Politics

Community bakeries urged to use coconut flour amid rising costs  

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DTI.GOV.PH

A BAKING industry group called on community bakeries to use coconut flour in the production of the common Filipino bread roll pandesal to mitigate the high prices of raw materials.    

Lucito Chavez, Asosasyon ng Panaderong Pilipino president, said a major bread company has already adopted the use of the locally-made ingredient for making coco pandesal, and small neighborhood bakeshops should follow suit to keep their businesses afloat.   

“One of the things we are pushing that big bakeries have already started is the use of coconut flour for coco pandesal,” Mr. Chavez said in Filipino in a Teleradyo radio interview on Wednesday. 

“And it has been successful so far. We hope that community bakeries will mix coconut flour. 10% of coconut flour for coco pandesal.”  

According to Mr. Chavez, consumers are slowly embracing the coco pandesal, which is priced at P23.50 for 10 pieces.     

The Department of Science and Technology, Department of Agriculture, Department of Trade and Industry, the Philippine Baking Industry Group, and the Virgin Coconut Organization of the Philippines launched the coco pandesal in June as an alternative amid the rising costs of flour and wheat.   

Coconut processors have been producing and exporting coconut flour, which is especially popular for those on a gluten-free diet.    

Previously, the Philippine Association of Flour Millers, Inc. said that flour prices are increasing, currently at over $500 per metric ton, due to the spike in   wheat cost caused by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.   

The Agricultural Sector Alliance of the Philippines, Inc. also said recently that egg prices might reach P10 to P15 per piece due to high production costs.    

Meanwhile, Mr. Chavez said that pandesal prices could not be increased at this point as consumers already burdened by inflation may be discouraged. 

He said community bakeries have adjusted the size of pandesal instead to keep up with the high prices of inputs.   

“The pandesal is already small. We cannot increase the prices because the community will not be able to handle it. The pandesal will not be bought. Most of the community bakeries made the pandesal smaller. The rates of the pandesal range from P2.50 to P4 in community bakeries,” Mr. Chavez said. — Revin Mikhael D. Ochave