MANILA – FIA and the Philippine Chamber of Food Manufacturers (Food Chamber) have signed a Statement of Mutual Recognition, formalising their commitment to work together on key issues.

The Statement recognises what was already a close working relationship between the two Associations and, together, FIA and the Food Chamber will continue to cooperate on key priorities, such as championing economic development in the Philippines, supporting initiatives to advance nutrition literacy, and encouraging the adoption of best practices in responsible marketing to children.

“The Food Chamber is a trusted voice on food and beverage issues in the Philippines and we’re delighted to formalise our association with this well-respected partner,” said FIA Executive Director Bev Postma. “We have a mutual interest and a compatible approach on a number of key issues and by working together we can expand our knowledge and capability in the region.”

Food Chamber President, Edith De Leon said she hopes to see the relationship flourish as the two organisations address shared priorities.

“We are eager to work with industry partners across the region, particularly in ASEAN, and we see strong value in FIA’s support in terms of global expertise and knowledge. The Food Chamber is proud of its long track record of promoting a strong business climate for our members as the principal advocate of the food and beverage industry in the Philippines. We know that our local experience will provide FIA, and food industry partners around the region, with key opportunities to broaden their reach.”

The Philippines has already proven itself a ready implementer of best international practices in areas such as marketing to children, Postma explained. Six FIA members – Coca-Cola, Kraft Foods, Mars, Nestlé, PepsiCo and Unilever – are all signatories of the “Philippine Pledge,” a commitment to restrict advertising to children under 12 years to products that fulfil specific nutrition criteria based on accepted scientific evidence and/or applicable national and international dietary guidelines. The Pledge, signed in January 2011, also prohibits commercial communications in primary schools unless specifically requested by, or approved by, school administrators for educational or informational purposes.

“The Philippines Pledge has proven an effective example of localising best international practices,” Postma said. “The food and beverage industry in the Philippines is providing a useful template for other Asian markets as it continues engaging positively with government, consumers and communities to achieve win-win outcomes.”