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Ayala Group eyes more cold storage facilities

MANILA, Philippines — The Ayala Group plans to establish more cold storage facilities in the country as part of efforts to support the agriculture sector, especially to address the issue of food spoilage.

During the Management Association of the Philippines (MAP) induction ceremony, Ayala Corp. chairman Jaime Augusto Zobel said the company is looking at the logistics side of the agriculture sector.

“We’ve decided to put a little focus on the logistics side of the business,” Zobel said.

He said the company is building cold storage facilities and is looking at a network of linkages that would help in storing commodities, as well as moving them through the country efficiently.

On the sidelines of the ceremony, AC Logistics Holding Corp. president and CEO Jose Rene Almendras said they are looking at putting up more cold storage facilities.

He said they are eyeing both greenfield and brownfield projects for the initiative.

“We are trying to put our own initiatives to help avoid food spoilage. We have been studying and we actually executed a cold storage initiative,” Almendras said.

“We are also in the cold transport like the cold chain improvement structures because that’s where we think we can make a difference,” he added.

He said the AC Logistics cold storage facility in Cagayan de Oro is now at 100 percent utilization rate. “When we started the Cagayan de Oro project, vegetables were rotting in the streets because the farmers were unable to sell, they just threw them away,” Almendras said.

“We are very happy with the fact that the cold storage facility we opened in Cagayan de Oro reached 100 percent utilization in less than six months. Today, it is fully utilized,” he said.

AC Logistics has partnered with  Glacier Megafridge Inc. to open the refrigerated warehouse in Cagayan de Oro, which can store up to 5,348 industrial pallets.

During his speech at the MAP induction ceremony, Zobel identified agriculture as one of the company’s investment priorities.

“We note that this sector remains extremely challenged due to persistent structural issues. We are hopeful that the private sector can perhaps more meaningfully participate in this space. A strong agriculture sector can generate excellent economic returns and equity for our farmers and guarantee proper nutrition and food security,” Zobel said.

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The article was originally published in PhilStar Global and written by Catherine Talavera.

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