MANILA, Philippines – In 2014, Sonny Sebastian, Chief Executive Officer of Farmrichfoods Meat Processing and Poultry Dressing Plant Corporation, decided to expand the family business to include poultry rendering. This is a process that turns chicken by-products into useful and consumable end-products such as animal feeds. The expansion will not only make Farmrichfoods more profitable, but it will also result in sustainable and zero-waste operations and provide more jobs for the people of Pandi, Bulacan, where the facility is based.
Farmrichfoods’ collaboration with Meralco Biz Partners powered their expansion through the Peak / Off-Peak (POP) solution, which generated monthly savings of P35,000.
Building the Dream
It’s one thing to dream of a better life. But to actually see it come to fruition is something else. For Sonny Sebastian, finding a trustworthy and reliable partner was the first step in realizing the expansion of his multi-purpose poultry facility.
When it was time to build their first rendering plant, he reached out to Meralco Biz Partners, the segment dedicated to helping small and medium enterprises turn their vision into reality by providing various energy solutions that allow them to sustain and grow their operations.
Around the same time construction was being done in the plant, Sonny recalls already seeing electric posts being erected and wires being rolled out, which ultimately connected them to Meralco’s power grid immediately. In fact, the rendering plant ended up being energized days before Farmrichfoods’ target date.
“Nang matapos ang construction namin, may linya na agad kami na naka-abang,” he adds. “Dahil na-energize agad kami, nakapag-simula na kami ng operations. Nabuo ang negosyo na ito para mabigyan ng magandang kinabukasan ang aking pamilya at makatulong sa poultry industry dito sa Bulacan,” Sonny explains. “Kaya natutuwa kami na katuwang namin ang Meralco Biz Partners simula pa noon.”
Since then, the Biz Partner Manager assigned to Farmrichfoods would regularly schedule visits to the facility to observe business operations and determine whether their energy needs are constantly being met. Since the rendering plant operates 24/7, Meralco recommended subscribing to the POP solution to cut operating costs.
Under POP, Farmrichfoods operates its rendering plant’s power-intensive machinery at night, when generation rates and demand for electricity are lower, while they run their low power-consuming machines during the day. The savings generated prompted him to enroll his dressing plant to POP as well. “Lahat ng nati-tipid namin, ini-ipon at idina-dagdag para sa expansion ng business.” He adds, “Noong una, ayoko pang maniwala. Simula nang makita ko lahat ng improvements, 100% tiwala na talaga ako sa recommendations ng Meralco.”
Leave it to Meralco to take operational and cost efficiency to an even higher level. For Farmrichfoods to get more savings, they were introduced to Spectrum, a solar power company built with Meralco’s energy expertise and service standards.
With Spectrum, which takes pride in providing safe and high-quality solar power that seamlessly integrates with Meralco’s grid, Farmrichfoods employed another future-proofing program to their operations: the use of solar panels for their second rendering plant, which was built in 2020.
Farmrichfoods’ solar PV system is estimated to generate around P900,000 in energy savings every year which will be used for the construction of their own ice plant. The use of solar panels also strengthens the company’s commitment towards sustainability.
Sonny remains dedicated to seeing his business expand—even more so now that his community has yet to recover from the losses sustained during the pandemic. “Tubong Bulacan ako,” he says. “Isa sa mga motivation ko ay ang makatulong sa kapwa, katulad ng tulong na pinaparamdam sa amin ng Meralco.”
As Farmrichfoods move forward, Sonny is pleased to know that he has a long-time partner that he can rely on to provide support and energize his dream. “Ang tiwala ko sa Meralco ay 100%. Marami pa kaming plano na expansion, at ang Meralco ay makakatulong sa amin na makamit lahat ‘yan.”