Gardenia Bakeries Philippines Inc., the country’s biggest breadmaker, is now looking at Cagayan de Oro or a suitable bread manufacturing plant location in Northern Mindanao instead of Cebu for its planned expansion in the south.

Simplicio Umali Jr., Gardenia Philippines president, told reporters that the company is now looking at Northern Mindanao instead because of the quality of water supply in Cagayan de Oro compared to that of Cebu.

Umali said that the high-salinity content of the Cebu water has made them decide to look at Northern Mindanao, which has a good water quality supply.

“The quality of water would greatly affects the quality of our bread,” said Umali.

Gardenia breads are made of premium flour and finest imported ingredients as its products cater to the upper end of the bread market.

Gardenia’s plant to expand in Cebu was hatched a few years ago but the company was bogged down by location issues. There was not also a suitable location for a one-hectare environment-sensitive bread plant. At one time, the company was close to locating in an economic zone in Mactan.

The new Gardenia plant is expected to cost between P200 million to P250 million. The expansion plant is expected to have a daily production capacity of 50,000 loaves to serve the Visayas and Mindanao areas, which are currently served through its main plant in Laguna.

Gardenia sees the need to expand in the south because of the increased demand in the South. The company itself is projecting a 25 percent growth this year while the industry is projecting at least 10 percent growth.

“The Laguna plant capacity would is primarily addressing the Luzon area bread requirements, thus its deliveries to Visayas and Mindanao, which is being course through RO-RO vessels, have been very minimal,” Umali said.

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