We received a very warm welcome from the staff when we arrived at Gardenia plant located in Laguna Industrial Park(LIIP), Biñan, Laguna, Made possible by Ms. Grace Bondad-Nicolas, who managed to bring different media people to have a plant tour last Sunday, August 3. #BreadySetGo
The tour is indeed educational, so I listed down 10 interesting facts you may not have known about Gardenia, that I’ve learned throughout the tour.
1. Gardenia is the most modern bread factory in the country today. Gardenia has the state-of-the-art plant that can produce 650,000 loaves and buns daily, in a fully automated facility, untouched by human hands.
2. Gardenia’s plant has been one of the top educational field trip destinations in the country, since it opens the factory for plant visits. They wanted to showcase to consumers the modern way of preparing their products. More than 2.5 million visitors in the last 10 years visits the plant and majority of these are students from 15,000 different schools. It is important to the education of children or students to teach them such as the importance of proper nutrition and sanitation practices as foundations to a healthy mind and body, and as well values education. Other students also want to know the method or process on how this 137-million company 17 years ago went up high to 3.5 billion-peso company as of last year. Other companies visit for a plant tour to do some benchmarks and to also upgrade their facilities and that may help the country upgrades its competitiveness globally.
3. The air that goes circulated inside the factory is purified air. They have a lot of air filters inside. If an insect manages to sneak in to one of the premises or hole somewhere, they have glue traps everywhere that attract insects and glued onto it. They monitor how many insects glued in and investigate why, where, and how it is happened and assure not to happen again.
4. Gardenia bread has maximum of two days in the market place but has 5 days shelf life. The next day they deliver again, whatever unsold are pull back and replace another freshly made products. Unlike their other competitors they keep the bread for 5-7 days till its expiration. Unsold Gardenia products converted into fish meal and use it in commercial fish pond, and recently into pig meal. But priority on to that, Gardenia gives it to their 40 charities (days between the 5 day shelf life). They deliver 10-15,000 loads a week especially in calamity. Products that have been delivered on the charities don’t have G-locks, to indicate that it not for sale.
5. Gardenia made sugar-free bread but it didn’t last long, because according to them declaring bread sugar-free is not correct. When diabetic people consume bread they forget that it has carbohydrates that when it goes through the bloodstream, the glucose is absorbed. The problem is, the consumer eats a lot of this sugar-free bread hinting that there are totally no sugars. With the help of nutritionist and dietitian, Gardenia analyze what should they offer the consumers better and then they come up with putting fiber which people need more, and with honey that is less sweetness compare to the plain sugar.
6. The color of the G-lock corresponds to the day it was delivered. The unique resealable and reusable plastic clip or the G-lock contains all of the vital information that the consumers might need such as the “best before” date and the suggested retail price. Aside from that, the G-lock color-coding is part of Gardenia’s quality control system. One color per day is assigned, thus there are 7 G-lock colors assigned for the 7 days of the week. The day always matches the color.
7. It is more than just bread. Bread is not only for breakfast and you can make unique and delectable goods using the wide variety of Gardenia’s products.
8. And indeed, it’s more than just selling breads and buns. Aside from providing the Filipinos with the quality bread products; wellness campaign, calamity donations and caring environment are those of some efforts as Gardenia aims to achieve positive impact to the community through corporate social responsibility initiatives.
9. Gardenia received multiple awards and certification for product quality excellence. In compliance with Quality Management System, Gardenia has awarded with International Organization for Standardization ISO 9001: 2000 certifications from 2003 to 2009 and has now upgraded to ISO 9001:2008. Gardenia is HACCP (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point) certified since 2003 to present—proof of the company’s adherence to the systematic approach in the identification, evaluation, and control of food safety standards. Gardenia was accorded Superbrands status by Superbrands Ltd., an independent authority and arbiter on branding. Other notable awards are the Annual National Consumers’ Award (ANCA) as the “Outstanding Bread Manufacturer” for five straight years.
These are some which prove that Gardenia provides only the best products for Filipino consumers. This assures that consumers only get the highest quality products in the market.
10. The plant tour is free. Gardenia’s plant in Laguna is toured by as much as 3,000 to 8,000 visitors a day, and this is free. To book for a plant tour, just visit Gardenia’s website and download a booking form at www.gardenia.com.ph or call (02) 845 0971 and (049) 539 1136 to 40. Tour hours are from 7 am to 4 pm, Monday to Friday and Sunday. Gardenia’s Cebu plant is also open for plant visits and can be reached thru this hotline (032) 341-2895.