June 18, 2021. Pineapple fiber is among the national treasures that has been interwoven into our history and cultural heritage. Extracted from pineapple leaves, production can be dated back to the 16th century during the Spanish colonial period. The looms are still in motion even in contemporary times. In fact, the province of Aklan leads the export of these prized fibers with North America and Europe as the main markets. Pineapple fiber is very versatile as it is used for textiles, traditional and contemporary clothes, and paper. In 2019 alone, 142.30 bails (19.30 tons) of pineapple fiber were produced in the Philippines, mainly in Camarines Sur (Region V), Iloilo (Region VI), Aklan (Region VI), Zamboanga (Region IX), and Davao (Region XI).
Though it has high market demand and colossal potential, the production of these fibers is still low due to its higher production cost compared to cotton. To stimulate the market demand and promote its competitiveness, the Philippine Fiber Industry Development Authority (PhilFIDA) requested the Bureau of Agriculture and Fisheries Standards to facilitate the development of the Philippine National Standard (PNS) for Pineapple Fiber. A Technical Working Group composed of PhilFIDA, Handicrafts of Aklan Multipurpose Cooperative (HAMPCO), Tiboli Farm Grower’s Multi-Purpose Cooperative (TFGMPC), Raquel’s Piña Cloth was created for this endeavor. Initial Stakeholder Consultation (SC) was conducted on August 14-16, 2019 to solicit the comments and suggestions of relevant stakeholders for minimum requirements and grading and classification of pineapple fiber. Field data gathering was also conducted in November 2019 to ensure that the standards are in line with the actual field practices.
As part of the final stages of the standards development process, the BAFS conducted the Final Stakeholders Consultation (SC) for the PNS Pineapple Fiber on May 12, 2021 via Zoom Cloud Meeting. The purpose of the final SC is to solicit the final comments and suggestions of the relevant stakeholders on the standards before finalizing the draft standard. The fruitful consultation was attended by members of the Technical Working Group (TWG) and 29 stakeholders from the academe, PhilFIDA key personnel, and other relevant stakeholders from Camarines Sur, Aklan, Iloilo, Davao, and Zamboanga. The comments solicited during the final SC will be used in the finalization of the PNS by the TWG.
Once approved, the PNS will be used to provide guidance on the classification and grading of pineapple fiber for domestic and international trade. The approved PNS will eventually be used by PhilFIDA in establishing their corresponding technical regulations. ###
Figure 1. The participants of the Final Stakeholders Consultation for the Development of
PNS for Pineapple Fiber held on 12 May 2021.