Written by: Rizalina K. Araral & Wency H. Carmelo,


September 13, 2017 – One of the world’s top merchandise-sourcing firms recently hailed DOST’s Forest Products Research and Development Institute (FPRDI) for its role in raising the quality of Philippine handicraft exports. The Hong Kong-based Connor Group lauded the Institute during the latter’s 60th anniversary through its country representative, Ms. Elma Lopez.

“DOST-FPRDI for us is an export-enabler because it was the Institute’s technical help that allowed all of our handicraft suppliers to improve the quality of their export products,” said Ms. Lopez.

“The Institute’s experts led by Ms. Wency H. Carmelo visited the plants of all our producers, assessed their current dryers and drying practices, and gave advice and did a series of training on quality production. As a result, two companies adopted the low-cost handicraft dryer, while several bought units of the Institute’s wood moisture meter.”

According to Ms. Lopez, the suppliers used to pay huge export claims due to the incidence of molds on their products. In 2012, they paid as much as USD 142,263 in fines due to fungal attack. After DOST-FPRDI’s help, this figure dropped to USD 21,540 in 2016.

“We can’t imagine how our exporters could stay afloat in the business without DOST-FPRDI’s very generous and professional support. In the past five years, the Institute has done so much to bring truly world class Philippine handicrafts to the international stage,” she concluded.

The Connor Group is a global organization that manages the products-sourcing needs of over 60 firms. Its clients include some of the most notable importers in North America, Europe, Latin America, and Australia.