Local bakeshop in Aklan improves business with food safety, packaging and labeling

Kalibo, Aklan — Matteo’s Bakeshop in Kalibo, Aklan makes sure that they serve safe and quality foods.  Their freshly baked bread and pastries are available at their bakeshop and are also served at the café.  Technology training to include Basics of Food Safety, Packaging 101, and the Mandatory Labeling Requirements in the Philippines is extended by the Department of Science and Technology Region VI (DOST VI) through its Aklan Provincial S&T Center (PSTC) to support the technical needs of the growing business.  The training on Food Safety covered hazards in food, factors affecting food safety, and tips on how to keep food safe.

Food safety is everyone’s business, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).  Safe food allows for a suitable intake of nutrients and contributes to a healthy life.  Safe food production improves sustainability by enabling market access and productivity, which drives economic development and poverty alleviation, especially in rural areas.

During the community lockdown in March 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the owner, Ms. Dennille Ivy D. Libutan, donated food packs to frontliners in the province of Aklan.  Its efforts gained continued referrals from customers and have established its name and market in Aklan.

Matteo’s Bakeshop wants to improve its existing processes and improve its facilities, and expand its market reach.  Equally important for the firm is the packaging and labeling of its bakery products.  The technical assistance is vital as the firm is willing to avail of the DOST’s Small Enterprise Technology Upgrading Program Innovation Fund (SETUP iFund) through the acquisition of S&T-related technologies, technical consultancy services, among others.

“DOST VI makes sure that the firms are prepared prior to engagement with the SETUP iFund.  They need to be aware of the technologies offered by DOST and we need to train them before they avail of other technical assistance,” said Aklan Provincial S&T Director, Ms. Dyna Rose G. Tibubos.

Meanwhile, DOST created and will implement the DOST Food Safety Roadmap 2022-2028 to address the food safety problems it has identified.  Other concerns include food-borne and water-borne illnesses​, food product detentions​, inadequate technical support for MSMEs​, knowledge gap on food safety in the Philippines​, and lack of science-based evidence for food safety policies and guidelines​.  DOST invests 2.5B pesos for the food safety program for 2022-2028.  This was unveiled in the virtual presser conducted by DOST-National Academy in Science and Technology (NAST) last November 2021. (SSalazar/DOST VI-KMU)