TeamManila enjoins PH design, media firms, vows to elevate country’s design communication industry at CREATE Philippines


As a design studio that highlights Philippine culture and lifestyle on their merchandise, TeamManila capitalizes on communication design to get their points across to a desired audience with the use of visual merchandising like web design, animation, advertising, and illustration.

To enable the sharing of such best practices to other local firms, TeamManila is set to launch the Communication Design Association of the Philippines (CDAP) and will start creating programs for the communication design sector in 2018. The group’s founding board of directors are TeamManila founder Jowee Alviar as president, Dan Matutina of Plus63 Design Co., Adobo Magazine editor-in-chief Angel Guerrero, Brian Tenorio, AJ Dimarucot, and Robert Alejandro.

CDAP’s mission is to elevate the communication design sector for the advancement of the Philippine creative economy by developing local designers and communities. The association will rediscover Filipino design culture and heritage and introduce them to the world while also bringing the vast world of design to our country.

“Design can help solve problems, design can create jobs, design better the lives of people and we should harness the power of design,” said Alviar.

Jowee AlviarTeamManila founder Jowee Alviar


In the C.H.A.T. (Creative Hub and Talks) in CREATE Philippines, Alviar said they plan to further team up with the Center for International Trade Expositions and Missions (CITEM), Design Center of the Philippines, and Intramuros Administration to present Philippine graphic design in different forms.

To further progress the communication design sector, Alviar believes that the government should give free rein to artists while also encouraging a space for them where they can thrive.

“Give the creators the freedom to do what they want to do, and the gov’t will be supporting what they want, supporting and giving them an environment to create, innovate, and explore. It’s not about regulation. It’s not about rules. It’s about setting up an environment for the individual creators and the developers,” he explained.

TeamManila recently opened their retail/exhibit/workshop space called Design Dept. Apart from being a design merchandise concept store that sells visually striking tees and caps with bold, typographic statements, Design Dept. is also a venue where workshops, exhibitions, and collaborations are conducted to support and cultivate other designers’ talents.

Since TeamManila’s conception in 2001, the studio has been representing and promoting Philippine graphic design in the international scene. Winning the David Bowie International Outside Art competition in Paris, France was among the company’s biggest achievements, and they don’t come up short when it comes to partnering with well-known brands such as Globe, Jollibee, Nike, and Shu Uemura.

Alviar likes the idea of a national program such as CREATE Philippines that “talks about the value of design to the lives of the Filipino people.” He believes that, if developed properly, design can greatly benefit the economy in the long run.

CREATE Philippines is an official trade activity of the ASEAN Summit 2017. The event focuses on fast-growing creative sectors such as Visual Arts & Graphic Design, Communication Design, Advertising Content & Production, Film & Animation, Digital Games & Apps, and Music & Performing Arts. For more information, visit


Income-generating opportunities for PH film, animation sectors banner at CREATE Philippines

Int’l film and animation giants call to unite PH’s creative industry

create-phCREATE Philippines’ film and animation panelists (from L-R: Globe Live executive producer Joe Caliro, Google PH country marketing manager Gabby Roxas, ABS-CBN chief strategy officer Raymund Miranda, Walt Disney visual development artist Armand Serrano, Animation Council of the Philippines (ACPI) executive producer Marlyn Montano, and moderator Martin Macalintal, audiovisual attache to the Philippines of the French Embassy).


Calls for the advancement of the Philippines’ animation sector have become more frequent amid worldwide technological advancement. At CREATE Philippines, organized by the Center for International Trade Expositions and Missions (CITEM), industry leaders have identified what needs to be done to bolster the animation sector’s competitive edge in the international market.

Martin Macalintal, the Audiovisual Attache to the Philippines of the French Embassy, acted as moderator at CREATE Philippines’ film and animation panel. Serving as panelists are Armand Serrano, visual development artist and production designer at Walt Disney Animation Studios; Marlyn Montano, vice president of the Animation Council of the Philippines (ACPI); Raymund Miranda, chief strategy officer and chief risk management officer of ABS-CBN; Gabby Roxas, country marketing manager of Google Philippines; and Joe Caliro, senior vice president of Globe Live.

During the panel, the idea of a system that generates funding for the creative industry was explored.

“The ability to establish a feeder system in a formal way is something that I think would really help the industry grow,” Miranda said, adding that formal training or education are also vital. “It’s craft. Craft is part art, part science. There is a science, a technical aspect associated with everything that we do.”

For the animation industry, Montano calls for more action plans from the government. She would also like to see a stronger distribution line executed by the private sector.

Around 50 small and medium sized animation studios make up the Philippine animation industry now, with about 10,000 artists and productions specialists employed. ACPI President Juan Miguel del Rosario expects the local animation industry to grow 10 to 12 percent over the next several years. The industry generated $142 million in revenues in 2014.

According to Serrano, there are three main core values that an animated project needs to succeed: compelling story, appealing characters, and believable worlds. To achieve this, aspiring animators should undergo immersion to learn the ins and outs of the animation industry.

He believes that there’s already a capability among Filipinos to produce animated works at par with what Hollywood is producing. When exposed to trainings and classes, their skills will grow.

Serrano, who delivered his success story at CREATE Philippines, has spent more than two decades in the animation industry. He teaches animation and design and conducts workshops and demos internationally.

His work in Disney includes well-known animated feature films: “Mulan,” “Tarzan,” “Lilo & Stitch,” and “Brother Bear.” More recently, Serrano applied his expertise into the studio’s award-winning “Zootopia” and “Big Hero 6.”

CREATE Philippines is an official trade activity of the ASEAN Summit 2017. The event focuses on fast-growing creative sectors such as Visual Arts & Graphic Design, Communication Design, Advertising Content & Production, Film & Animation, Digital Games & Apps, and Music & Performing Arts. For more information, email or visit

DTI-CITEM showcases PH’s creative evolution in Manila FAME and CREATE Philippines

In line with the Philippine government’s efforts to build a more competitive creative economy, the Center for International Trade Expositions and Missions, the export promotions arm of the Department of Trade and Industry, opened two trade shows last October 20 that highlighted the evolutionary roadmap of the Philippine creative industry.

Manila FAME, the country’s premier lifestyle and design event, showcased premium furniture, home décor, fashion, and holiday pieces from the country’s top and emerging design talents.

For its 66th edition, the Manila FAME, the country’s premier lifestyle and design event placed emphasis on the celebrating the country’s rich cultural heritage and how it has affected the crafts of local artisans. The three-day event hosts a wide array of furniture, home décor, fashion, and holiday pieces from top and emerging design talents from across the Philippines.

Show scenography, including New Generation Weaves, Design Commune, Bamboo Extreme, Lucent Objects, and Bamboo Plus, explores new material manipulation techniques using products indigenous to the country. Renowned designers Tony Gonzales, PJ Aranador, and Nelson Sepulveda led product development among local micro, small, and medium enterprises in anticipation of the event.

What could be considered as the very centerpiece of the event is the presence of the legendary Whang-Od Oggay, the last mambabatok of Buscalan, Kalinga and the oldest tattoo artist in the Philippines, and her successors Grace Palicas and Ilyang Wigan. Whang-Od gave a live demonstration of the traditional art of the pagbabatok during the opening

CREATE Philippines, a platform that promotes the lucrative economic potential of the country’s creative industry, was attended by more than 1000 forum attendees, exhibition visitors, and trade buyers.

Through CREATE Philippines, CITEM is generating conversation among the public that could inspire the creation of more strategies and programs aimed specifically to nurture local artists and their craft. In the long run, CREATE Philippines wants to lift the country as Asia’s next creative powerhouse – a vision also shared by private think tank strategist Creative Economies Council of the Philippines (CECP).

“Aside from serving as a platform where artists can draw inspiration from and express themselves, CREATE Philippines and Manila FAME offer a collaborative environment with other creatives – something that artists who want to turn their skills into a profitable endeavor need,” CITEM Executive Director Clayton Tugonon said. “These trade shows prove that the Philippines is indeed an archipelago full of creative people who are waiting to be discovered.”

CREATE Philippines’ roster of speakers and panelists are frontliners in the local and international creative scene, such as Team Manila’s Jowee Alviar, Walt Disney’s Armand Serrano, Google PH’s Gabby Roxas, Tenazas Design NYC founder Lucille Tenazas, Billboard PH’s Twinky Lagdameo, and Grammy/Tony award winner Jhett Tolentino.

Guests were also able to enjoy exhibitions from Adobo Magazine, Animation Council of the Philippines (ACPI), Synergy88, Globaltronics, and the Game Developers Association of the Philippines (GDAP), among others.

CREATE Philippines highlights the country’s fast growing sectors, namely: Visual Arts & Graphic Design, Advertising, Film & Animation, Digital Games & Apps, Music & Performing Arts, and Communication Design.

Legacy Immortalized: Legendary Tattoo Artist Whang-Od nominated as PH’s National Living Treasure in Manila FAME


Whang-Od Oggay, the last mambabatok of Buscalan, Kalinga and the oldest tattoo artist in the Philippines, has been formally nominated for the Gawad sa Manglilikha ng Bayan (GAMABA) or the National Living Treasure Award last Oct. 20 of Manila FAME at the World Trade Center Metro Manila, Pasay City.

Held during Manila FAME’s KATHA Awards and Networking Night, the nomination was led by Acting Governor of Kalinga James Edduba. It was then received by Elamae Membrer, Committee on Northern Cultural Communities secretary of the National Commission for Culture and the Arts Sub-commission on Cultural Communities and Traditional Arts.

Manila FAME is the Philippines’ premier design and lifestyle event organized by the Center for International Trade Expositions and Missions (CITEM), the export promotion arm of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI).

Apo Whang-Od was also the honored guest in the launch of the Joint Promotion of Trade and Tourism by the DTI, through CITEM, and the Department of Tourism (DOT) in Manila FAME on October 21, which was culminated with a fashion-dance show, featuring a Whang-Od inspired garment to honor the country’s 100-year old legendary tattoo artist.

“CITEM is honored to announce that the nomination of Whang-Od Oggay to the Gawad sa Manlilikha ng Bayan (GAMABA) or the National Living Treasures Award, institutionalized through Republic Act No. 7355, was accepted by the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA),” said CITEM Executive Director Clayton Tugonon.

NCCA is the Philippine government’s highest policy-making and coordinating body for culture and the arts. Through the agency’s GAMABA Committee and an Ad Hoc Panel of Experts, will then conduct the evaluation, with a program that ensures the transfer of skills and promotes genuine appreciation of our heritage.


pic2NCAA’s Elamae Membrere (L) receiving the formal nomination of Whang-Od Oggay from Kalinga Gov. James Edduba


pic3From left to right: Ilyang Wigan, Whang-Od Oggay, and Grace Palicas during the KATHA Awards and Networking Night.


Institutionalized through Republic Act No. 7355, The GAMABA recognizes citizen engaged in any traditional art uniquely Filipino whose distinctive skills have reached such a high level of technical and artistic excellence and have been passed on to and widely practiced by the present generation in his/her community with the same degree of technical and artistic competence.

“Apo Whang-Od’s participation in Manila FAME was a tremendous collaborative effort of various government agencies. These include the Philippine Air Force, Philippine Army who ensured her safety prior to and during her travel to Manila and back,” said CITEM Executive Director Clayton Tugonon.

Tugonon also added: “Whang-Od’s comprehensive care prior to and throughout her participation and travel back to Kalinga was done by a dedicated medical team lead by Dr. Miguel Ramos, head of the Department of Health’s National Geriatric Hospital, Geriatric Medicine consultant of the Jose R. Reyes Memorial Medical Center, National Center for Geriatric Health, and St. Luke’s Medical Center Security.”

Tugonon said that the invitation of Apo Whang-Od was sought through proper channels which include the Kalinga community of elders (Whang-Od included), National Commission on Indigenous Peoples, concerned local government units, Department of Tourism and the Department of Trade and Industry Regional offices.

With a focus on celebrating the rich cultural heritage of the Philippines, Manila FAME showcased the unique art of the pagbabatok or traditional tattooing in a variety of show features. Whang-Od and her successors Grace Palicas and Ilyang Wigan conducted live tattoo sessions during the first two days of the show as part of a centerpiece setting.

“CITEM would like to thank all of its partner agencies, supporters, visiting guests in Manila FAME for making this edition a remarkable success,” Tugonon expressed.

Tugonon also clarified that all proceeds from the tattoo of Whang-Od and her successors during the event were completely handled by the Kalinga elders.

Whang-Od is the only living traditional tattoo master in Kalinga with the honorable title of Mambabatok. She started practicing the art of the pagbabatok or the traditional tattoo as a young girl and was said to have tattooed the most number of warriors and headhunters in their tribe. Today, she has two successors, her grandnieces Grace Palicas and Ilyang Wigan, ensuring that the unique tattoo art of Kalinga would continue on for another generation.

Her tattoos have garnered recognition both locally and internationally as hundreds of tourists from around the world visited her village, seeking for her. At 100 years old, she still does tattoos for visitors on a daily basis.

“Apo Whang-Od’s impact extends farther than her village. Her presence   brought  new   life   in  appreciating   our   traditional art sand   she   now   stands   as   the   living   embodiment   of   the   Philippine culture’s unwavering resilience against the test of time,” said Gov. Edduba. “I can’t think   of  anyone   more   deserving   of  recognition   than Apo Whang-Od.”



Former OFW uplifts Cordillera farmers into exporters

GDME Fruits and Vegetables leads PH highland farmers to global market

cordillera-farmers-1.jpgOVERLOOKING carrot and romaine fields in one of the highland vegetable terraces of Maria’s Farm, situated on over 2,000 above sea level (ASL) in the town of Mangkayan, Benguet.

The province of Benguet has been making a mark in the international market as a premier sourcing hub of high-end agricultural products, such as fruits, vegetables, coffee, and other highland crops.

With more than half of its residents or 100,000 farmers toiling on more than 30,000-hectare farms scattered in vegetable-producing towns, Benguet is living up to its moniker of being the “Salad Bowl of the Philippines.”

But the farmers from the province, including most areas in the Cordillera, has yet to realize their full market potential in the lucrative export industry. This contributes to the economic disadvantage of Cordilleran farmers as the region’s agriculture sector have the least contribution to their economy, despite employing 46 percent of the labor force or 348,000 of its total 766,000 abled bodies.

“The lack of drive from our farmers to export much of it has got to do with their local and limited mindset,” said Maricel Hernaez. “Many of our farmers in the Cordillera are producing crops with the idea of harvesting it only either for their own household consumption or for selling at the local vegetable trading post.”

Philippine fruits and vegetables from highland to overseas

A former overseas filipino worker (OFW), Hernaez came back to the Philippines with a dream: to abolish the domestic-centric mindset of the Cordillera farmers and help them penetrate the international market.

Born and raised in a farming family in Cordillera, her life-mission sprung during her service as a domestic helper for five years in Singapore, where she has keenly followed the sky-rocketing prices and huge demand for highland fruits and vegetables.

cordillera-farmers-2.jpgMs. Maricel Hernaez, owner of GDME Fruits and Vegetable Trading.

Grabe ang taas ng presyo ng gulay sa Singapore, for example nalang ‘yung isang malaking patatas minsan umaabot ng two dollars at pati ‘yung cabbage nasa mahigit one dollar ang 250 grams. Dito sa Pilipinas, nasa limang piso lang ang patatas na malalaki at yung cabbage, isang kilo na katumbas ng one dollar mo,” she shared. “Kung produkto lang naman ang paguusapan, competitive ang galing sa Pilipinas pagdating sa laki at kalidad.

During her final working year in Singapore, Hernaez met up with the Philippine Trade and Investment Centre (PTIC) in Singapore to seek guidance on her plan to become a vegetable and fruit exporter. In March 2015, she came back to the Philippines and immediately established her company, GDME Fruits and Vegetables Trading, taking inspiration from her farmer parents: Gilbert Domerez (father) and Mercy Espara (mother).

“My parents who made a living through farming have inspired me to pursue this dream,” she elated. “They are the foundation of my goal of nurture the country’s agri-export market by tapping the promising farmings groups and communities in Cordillera.”

A tall order

Having no farmland to call her own, Hernaez has been operating GDME Fruits and Vegetable Trading for the past two years as its sole networking, monitoring, and marketing officer for farming communities across Benguet.

Through her networking with the Benguet farmers, it has always been a challenge for her to explain, innovate, and change some of their farming methods and even their products to suit the demand of the global market.

“Going one by one with the farmers, I always explain that we have the tools to compete with other countries. We are situated at a higher elevation with the perfect soil and climate. Most importantly, our farmers are hard-working,” she stressed. “But, I tell them we should comply with food standards and certifications. I also encourage them to plant the crops that are in-demand because if we plant crops that no one wants to buy then it will just go to waste.”

Without a formal academic background in agriculture, she has always been looking for fresh ideas and new ways on how to improve her technical know-how on the export industry by attending seminars and partnering with government agencies, such as the Department of Agriculture (DA) and the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI).

“I never missed opportunities where I can learn new things. Last May, I joined IFEX Philippines, together with our Benguet farmers, where we encountered people who are willing to help us grow,” Hernaez said. “We were also glad to meet foreign buyers that are really interested in our fruits and vegetable products.”

Now, GDME Fruits and Vegetables Trading has already partnered and is consolidating the harvest of more than 60 farmers in communities located in the municipalities of Kibungan, which is considered the “Little Alaska of the Philippines,” Mankayan, and Kabayan.

Among her community partners are the Bosingan Multi-purpose Cooperative, Mankayan Young Farmers, Maria’s Farm, and the Bashoy Kabayan Multi-purpose Cooperative.

cordillera-farmers-3Hernaez points to one of the field of Maria’s Farm where a variety of crops are planted all year round, such as potatoes, cabbages, carrots, romaine, and radish.

Fresh from the highlands, they offer various strains of potato, radish, carrot, chayote, cucumber, cabbage, Chinese cabbage, tomato, romaine zucchini, sugar beets, bell pepper, broccoli, cauliflower, onion leeks, snow peas, and green beans.

cordillera-farmers-4.jpgPatches of sugarloaf cabbages at Maria’s Farm.

“In our farm, we are able to grow fruits in bigger sizes. For instance, in our cabbagesm, we are cultivating the scorpio F1 hybrid and sugarloaf varieties. When fully grown, these varieties are able to reach an average net weight of 2 kilograms each, while your regular lowland cabbage varieties only reaches 1 kilograms each. It’s twice the size,” she said.

Its partner farmers are also cultivating strawberry, lemon, parsley, cilantro, kale, mint, basil, alfalfa, arugula, red radish, young corn, fennel leaves, and okra.

They also have some of the iconic Cordillera processed goods, such as sweet and sour chili sauce, strawberry jam, peanut butter, and kimchi.

cordillera-farmers-5Fresh, newly uprooted potatoes.

Hernaez said an exporting farmer will be able to earn at least 15 pesos more per kilo of their products. She added: “Some might even go double the price when depending on their reception on our quality and demand.”

“With these products, we are targeting the demand in Singapore and other nearby ASEAN countries, as well as those in the Middle East,” she added. “We are also open to offers from other buyers across the globe that can be beneficial to the livelihood of our farmers.”

Benguet farmers moving forward


While the high elevation ensures its quality, the highland fruits and vegetables are also prone to risks of climate change, making its price highly volatile.

“We know that there is a demand for our agricultural products, but the next step is how we can corner that demand? With our talks with people that we met on IFEX Philippines, we should be able to do it if we set our fruits and vegetables at stable prices and produce them at a sustainable rate. It’s a challenge for us here in the highland considering the ever-changing weather conditions,” said Hernaez.

Faced with this predicament, Hernaez is trying to hit two birds in one stone in creating a viable year-round crop rotation system: working on identifying the in-demand varieties crops that are also tolerant to extreme weather and those that are resistant to pests and diseases.

“With this method, we also can minimize the use of synthetic chemicals and inputs, or apply good farming practices which involve the balanced application of organic and chemical inputs,” she explained.

The former OFW also continues to widen her network to increase their product supply and selection and open more avenues of growth for other small-scale farming communities.

At the same time, she is helping Benguet farmers secure the Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) certification, an export standard promoted by the ASEAN community and is unanimously recognized globally.

Out of the 78 GAP-certified farms in the Philippines, only 4 farms are from Cordillera.

According to the Department of Agriculture – Bureau of Agriculture and Fisheries Standards (DA-BAFS), GAP Certification ensures that a farm is not only in the quality of his crops, but in all aspects of farming.

cordillera-farmers-7Fifty-nine-year old farmer, Dolores Igme, shows their jumbo-sized winter melon or ash gourd. Igme is one of the farmers supported under the export initiative of GDME Fruits and Vegetable Trading.

The GAP standard requires a scrutiny of the history of the farm site and its prior use; the type of soil, and its compatibility with crops and seed sources; the judicious use of pesticides and fertilizers, whether chemical or organic; the sources of potable water for irrigation and washing of crops; the harvest and post-handling procedures; the health and hygiene of the farmer and handlers, and other factors.

“Gusto kong makita sa mga farmers if they can eat their products raw and fresh, ‘yun na kasi uso din because there are a lot of vegetarians. ‘Yung iba kasi they have a lot of pesticide to the point na hindi na pwede makain kasi maamoy or matapang yung chemicals. At least with GAP [certification], we can be one stop closer to this goal,” she said.

Aside from GAP certifications, GDME Fruits and Vegetable Trading is also working to secure Halal certifications for the small-scale farmers as they are targeting the demand for halal fruits and vegetables in the Middle East, particularly in Dubai and U.A.E.

Though the Philippine National Standards for Halal (PNS 2067: 2008), Halal products are at par with international standards to enhance the competitiveness of local industries, and to ensure product quality and safety for the consumers.

“GDME Fruits and Vegetable Trading is committed to prime Cordilleran farmers to become export-ready in the global market so that they would grow together with the company and the booming Philippine food industry,” she said.

If you are interested on premium fruits and vegetables from Benguet, please contact Ms. Maricel Hernaez (Owner of GDME Fruits and Vegetable Trading) at 0950-525-1170 or e-mail her at

ASEAN seafood firms urged to make waves in IFEX Philippines 2018

DTI-CITEM invites Southeast Asian firms to exhibit in PH’s 1st seafood export trade showsoutheast-asian-firms

The export promotion arm of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) invites seafood companies in Southeast Asia to join the first special edition of the International Food Exhibition (IFEX) Philippines to be held on 25-27 May 2018 at the World Trade Center Metro Manila (WTCMM).

Organized by the Center for International Trade Expositions and Missions (CITEM), IFEX Philippines is the country’s biggest and most respected food show for Asian heritage food and ingredients. It is the premier export event for emerging micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs), as well as esteemed large companies.

Previously held every two years, IFEX Philippines 2018 repositions as an annual event staging a special edition that focuses on the fast-growing seafood industry in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) community, featuring the theme “The Best of the Seas.”

“We are now accepting applications for those who want to join the special seafood edition of IFEX Philippines,” said CITEM Executive Director Clayton Tugonon. “It is the prime venue for ASEAN firms to drumbeat their brands, build a strong presence, expand their customer base, and benchmark their performance in the global market.”

As one of the official business events in the 30th ASEAN Summit, the recently concluded IFEX Philippines opened more trade opportunities and innovations in Southeast Asia with the participation of companies from Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore, Thailand and Viet Nam.

The three-day event was attended by nearly 11,000 international and local visitors, including 2,057 high-profile trade buyers from top global retail giants and supermarkets. These buyers came from different regions across the globe, such as Europe, China and SARs, Middle East, East Asia, America and Southeast Asia.

The IFEX 2017 edition surpassed its targets with $184.69 million (roughly P 9.23 billion) worth of export sales from 674 international and local exhibiting companies.

Among 12 product sectors in the event, seafood and marine products emerged as the top-earner, netting one-third or 33 percent of the total earnings with $61.79 million (roughly Php3.08 billion) export sales.

tunaTuna is the top-grossing product in the 11th edition of IFEX Philippines.

“In line with the Philippines’ chairmanship of this year’s ASEAN, IFEX Philippines will elevate efforts to achieve inclusive, innovation-led growth in Southeast Asia.,” explained Tugonon.

He added: “Following the huge demand in the previous show, we want to strengthen ASEAN’s market leadership in the global seafood market, especially since the fishing industry has been identified as one of the ASEAN’s twelve priority integration sectors.”

Based on a 2017 report of the Southeast Asian Fisheries Development Center, the ASEAN region contributed approximately 21.6% of the world’s marine production with increasing trend from 16.9 million metric tons (MT) in 2000 to 42.2 million MT in 2014, or an average increase of 1.8 million MT per year or 6.8% annually.

Indonesia consistently contributed the highest portion at 20.6 million MT or nearly 49% of the region’s total production, followed by Viet Nam, Myanmar and Philippines at 6.3 million MT (15%), 5.0 million MT (12%), and 4.7 million MT (11%), respectively.

“By staging an ASEAN seafood show, we want MSMEs to attract more buyers through our business-matching program and contribute more to the global supply chain of seafood products,” Tugonon said. “We also would like to inspire innovation with engaging conferences.”

Invited to exhibit in the three-day event are local and international seafood producers, processors, and traders, as well as companies in allied industries, from 10 ASEAN countries, including Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Viet Nam.

“We also invited those companies from countries that are key trading partners of the Philippines. This includes the United States, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Denmark, Norway, and Papua New Guinea,” Tugonon noted.

Local and foreign visitors of IFEX Philippines are comprised of importers, retailers, wholesalers, distributors, consolidators, trading firms, retail chains, hoteliers and restaurateurs, airlines, ship chandlers, commissaries, caterers, service providers, and health and fitness specialists/consultants.

The 12th edition of IFEX Philippines is organized by the Center for International Trade Expositions and Missions (CITEM), the export promotion arm of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), with support from the Department of Agriculture (DA) and the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR).

Interested parties may contact Ms. Leilani Santiago at 831-2201 local 263; or send an inquiry at

PH tropical fruits, seafood headline in world’s biggest food fair

DTI-CITEM steps up ‘Premium 7’ export drive in Anuga 2017

premium-7Coconut, banana, pineapple and mango are among the country’s ‘Premium 7’ export food commodities that wil be featured in Anuga 2017 on October 7-11 at the Koelnmesse in Cologne, Germany.

The Philippines’ finest tropical fruits and marine products will take center stage in the much-awaited Anuga, the world’s largest food fair, to be held on October 7-11 at the Koelnmesse in Cologne, Germany.

Led by the Center for International Trade Expositions and Missions, the FoodPHILIPINES pavilion in Anuga will spotlight the country’s ‘Premium 7’ food export commodities, which includes coconut, pineapple, mango, banana, coffee, cacao and tuna—all in different varieties, cultivars, and packaging presentation.

“Buyers are welcomed to visit the FoodPHILIPPINES pavilion in Anuga and sample the Philippines’ finest export food and ingredients,” said CITEM Executive Director Clayton Tugonon. “Chosen for their market versatility, global demand and export performance, the ‘Premium 7’ food group strategically fulfills the ever-growing demand for distinct tropical products in the European market.”

Located in the Koelnmesse Hall 1 (D-042g to E-049g), the FoodPHILIPPINES pavilion will also offer free tasting of tropical fruit beverages, cakes and confectioneries, noodles, salmon, polvoron (powdered milk candy), sardines, bagoong (shrimp paste), and other condiments.

Based on a Eurostat data, countries in the European Union (EU) has imported €19.1 billion worth of fruit and vegetables in 2015. Fruit imports dominated the vegetables, accounting for 88.4 % of the total volume. Among the highly sought-after fruits were banana, mango, and pineapple.

High fruit import demand in EU is largely due to the widespread whole foods diet and growing health consciousness in the region. A 2014 data from the European Health Interview Survey (EHIS) shows that 51.4 percent or more than half the population in EU eats one to four portions of fruit and vegetables daily, while 14.1 % consumes more than five portions per day.

In the United Kingdom, one-third (33.1%) of the population consumed more than five daily portions, in Denmark it was 25.9%, and in the Netherlands 25%.

Fresh tuna is also a high-valued product in the European market. Netherlands-basedtuna Centre for the Promotion of Imports (CBI) said EU countries recorded a five percent annual increase in fresh tuna imports from 2011 to 2015.

In 2015, European countries imported a total of € 142 million of fresh tuna. Yellowfin tuna was imported the most (€ 59 million), followed by Albacore (€ 34 million).


19 PH firms exhibit in largest food fair

Among the 19 local companies that are part of the Philippines’ delegation, four firms that will debut in Anuga are Green Enviro Management Systems with their Philippine-patented mango flour products, gluten-free pasta, and pastries; Goldilocks Bakeshop Inc. with the homegrown polvoron (powdered milk candy), Republic Biscuit Corporation with their branded biscuits, candies, snacks, cakes, wafers, chocolates, nuts, ice cream, and Seabest Food and Beverage Corporation with their dried fruits, juices, and purees.

Meanwhile, making a comeback in the five-day event are Alliance Select Foods International Inc., Amley Food Corporation, B-G Fruits & Nuts Mfg. Corp., Brandexports Philippines Inc., Century Pacific Food, Inc., KLT Fruits, Inc., Mega Global Corporation, Phil. Grocers Food Exports Inc., Pixcel Transglobal Foods, Inc., Prime Fruits International Inc., Profood International Corporation, Q-Phil Products International, Sagrex Foods Inc., Seatrade Canning Corporation, and See’s International Food Mfg. Corp.

Held every two years, Anuga presents a combination of 10 specialized trade shows under one roof, showcasing the diverse product selection in the global food industry. This year, around 160,000 visitors are expected to join the five-day event to check out the latest and most innovative products from around 7,200 exhibitors across the globe.

CITEM primes PH exporters for EU market

“With Anuga as a promising platform, penetrating the European market is equally challenging as it is rewarding for our local companies with all the strict requirements and standard compliance that needs to be met,” Tugonon stressed. “That is why we are moving to upgrade the knowledge-based of our local companies on the current market trends and innovative product packaging that is geared for the European market.”

Last month, CITEM initiated a seminar on “EU Labeling Requirements based on Regulation No 1169/2011 of the European Parliament and of the Council,” in coordination with the Philippine Trade Training Center (PTTC).

The seminar was attended by the 18 participants from 8 companies (See’s International Food Manufacturing Corp., KLT Fruits Inc., Kitchen Witchery Food Ventures Inc., Mega Fishing Corporation, Goldilocks, B-G Fruits and Nuts Manufacturing Corp., Magic Melt Foods Inc., and Brand Exports Philippines Inc.) who will participate in ANUGA FOOD FAIR 2017 with the theme “Taste the Future.”

During the seminar, Engr. Menandro Ortego of PTTC discussed the detailed labeling requirements for the EU market and DTI-Bureau of International Trade Relations (BITR) Director Ann Claire Cabochan emphasized the benefits under the EU’s Generalised Scheme of Preferences (GSP+), and oriented the exhibitors on the website of the EU Export Help Desk for the tariff code of their respective products.