Tough year for Cargill

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    Cargill Philippines yesterday said 2020 will be a tough year for the company on reduced meat consumption due to the overall uncertainties in the market and the African swine fever.

    But Sonny Catacutan, Cargill president, in a briefing said the company remains committed to its P12.5 billion five-year investment program announced in 2018 but noted the strategic plan will be reviewed given the pandemic.

    Catacutan said some of the projects in that expansion program have to be pushed back, such as the plan to put up its own animal health care production facilities in the Visayas.

    Catacutan said while the hotel and restaurant and quick service or fastfood industry are reopening, sales were down as much as 40 percent during the height of the lockdowns in March and April.

    Catacutan said the company had to adjust and engage in retail to sell chicken in communities and in supermarkets.

    “Our business is consumption-driven. When consumption goes down, animal health care (products) and grains trading go down. So 2020 will not be as good as 2019, which was a good year for us even with ASF,” he added.

    Catacutan said the ASF has disrupted its customers especially in Luzon.

    “Our revenues, our sales volume were affected,” Catacutan said.