Food Philippines is geared up to feature the country’s premium tropical fruits in Anuga, the world’s largest and most important food and beverage fair, slated at the Koelnmesse in Cologne, Germany on October 10-14, 2015. A select group of 32 Food Philippines exhibitors will showcase healthy and natural products derived from “power fruits” such as coconuts, bananas, mangoes, and pineapples.
The food and beverage industry is one of Europe’s most important and dynamic industrial sectors, with tropical fruits being niche products in the region. European Union (EU) consumers are shifting from basic fruit towards more exotic and tropical fruits that have healthy benefits. As some fruits are not locally grown in the EU while some are only produced seasonally, the region heavily relies on importing fresh and processed tropical fruits from different countries including the Philippines.
The EU is ranked as the fourth most important trading partner of the Philippines, with Germany as the largest trading partner in the region. EU sources 75 percent of its coconut oil imports from the Philippines. Additionally, it is one of the leading regions with the most demand of Philippine mangoes and pineapples.
“The increasing demand for food products that meet EU consumers’ standards for safety, taste, health, and nutrition poses a huge opportunity for Food Philippines exporters,” said Center for International Trade Expositions and Missions (CITEM) Executive Director Rosvi C. Gaetos, adding that the Philippine “power fruits” are not only rich in vitamins and minerals but are likewise considered as superior in taste and aroma.
As the world’s leading trade fair for food exporters, Anuga is a significant business platform for the Philippines’ “power fruits” and food products derived from them. These “power fruits” are deemed to be the best-tasting as well as nutritious fruits in the world, owing to the country’s tropical weather and soil.
The Philippine coconut is famous for its distinct flavor, fragrance, and texture, which very well responds to the global need for healthy and natural food products. Coconut water and meat are rich in potassium and magnesium, and contains a considerable amount of vitamin B, which aims in strengthening the muscles, preventing fatigue, and maintaining normal heart function. It has the ability to clear up and moisturize the skin from within, aids in the prevention of indigestion, boosts hydration, reduces blood pressure, and pushes out urinary stones. The Philippines’ coconut exports have diversified over the years, ranging from food and non-food products, enabling this palm to gain the distinction of being called the “tree of life.”
The Philippine banana industry is one of the best-performing agricultural products of the country. Banana is high in potassium and low in salt which helps stabilize blood pressure and prevent stroke. The fruits’ varieties include saba or Cardava, lacatan, latundan, bongolan, Cavendish, señorita, chiquita, bangara, and kadulce from Tacloban, tindok from Cebu, among others, each with distinct flavor and quality. Research shows that the Cardava variety, used in making the famous banana chips, is rich in potassium and dietary fiber, thus, aids in fighting arthritis, heart disease, gastric ulcer, anemia, and depression. Banana is one of the oldest cultivated crops in the Philippines with plantations of 450,125 hectares across the country. Two-thirds of bananas exported are grown in the Philippine region of Mindanao, where the humid climate and rich soil allow it to grow in abundance.
The country is one of the largest exporters of pineapples in the world. Majority of Philippine pineapples are produced in the island of Mindanao, where volcanic ash soil and climate create a suitable environment for pineapple production. The proximity of pineapple plantations to its ports ensures the freshness of the fruit. As an excellent source of vitamin C, pineapple helps combat the formation of free radicals that cause cancer and also improves skin texture. Since pineapple is rich in fiber, it also promotes healthy digestion and prevents diabetes.
Another power fruit from the Philippines is the world’s “queen of fruits,” mango, which is also the country’s national fruit. Considered to be sweetest in the world, it is abundant in the Philippines because of the country’s warm, dry weather and well-drained soil. Mango is rich in vitamins A, B-6, C, and K, and carotenoids that strengthen the immune system; antioxidant that fights leukemia as well as colon, breast, and prostate cancers; and iron that is effective in fighting anemia. When the fruits are ripened on the tree and picked just before full ripeness, it produces an aromatic smell and sweetness, which makes it the source of the most successful commercial products available in the market. The Philippine mango exports amount to USD 12 million, showing a 15.4 percent growth rate from January to September 2014 as compared to that of the same period in 2013.
Spearheaded by CITEM, the export promotions arm of the Philippine Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), the country’s delegation to Germany will bring processed fruits (dried mangoes, dried pineapple, dried young coconut, coconut gel, dried banana, banana chips, fruit preserves, fruit-based ingredients, canned juices, and dried fruits and nuts); canned and frozen seafood; breads and confectioneries; snacks and noodles; and sauces and condiments, backed by strict adherence to international food standards.
The delegation consists of food companies committed to continuous product improvement to provide the highest level of quality food products, making sure to offer products designed to meet the needs of its various clients – manufacturing sector, food service sector, and retail mainstream market. By adopting current organic farming and manufacturing practices while using the best and safest technology, these Food Philippines companies use techniques in processing that allow the retention of the raw materials’ natural flavor, color, and aroma while prolonging shelf life.
Food Philippines is the industry brand for the food sector which unifies the overseas promotional efforts of CITEM. Under this industry brand, the Philippines is positioned as Asia’s most exciting sourcing destination for food exports, being one of the world’s top exporters of tropical fruits and marine products.
The Philippine pavilion at Anuga will be located at Hall1.1 Aisles – D030g, D040g, E039g, and E049g.