Golden Harvesta is the Genesus distributor and partner in the Philippines. In 2019 Golden Harvesta imported 2,600 GGP gilts and boars to stock their high health 2,500-sow unit high up in the mountains. This import was done during ASF outbreaks throughout the Philippines and the farm became closed after the pigs arrived to better protect it from ASF and stay clean. The partnership has been excellent between our two parties and Golden Harvesta is planning on building a 5,000-sow multiplier with Genesus.

Below is an article published this week in the Asian Pork Magazine highlighting the relationship Genesus has with Golden Harvesta and how the business venture together has worked out. We look forward to further expanding our partnership with Golden Harvesta helping provide producers in the Philippines with superior genetics.

Below article as seen in Asian Pork Magazine:

Golden Harvesta’s new business amid ASF pays off

By  Isa Q Tan

March 6, 2023

Jhoenson Siy and Paul Anderson

Golden Harvesta Inc, the partner of Genesus Genetics in the Philippines, made the gutsy play to bring in new animals soon after ASF hit the country in 2019. ISA Q TAN reports how that move has paid off.   

In 2016, China’s Wellhope Agri-Tech and the Philippines’ Southeast Feeds Corporation forged an agreement to establish Golden Harvesta. Initially, the plan was for the company to become an integrator with a feedmill and a commercial farm. However, sourcing good genetics consistently was problematic.

“We realized that if we wanted to integrate, we needed a stable supply of quality breeders.

Partnership with Genesus

The search for a genetics partner eventually led them to Genesus, a Canada-based breeding company, for three reasons.

First, Golden Harvesta’s general manager preferred purebreds over synthetic breeds, noting they are easier to manage and offer better performance for robustness and uniformity.

“Secondly, we like Genesus’ principle, because it is the only company that talks about the quality of meat. Others mostly talk about performance, but we believe that in the end, it is those who consume the pork and their experience that is important,” Mr Siy explained.

Lastly, he added, Golden Harvesta appreciates the good communication line with Genesus.

Isolated on top of a mountain, Golden Harvesta’s farm is highly biosecure.
Biosecurity, strictly and consistently implemented, is a top priority at Golden Harvesta to prevent diseases.

“It is important who we are talking to. Our communication with them is open so even when we encounter issues or problems, we can resolve things quickly,” he said.

For his part, Paul Anderson, Genesus’ General Manager for Southeast Asia, said negotiations between the two companies were smooth and easy.

“We found them easy to work with, so within about three months after we first met, in May 2019, we signed the contract,” he told Asian Agribiz.

The agreement made Golden Harvesta the nucleus and multiplier for Genesus in the Philippines, making the company responsible for producing and selling breeders and semen throughout the country.

A gutsy move

The two companies scheduled two shipments of 1250 live breeders from Canada for October and December 2019. After these shipments, the farm would be closed and would rely on frozen semen for genetic improvement, as well as maintain the link with the large Genesus Global nucleus.

However, the Philippines confirmed its first ASF outbreak in August 2019. Should they even push through with the delivery?

“It took a lot of guts for us to continue with the delivery. At the time, we knew little about ASF. But we decided to go ahead because, from what we saw happening in China and Vietnam, demand for breeders will shoot up when recovery and repopulation begin,” remarked Mr Siy.

Besides, they expended all efforts to ensure that their farm in Mayantoc, Tarlac province, is biosecure.

Golden Harvesta pushed through with the delivery of breeders from Genesus Canada after ASF hit the Philippines.

“We spent 8-12 months just looking for land for the farm. Mayantoc is a remote area. There are no farms nearby. We were confident we could raise the pigs well and not be hit by ASF and have a good market later, so we pushed through with the delivery,” he said.

For their part, Mr Anderson said that knowing the farm is biosecure, they only wanted assurance that Golden Harvesta “could manage to bring the pigs from the airport to the site, without any or with minimum risks.”

“We believed we could stay ASF-free, and in doing so, then the benefits would be what we’ve seen in other countries. Sites are increasing, and then repopulation,” he noted. “And that is where we are now. We are seeing repopulation and a demand for breeders.”

The gamble pays off

The gamble is paying off, and Golden Harvesta is seeing demand for breeders shoot up.

“When restocking, you want to start with pigs in the highest possible health. Would these animals integrate well in a poorer-health farm? So far, we have had no problems,” said Mr Anderson.

Golden Harvesta began selling breeders in September 2021.

“Our pigs perform well in all environments, be they traditional open-style system or climate-controlled farms,” Mr Siy noted. “We have sold thousands of pigs but have not had complaints to date.”

Mr Anderson explained that the pigs perform well in any condition because of their appetite.

The original breeders that arrived in late 2019 from Genesus Canada made it to the farm without any problems.

“Of all genetic companies, the Genesus pigs have the highest appetite, and that is the secret. Our company focuses on three components with our genetics program: 1) Keep the feed intake high; 2) Have good-tasting pork; 3) Have a competitive cost of production. So, appetite is high on our priorities.”

That high appetite keeps the pigs fast-eating and fast-growing, even in hot and humid climate, he added. “If they eat and grow fast, they have better disease resilience. If the pig suffers and its appetite falls, it becomes vulnerable to stress factors and diseases.”

That resilience also means using fewer medications and even fewer vaccines, Mr Anderson said. “It’s the same principle with our robust animals. They are easy to integrate into any farm and easily adapt to the climate and environment in the Philippines.”

Expansion on the horizon

Today, the 2500-sow farm is thriving and remains ASF-free. Keeping it disease-free in a region massively hit by the virus is not easy, but as Mr Siy points out, they do not rest to maintain that status. How they are doing so is no secret.

“It is always biosecurity,” he emphasized. “That is the only answer for us. We strictly and consistently follow the fundamentals of good biosecurity, not just to prevent ASF, but also other diseases.”

Unfortunately, chimed in Mr Anderson, only a small percentage of producers do it properly. Still, he added, many farmers have learned from their experience with ASF, and when they come out of it, “they would be in a better position for the long term.”

“I think the mindset is there now,” added Mr Siy. “They have learned they cannot raise pigs the way they did pre-ASF because if they did, they will not survive.”

Golden Harvesta produces and markets Genesus breeders, which are fast-eating and fast-growing animals that adapt well to any environment.

While many farms remain hesitant to repopulate fully, Mr Siy is optimistic. In 2022, as more producers slowly get back into business, Golden Harvesta received more inquiries and orders. As such, expansion is on the horizon.

“We plan to build a 5000-sow multiplier farm in Nueva Ecija. We have found a place and are in the design phase,” he said, adding that the stock for the new farm will come from Mayantoc.

However, with Luzon being an ASF zone, Golden Harvesta can only sell breeders to farms on the island, so it is now on the lookout for partners in the Visayas and Mindanao.

“We are looking for partners in Cebu in the Visayas, and Davao and General Santos City in Mindanao,” said Mr Anderson. “These will be new farms to ensure biosecurity is done correctly. The initial stocks will come from Canada.”

Opportunities calling

Both Mr Siy and Mr Anderson see growth opportunities for Golden Harvesta and Genesus in the Philippines.

“People are learning to co-exist with ASF,” said Mr Siy. “Also, we currently have the best live pig prices in the world. These two things — at least in the short term — are attracting people to return to the business, and we will see sow levels rise.”

He added that in the long term, there is no question of the hog industry continuing.

“It is part of our culture. We are pork eaters so demand will always be there. We may buy less pork when prices are high, but we will not stop buying. If producers manage their farms well, it will always be good business. The industry will live and prosper.”

For his part, Mr Anderson said growth opportunities are encouraging Genesus to plant its feet firmly in the country.

“With permission from our president, we are putting a lot of effort into this market to firmly establish our brand, especially now when opportunities are huge. And we will support Golden Harvesta as they expand to serve the industry better.”

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This post was written by Genesus