Who doesn't love Gardenia bread? I have always failed to join field trips in Gardenia but I was convinced to attend the Gardenia Food and Lifestyle Bloggers Tour last Saturday and I was impressed at what I've learned about Gardenia.
It was a memorable learning experience exploring the Gardenia Bakeries Philippines, Inc. We started with a short introduction about the company, a tour of the plant and a buffet of bread snacks at the Executive Office. It was an inspiring story how Gardenia Bakeries Philippines started operations in 1998 from making the classic tasty white bread loaf to more products still delivered fresh, soft and delicious.
Since then, the country's most modern bread making facility has expanded its product line to other equally delectable and trademark bread creations such as the pre-packed buttered toasts, the classic flavoured loaves in ube, chocolate and California raisin varieties and the "healthy-licious" breads series featuring the equally popular high-fiber whole wheat bread.
What makes the Gardenia bread fresh is the excellent and outstanding system of distribution with the state-of-the-art bread factory with highly automated equipment sourced out from the best bakery machinery suppliers from all over the world. The company's assorted breads are also fortified with vitamins and minerals and the classic white bread, which is Gardenia's banner product is preferred by many bread-loving Filipinos for its consistently good taste minus the cholesterol, bromate and transfats- a healthy formulation set by the Department of Health. They have made the rice-eating Filipinos bread lovers through the years.
No hands touch the quality bread at Gardenia and what's unique and consumer-friendly packaging system is their "G-lock" system which explains the color-coded easy to locate, open, re-seal and read plastic cup indicating the bread was made, the best before date as well as its retail price. It also contains all the vital information on which the production line the bread was produced from and its specific batch number. It is the company's continuous untiring effort to empower the customers by helping them make knowledgeable purchase decisions through accurate information.
Not only is the company proud of its laurels with Superbrands Award, Annual National Consumers' Award (ANCA) as Outstanding Bread Manufacturer for five straight years, ISO (International Organization for Standardization) 9001-2000 upgraded to ISO 9001-2008 and HACCP (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Plant) certified since 2003, they have also bagged three awards in the DTI Center for Industrial Competitiveness' Search for Model Company. Gardenia emerged as the only company with Pro-Active Programs Achievement Awards on three different categories namely; Labor Management Relationship; Family Welfare and Community Relations; and in Quality and Productivity.
It wouldn't be surprising to realize they'd achieve more awards and distinctions in the years to come after listening to the explanations of Mr. Simplicio "Jun" Umali, President and CEO of Gardenia Bakeries Phils.Inc. because he exemplifies a true dynamic and pragmatic leader adept at every detail of the company's operations and management. He told us all how the company started with semi-automatic bread making facility which developed to now a 6,500 bread per hour facility able to make 6K/per hour, 4K/per hour and 2K/per hour aside from the separate bun making facilities in Gardenia.
It was under his management when Gardenia became the largest distribution network in the baking industry covering the whole Luzon archipelago; eastern and western parts of Visayas; and even as far away as Mindanao. It has reached Cagayan province up to Tuguegarao; Laoag city, Dumaguete; Negros and Maasin City in Leyte and due to insistent public demand, Gardenia Bakeries Philippines expanded its operation putting up another bread manufacturing plant in Lapu-Lapu City to serve more areas in Visayas and Davao. The breads won't become stale as all products are shipped and delivered the same day. In every place where they distribute the bread, they get the unsold back and sell them to fish feed manufacturing companies.
The concluding part was the raffle of Samsung Galaxy Tab won by Fitz Gerard Villafuerte (www.thirstyblogger.com/www.fitzvillafuerte.com) and a sumptuous lunch at Crisostomo Restaurant in Nuvali, Sta.Rosa, Laguna.
I was impressed at how the company grew in a short period of time and reflected at my own growth as a person and folded. I must have been so busy with so many things which mirrored the developments of my own goals. I have learned the fruits of bread passion which gave me more ideas to respect the bread we all love today.
From Filipinos calling the white classic bread "tasty" to now we all call them, Gardenia, SO GOOD YOU CAN EVEN EAT IT ON ITS OWN (Masarap, kahit walang palaman).