The CALABARZON region witnessed a significant advancement in its Halal industry, thanks to Farm Konekt's active collaboration with the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI). This collaboration was highlighted during a two-day Halal Training and Stakeholders Consultation event held on December 12-13, 2023. Farm Konekt's CEO, John Vincent Q. Gastanes, played a key role as a resource speaker, sharing insights into the company's mission and its efforts in promoting the Halal industry.
Farm Konekt's primary focus was to assist Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SMSEs) in expanding their reach to international markets, particularly Brunei. This initiative aimed to export local Halal products, thereby opening new opportunities for these businesses. The participants' response was overwhelmingly positive, showing eagerness to collaborate with Farm Konekt and other national and local agencies to boost the Halal industry.
One of the significant contributions of Farm Konekt was its role in shaping the 5-year roadmap for the development of the Halal industry in the CALABARZON region. The company's Sustainability Officer, Wilbur Z. Mañibo, facilitated a workshop that gathered inputs from MSMEs and collaborating agencies. This collective effort led to the creation of a comprehensive strategic plan, focusing on global competitiveness, digitization, and inclusivity. The establishment of the Regional Halal Coordinating Council (RHCC) is a testament to this inclusive approach, aiming at capacity building, job creation, fostering Islamic finance and investment, ensuring food security, boosting tourism, and creating export opportunities.
John Vincent Gastanes, CEO of Farm Konekt, emphasized the company's commitment to helping small businesses promote their Halal products and expand their market. "Our knowledge in Halal and its processes is crucial, and we are collaborating with our government and the government of Brunei to advance this endeavor," he said.
The two-day event also included various workshops and informative sessions, empowering participants with knowledge and tools to actively support the Halal industry. The initiative was further strengthened by the interest shown by other companies in supporting the Halal warehousing and shipping sector.
The event marked a significant step towards elevating the Philippine Halal industry on the global economic stage. The roadmap crafted during the event focuses on various crucial aspects, including institutional strengthening, investment in research and innovation, focused capacity building initiatives, regulatory compliance, and promotion of Islamic finance investment.
Resource speakers from different sectors, including DTI’s Export Marketing Bureau, the Department of Tourism, the Islamic Da’wah Council of the Philippines, Small Business Corporation, DOST-CALABARZON, the Bureau of Agricultural and Fisheries Standards of the Department of Agriculture, and Farm Konekt, delved into themes of Philippine Halal export development, financing, certification, and promotion opportunities.
This event not only served as a significant platform for uplifting the Halal industry within the CALABARZON region.
Photo Credits: City Government of Tanauan