The country's popular heritage food products will serve as the centerpiece of Food Philippine' participation in the 50th edition of Salon International de l'Agroalimentaire (SIAL) Paris, to be held on October 19-23, 2014 at the Parc des Expositions de Paris – Nord Villepinte, Paris, France.
Food Philippines is the official industry brand for the country's collective food exports. Featured heritage food products processed in ready-to-eat forms are rice wine or tapuy of the Ilocos region, ripe mangoes of Guimaras, dried mangoes of Cebu, pomelo of Davao, coconut vodka or lambanog of Quezon, and Laguna’s puto Binan. These heritage food products bear the country’s terroir (a French word meaning terre or “land”), a set of special characteristics that the geography, geology and climate of a certain place interact with plant genetics, and expressed in agricultural products such as wine, coffee, or tea. Terroir can also be loosely translated as "a sense of place"; it is the sum of the effects that the local environment has had on the production of the product.
"As the world's largest food innovation marketplace, SIAL is the most appropriate platform for promoting the country's terroir food products in the international scene. These food products represent in a holistic way the distinct characteristics of our tropical land, our rich culinary tradition, and our own innovative craftsmanship. They are the best products that our country could offer to the world," said Ms Rosvi C. Gaetos, Executive Director of CITEM.
In SIAL Paris 2012, the predominantly European buyers' top choices among Filipino food products are: muscovado sugar in various forms, super frozen tuna, and snack items such as cookies, biscuits, crackers, potato/corn chips, and instant noodles. The country's 2012 participation has earned a total of US$20.6 million. In this year’s edition of SIAL Paris, the country set a total target sales of US$50 million.
"We hope to sustain and boost our country's image as a top sourcing destination of premium specialty food products through our participation in this European trade fair. We would like to give the European market a distinct Philippine food experience," added Ms. Gaetos.
Food Philippines will bring about 20 local food companies to promote the Philippine terroir and traditional food products. The food products have passed the European Union's international safety and quality regulations and certification requirements such as Halal, Organic, Fair Trade, and British Retail Consortium/European Union.
The country's participation in SIAL Paris will be spearheaded by Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) through its export promotions arm, the Center for International Trade Expositions and Missions (CITEM).
In May 2015, CITEM will organize the banner food event of the Philippines, the International Food Exhibition (IFEX) Philippines, to be held at the SMX Convention Center, Metro Manila, Philippines. This event will feature the "Taste APEC@IFEX Philippines," a special showcase of the 21 APEC Economies featuring their country pavilions, top food brands, and celebrated chefs.