If you can’t find it, make it. This is what prompted a group of poultry raisers twelve years ago to ventureinto what is now QualimealFeedmills, Inc.,which was specifically set up to produce and guarantee their supply of quality feeds at less cost.
“Qualimeal was mainly established to supply stockholders and directors with whom some small entrepreneurs and growers, mainly swine, get their supply of feeds. Stockholders thus pay for their feeds and they then assume the responsibility to pay the feedmill. It does safeguard the feedmill to prevent possible occurrence of overdue accounts. Today, it serves other clients but through the directors,” said by Teotimo L. Reyes, Jr., president of QualimealFeedmills.
In the past, feeds were sourced from various feedmills but the quality and price were not good, negatively affecting profits. “Quality” here entails attaining the desired weight of fattening swine in a certain marketable age; while for layers, it means attaining standard or even better in egg production even without nutritional supplements.
Back in 2004, with less than P3 million in capital, two office staff and six production workers, QualimealFeedmills, Inc. set out to produce quality feeds at lower cost. In seven years, the company acquired its own poultry farm with 20,000 heads of day-old-chicks. Of these, 7,000 were used for egg laying production, while the 13,000 were sold in the market.
But in 2013, Reyes learned from friends about the Department of Science and Technology’s (DOST) Small Enterprise technology Upgrading Program (SETUP) which supports local enterprises to enhance their production and operations capability by providing a package of assistance.
Qualimeal availed itself of the program and now vouches for SETUP’s big help to the business.
“Before SETUP, we produced 12,000 to 14,000 50-kilogram bags of poultry and swine feeds. Our mixer and hammer mills were capable only of producing half ton. But the assistance from DOST has greatly improved our entire production,” says Reyes Jr.
Reyes credits the boost to DOST’s SETUP assistance which consists of the following: 5-ton capacity hammer mill; 1-ton capacity feed mixer; feed hopper (4 units); feeder unloader (2 units); plus the Manufacturing Productivity Extension Program; and Energy Audit and Cleaner Production Technology.
The company’s production has increased to 17,000 and even up to 20,000 bags per month and the overall operation’s cost was cut down while efficiency increased. Sales improved by 25- 30 percent.
One of the challenges in the company’s line of business, according to is erratic supply and cost of ingredients like corn, soya and rice bran. But these werecountered with constant monitoring of sources, inventories, and analysis of common practices of suppliers of raw materials.
Today, all stockholders and directors are product users, 75 percent for layers and 25 percent for swine. The office staff increased to five, plus 14 production workers, and 10 contractual personnel handling the loading and unloading of raw materials.