Filipino Guardian | RDF Swine farms cited for excellent performance by DA | It came as no surprise that RDF Feed, Livestock & Foods, Inc. (RDF) was cited for the category of Excellent Performance – Swine Farm by the Department of Agriculture (DA) in the recently concluded Livestock and Aquaculture Philippines 2023, which was held at the World Trade Center, Metro Manila from July 3 to 7, 2023.
For Dr. Ronald Dizon, Swine Operations Manager of RDF, the award is special and meaningful particularly after going through a lot of challenges brought about by the covid- 19 pandemic and the African Swine Fever (ASF) in 2020. ASF is a viral disease that has caused culling and mortality of millions of pigs worldwide. In his presentation to Eco- Animal Health in Sweden last month, Dr. Dizon identified possible reasons of the ASF outbreak in Southeast Asia and these are: transport of infected live animals and pork products, people movement carrying infected pork, swill feeding, flood water contaminated with the ASF virus, vermin and stray animals, and fomite transmission. When there were reports of ASF virus detected in Bulacan, Rizal and Pampanga, Dr. Dizon’s operations team implemented strict farm biosecurity measures such as perimeter clearing operations, construction of individual shower rooms and fence, farm compartmentalization, visitor screening and downtime procedure, staff biosecurity orientation, farm logistics flow and disinfection activities around-the-clock (in cooperation with Engineering, Biolab and other departments of RDF). As a result, two out of four farms were spared from the ASF virus, the repopulation program of the swine operations proceeded and no single employee was laid off. Dr. Dizon cites that “the quick response of our people to prevent the spread of the ASF virus exemplified service excellence.” He adds that this highlighted the values of helping one another, working hard and taking action in a timely manner, especially in crisis situations, like the ASF outbreak.”
The piggery business of RDF started in 2001 under the name E-Pig or Electronic Pig. Currently, RDF has five farms that are strategically located in Central Luzon. One of the success factors of RDF’s swine business could be attributed to the scientific approaches and technological advancements that the company has established through the years.
Two-site production system
RDF’s swine farms adopt the two-site production system where the breeding production stage is located in one locus while the nursery and grower-finisher stages are located in another site. This system has been proven effective in enhancing biosecurity, meaning, there is lower incidence of infection and disease outbreaks. Also, the two-site production system helps pigs reach market weight faster compared to the conventional system of rearing where pigs are bred and grown in one site.
Modern Pig Housing
Pig housing and facilities are world-class. All buildings are completely enclosed, bio- secured and climate controlled. The farms have automatic feeding system that provides increased efficiency, convenience and control of the feeding process and, furthermore, are equipped with machines that can aid in the early detection of the ASF virus.
Add to this, the company implements in-placed protocol and provides adequate biosecurity training in case farms would be hit by ASF.
All facilities and processes comply with animal welfare, waste management, sanitation and other government laws. As proof, farms are certified and accredited by the BAI for Animal Welfare and Good Animal Husbandry Practice (GAHP), which means that they have passed all requirements for animal welfare standards, records keeping, traceability, biosecurity standards, good animal husbandry practices, disease management and control, environmental and local business permits. These farms have also met the strictest requirements for food safety throughout the whole supply chain. The certifications also affirm that production methods employed by RDF do not pose any health concerns to the community or harm the environment.
GAHP logo and swine farms’ certifications
Safe and High Quality Meats
The swine business of RDF supplies the pork requirements of more than 200 outlets of company-owned Fresh Options Meatshop that can be found in Tuguegarao, Pangasinan, Tarlac, Zambales, Bataan, Pampanga, Bulacan, Metro Manila, Cavite, and Laguna. Consumers are assured that the meats they buy from Fresh Options are safe because pigs are raised in farms that adhere to government safety regulations on the rational use of antibiotics and avoid antimicrobial resistance.