Israel’s technology to boost domestic dairy sector

The LR Group-MPIC joint venture aims to build a world-class, modernized Metro Pacific Dairy Farms by employing modern, sustainable farming techniques in their facilities. (Photo by Dinah Ventura for Daily Tribune)

The digital age has come to the local dairy industry, with Israeli firm LR Group aiming to increase the country’s fresh milk production three-fold in partnership with Metro Pacific Investments Corporation.

MPIC’s Jovy Hernandez announced the collaboration with LR Group in a ceremony at Metro Pacific Agro Ventures, Inc.’s dairy farm in Los Banos, Laguna. MPAV is a wholly-owned subsidiary of MPIC.

“Our investment in agriculture is synonymous with food security and substantial independence but will ultimately become a means of alleviating hunger in our country — a pressing issue that we have taken as a challenge to address,” said Pangilinan. “Our goal will always be to feed our people first.”

Early this year, MPIC began its foray into the dairy industry by partnering with Carmen’s Best Group to further develop and expand the operations of its dairy farm and dairy products manufacturing facilities by agreeing to acquire a 51 percent interest in The Laguna Creamery, Inc.

MPIC seeks to ramp up investments in the agricultural sector and reduce the country’s dependence on food imports amid ongoing global supply chain disruptions and high inflation. This transaction presents a significant growth opportunity for MPIC and the Philippines, as the country currently imports 99 percent of its annual dairy requirements.

The LR Group-MPIC joint venture aims to build a world-class, modernized Metro Pacific Dairy Farms by employing modern, sustainable farming techniques in their facilities. MPDF plans to increase the country’s fresh milk yield per cow from eight to 10 liters to 30 liters daily. This will be made possible by keeping MPDF’s 1,000 cows, 600 of which will be milking cows, and the farmers who care for them happy and well taken care of through modern farming practices.

Growing the herd

Founded in 1985, the LR Group operates worldwide in financing, managing, developing, producing, and maintaining medium and large-scale national projects in high-growth economies worldwide.

The Company and its affiliates have completed hundreds of sustainable projects in Africa, Europe, Oceania, and South America in the fields of agriculture and agro-industry, housing and construction, renewable energy, water treatment, communication, health, education, and training.

Through the support of Israeli Ambassador Ilan Fluss, the LR Group became instrumental in the deal between MPIC and Carmen’s Best, serving as the technical advisors during the transaction.

The partnership will construct a farm facility in Bay, Laguna, where it plans to produce at least six million liters of milk annually. The facility’s construction will start in 2023 and take approximately two years to finish, and operations are estimated to commence by late 2025 to early 2026.

“We share the same values with MPIC and MPAV in terms of maximizing what their country has to offer primarily in land, natural resources, and skills, and in turn, helping their local communities thrive,” said LR Group co-founder and CEO Ami Lustig.

This venture in agribusiness affirms MPIC’s resolve to be the most significant catalyst for a sustainable Philippines, to contribute to national progress and help improve the lives of Filipinos. It is also aligned with the Company’s efforts to contribute to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs), particularly Goal 2: End hunger, achieve food security, improve nutrition, and promote sustainable agriculture.

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