URC Expands Sugar Milling Capacity in Batangas, Helps Displaced Farmers

Acquisition of machinery and equipment pushes Balayan mill output to 8,000 tons per day

Universal Robina Corporation has announced that it is acquiring the idle sugar milling machinery and equipment of Central Azucarera Don Pedro Inc. These assets will be used to expand the capacity and improve the sugar recovery process at URC’s sugar mill in Balayan, Batangas, the company said in a statement.

URC, one of the Philippines’ largest food manufacturers, is seeking to accommodate more sugarcane farmers at its facilities in Balayan. Through the asset acquisition, URC is helping secure the displaced farmers’ livelihoods after Central Azucarera Don Pedro announced earlier this year that it would shut down its milling operations in Nasugbu, Batangas.

Raising the Balayan mill’s production capacity would also ensure an ample sugar supply for consumers, URC said. With the addition of machinery and equipment from CADPI, a subsidiary of listed firm Roxas Holdings Inc., the Balayan mill increases its potential output from about 5,000 tons to 8,000 tons a day.

“The farmers are currently suffering from low sugar recovery on their sugarcane deliveries due to long waiting times in the truck yard,” URC said. The prevailing circumstances have a negative effect on their incomes, driving the sugarcane farmers to either cease farming or shift to other low-value crops. “The situation, if not immediately addressed, poses a grave threat to the livelihood of the farmers, as well as the entire sugarcane industry in Batangas, and will aggravate the current sugar shortage in the country,” added the company.

Apart from acquiring CADPI’s machinery and equipment, URC’s Balayan mill is also extending its milling season – which normally ends in April – until June.

URC said its decision to acquire CADPI’s machinery and equipment has cut the time needed to expand the Balayan mill from four to two years.

Meanwhile, as part of its continued support and intensified aid to the sugarcane farmers and communities in Batangas, URC SURE has put up a six-hectare nursery to grow and cultivate seedlings of high-yielding sugarcane varieties for distribution to small farmers to help secure bigger and better harvests.

For more information on URC, visit urc.com.ph