MANDAUE CITY, Cebu – From a humble backyard venture that started in 1968, Cebu-based Virginia Farms Inc. (VFI) is now regarded as the oldest and largest integrated farm-to-pork business in Central Visayas.
With its 360-hectare farm in the town of Asturias and a pork retail chain with 51 outlets, VFI has been helping address the meat requirements in Luzon since last year as pork growers there have been largely affected by the African Swine Fever (ASF) outbreak. The company was able to ship a total of 10,760 hogs last year and continues to ship frozen carcasses weekly to the region.
The growth of VFI, specifically in the last eight (8) years, has been supported by the Land Bank of the Philippines (LANDBANK) through its Cebu North Lending Center, which financed the expansion of the company’s business operations and the construction of modern facilities.
VFI President Rolando E. Tambago is optimistic that recent investments will allow the company to continue supplying Luzon with ASF-free pork.
“With the current situation of the pork industry, there’s a good opportunity for us here in the Visayas to expand and meet the gap of pork supply in other areas. I hope that LANDBANK will continue to support us in our plans to expand and grow our business further, as we envision to be a major supplier of quality pork in the Philippines,” said Mr. Tambago.
In 2013, VFI first availed of a term loan from LANDBANK to finance the construction of piggery buildings in its site in Asturias. The loan was also used to purchase refrigeration equipment for its pork retail chain, The Pork Shop.
As the company decided to expand its piggery operations, it availed of another term loan from the Bank in 2014 to develop additional piggery houses and acquire boars and gilts to improve its genetic stock.
With its growing operations expanding rapidly and retail branches opening one after another, VFI once again turned to LANDBANK in 2015 and in 2018 to finance the development of meat cutting and slaughterhouse facilities.
Established in 2016, the meat cutting facility can process up to 1,000 hogs daily. Meanwhile, the modern slaughterhouse, which was inaugurated in 2019, can accommodate up to 1,000 heads per day at a processing rate of 100 heads per hour.
VFI also availed of a short term loan from LANDBANK in 2020 as a working capital for the expansion of The Pork Shop. Since its inception in 2008, this retail business has grown significantly, with outlets now spread across Cebu, Iloilo, and Biliran.
“LANDBANK remains steadfast in supporting the agriculture sector, including the recovery of our local swine industry. We will continue to extend credit assistance to hog raisers as we contribute to ensuring food security in the country,” said LANDBANK President and CEO Cecilia C. Borromeo.
As of end-2020, LANDBANK has extended a total of P237.62 billion in outstanding loans to the agriculture sector, with P142.75 billion representing loans to small, medium, and large agribusiness enterprises.
In terms of economic activity, P37.48 billion out of the Bank’s total agriculture loan portfolio financed livestock projects, which includes P16.86 billion for the piggery industry.