A woman-led enterprise assisted by the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) through its Provincial Science and Technology Center (PSTC)-Misamis Oriental now employs more than 60 local workers, mostly housewives. During peak production, the firm employs more than 70 persons including on-calls.
The enterprise is a second time beneficiary of the assistance under the Small Enterprise Technology Upgrading Program (SETUP), one of the flagship programs of the DOST being implemented by the DIOST regional offices.
Bestfriend Goodies established its second production facility dedicated to the production of Enhanced Nutribun (eNutribun), a technology developed by the Food and Nutrition Research Institute of the DOST (DOST-FNRI).
As the firm pivots from just producing pasalubong products before the COVID-19 pandemic, Bestfriend Goodies now concentrates on Ready-To-Eat (RTE) nutritious foods. The firm sought further assistance from DOST for adopting five more variants of the RTE technology, namely: arroz caldo, binignit, champorado, chicken tinola, and monggo with dilis, packaged in pouches. The S&T intervention also included the provision of the equipment called Fully Automatic Double Layer Sterilization Retort.
“This project does not only improve the economic status by employing the locals but helps empower employed housewives,” said PSTC-Misamis Oriental Director Junelyn-Louvena Ruiz.
There is now a sustainable supply for RTE nutritious food in the region for undernourished children, nutritionally at-risk pregnant and lactating women, food packs during calamities, and support to feeding programs by the government and NGOs as this is the first RTE Technology Manufacturing Facility in Mindanao.