Veggie smugglers conniving with cold storage operators -- Villar | Inquirer News
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Veggie smugglers conniving with cold storage operators — Villar

By: - Reporter / @MAgerINQ
/ 10:07 AM June 27, 2016
cynthia villar

Senator Cynthia Villar. SCREENGRAB from INQUIRER.net FILE VIDEO

Senator Cynthia  Villar said on  Monday that smugglers were using “cold stores” in their illicit trade.
While going around the country to inquire on agricultural smuggling, Villar said they found out  that  smugglers were paying cold storage operators in the provinces to reject local crops which are left to rot.
“Once local produce were rotten, the imported ones, including those smuggled, would be saleable,” she said in  a statement .
Villar, chair of the Senate  committee on agriculture,  said they had received reports about this “nefarious” practice that was adversely affecting local farmers and the agriculture sector.  She said they found cold stores to be empty although these were declared as full.
The senator then called on the Cold Chain Association of the Philippines (CCAP) “to police their own ranks.”
“I pointed this out because I do not want CCAP and its members to be dragged in the smuggling issue,” she said.
“I know that like any legitimate and upstanding organization, you can police your ranks. You also represent their individual and collective interests in policy making, standards-setting and industry development,” Villar added.
She acknowledged that the concerted efforts of the two industries, agriculture and cold chain companies, result in more business and economic gains.
Speaking during the 14th annual general membership meeting and training conference of CCAP, the senator lauded the importance of the service provided by cold chain companies to the agriculture sector.
“I cannot overemphasize that your role in the supply, storage and distribution of both chilled and/or frozen food products is very crucial,” she said.
Villar said CCAP also aimed to achieve effective handling, storage and distribution of products with the consumer in mind.
“Let us continue to dialogue and form linkages since we have a common goal of ensuring food security in the country. To achieve that goal, all of us should be stakeholders. On the matter of food security, we should be helping each other. With our concerted efforts and coordinated actions, nothing is impossible,” she said.
Villar said agricultural stakeholders were also upbeat that the industry would receive much-needed boost under the Duterte administration with the appointment of  Emmanuel “Manny” Piñol as head of  the Department of Agriculture./rga

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TAGS: Agriculture, CCAP, cold storage, Cynthia Villar, Department of Agriculture, News, Smuggling
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