threat. I just want to start where it is easier. I cannot wait for 2013 to start the bangus branding program,” he says.
Officials say the BFAR could not even wait for three more months to start the project “and it is easier to start in Sto. Tomas.”
According to Domenden, the price of certified and branded bangus can be increased by P5 a kilo.
Emma Molina, Dagupan agriculture officer, says the local government has prioritized its “Dagupan’s Best Products” project to deploy various products, like bangus, out in bigger markets.
The city will be marketing processed bangus, instead of freshly caught fish, she says. “We are still waiting for the draft memorandum of agreement for the branding project so we will know what to do,” she adds.
There are four fishpond operators whose 14 farms have been accredited by the BFAR.
The agency has designed a bangus tag dispenser, which costs P20,000 a unit. The instrument will be given as assistance to fishpond operators who want to brand their produce by binding the plastic tag around each fish tail.
Buenaventura Ayson, BFAR productivity and quality specialist, says the bangus branding program will help producers benefit from a niche market, while assuring consumers of safe products.
PHOTOs BY EV ESPIRITU/ INQUIRER NORTHERN LUZON
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