Pepsi Cola Products Philippines Inc. has purchased 2.3 million bags of locally-produced sugar in Negros this year.
Records of the companypresented at a press conference at the Sugarland Hotel, in Bacolod City yesterday showed that Pepsi acquired 2.3M 50-kilogram bags of sugar from August 2016 to July this year, equivalent to P3.2 billion, based on the composite price for this crop year.
Vice President for Legal and Government Affairs Jun Manuel, said Pepsi is 100 percent compliant with the requirements of the Sugar Regulatory Administration, andits Bacolod Plant is using 100 percent Negros sugar.
The recordsalso show that of the Sugar Sweetened Beverage products in the country, Pepsi has a 24.2 percent share and they produced 1.56 billion liters with 275 million cases in 2016.
Manuel said this is three times more sugar than their closest competitor, despite the huge gap in volume and market shares.
The data on local sugar purchased also shows that in 2016 they acquired 2,390,664 bags, which is 350,418 lower than that of 2015 which was 2,741,182 bags.
He attributed the decrease in purchase to their reformulation of the content of the beverages to reduce the calorie content. However, they remain the top local sugar consumer in the country, he added.
Lyndon Cuadra, Pepsi's vice president and senior general manager forVisayas, said their Bacolod Plant is producingonly 9 to 10 percent of total Pepsi output out of the 13 other plants in the country. Other plants are using 70 percent local sugar and 30 percent high fructose corn syrup.
“Other plants are already capable of using HFCS if the stocks are available, except the Bacolod plant,” Cuadra said, adding, “It is our commitment not to allow the use of HFCS in Bacolod andto use locally-made sugar.”
The Sugar Alliance of the Philippines,in its meeting with Pepsi officials this week,also welcomed their commitment to buy local sugar and verified that their record is aligned with the requirements of SRA,JicaDalupan,PepsiVice President for Corporate Affairs and Communication,said.
The 70:30 ratio also varies annually depending on what is popular in their portfolio of products, Manuel said.
He also said that in 2018, Pepsi will acquire 2 million bags that will be withdrawn in monthly tranches, and it might increase depending on the demand, and that this is their commitment to help the sugar industry by getting all sugar from Negros.
Cuadra also lauded the Pepsi Bacolod Plant as it is one of the best performing plants in the country and has grown streadily in terms of using local sugar.
Manuel assured Negrense sugar farmers that their commitment to buying their products will be maintained, and that they will never leave the industry. *MLG
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