Filipino culinary champions to serve PH food in premier Melbourne food show as it gains ground in Australia

  • Global Filipino chefs and icons Ross Magnaye, Jordy Navarra, Nicole Ponseca and Yasmin Newman are set to serve Philippine heritage cuisine at the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival.
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Filipino culinary stars at MFWF: Jordy Navarra (upper-left), Nicole Ponseca(upper-right), Yasmin Newman (lower-left) and Ross Magnaye (lower-right).

 

As Philippine food gains prominence in Australia, four Filipino chefs are set to serve the country’s iconic and heritage cuisine on 12 and 13 March at the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival (MFWF) happening on 8-24 March 2019

MFWF is an annual event held in March by Food and Wine Victoria Ltd. since 1993 to promote Melbourne and Victoria’s food and wine culture. On its 27th edition this year, the month-long celebration is set to celebrate the trends and techniques in the culinary world that has an influence in Australian communities.

Rising up to the challenge is Filipino-Australian chef Ross Magnaye, who is the head of Rice Paper Sister Restaurant—a place that serves finger-licking Asian street food and iconic food fusions in Melbourne.

Joining him are culinary icons Jordy Navarra, Nicole Ponseca and Yasmin Newman to create a one-off ‘BARRIO’ dinner as part of the Global Dining Series of MFWF.

Navarra runs Toyo Eatery in Manila, crowned with the Miele One to Watch Award 2018 amongst Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants. Ponseca is behind New York City’s Maharlika and Jeepney, while local food and travel writer Newman is the author of the critically acclaimed cookbook, 7000 Islands: Cherished Recipes and Stories from the Philippines.

Under their ‘BARRIO’ menu, these Filipino culinary superstars are set to tell  through their culinary creations the story of their shared heritage, culinary journeys and advocacy for the cuisine they love most – Filipino.

They will co-create an exclusive and refined entrée for MFWF visitors that highlights the Philippines’ rich culinary techniques and their deep Filipino heritage as part of the Global Dining Series presented by Lavazza and event partner San Pellegrino.

Elevating Filipino flavors

According to Chef Ross, his Filipino food inspiration is drawn from his beautiful and communal feasting experiences with his family throughout his childhood in Davao, Philippines.

“In every birthday or celebration, I was blessed to be able to enjoy really great food and this enabled me to appreciate and be knowledgeable about food at a really young age. My passion also comes from family and how they have shown love for me through cooking and sharing food,” he said.

He moved to Australia at the age of 15 and had his first culinary stint at an Italian fine diner in Melbourne CBD under Joe Uva. With his great passion for confections, he worked at Burch and Purchese sweet studio under Darren Purchese and went also to Brazil to gain more experience at D.O.M in Sao Paulo then went to Phuket to work at Aziamendi at Iniala beach club.

Currently, Magnaye has been in the Australian food scene for more than a decade, helping in the opening of restaurants and eventually launching his own: Rice Paper Scissors and Sister.

“When I returned to Melbourne, I had a call from an old friend for a job opening at Rice Paper Scissors. I was head chef there for around 2 years and opened Sister about 2 years ago,” he said.

“I also have cooked and travelled as a guest chef in many places – Hongkong, Singapore, Paris, Tokyo, Manila, Malaysia,” he added.

Throughout his experiences, Ross has championed the Filipino way of dining, describing it as “family-style sharing.” “The best qualities of Filipino food that people love is that besides the beautiful flavors of saltiness, sour, funky and sweet is that the way Filipinos eat. Families eating together is what I think is special about the Filipino way of eating,” he said.

“My top 3 favorite Filipino ingredients to use would be coconut vinegar, crab fat or crab roe and ‘bagoong’ for funk,” he said.

Australia is home to over 250,000 people of Filipino heritage, with over 10,000 Filipino students enrolled in Australian universities and vocational institutions. Like Chef Ross, Australians of Filipino heritage make the fifth largest group of Australians born overseas, third only to Chinese and Indians in number, followed by Vietnamese.

Yet, unlike many other Asian cuisines that have been part of the Australian landscape for decades, it is only recently that Filipino dishes have started gaining recognition outside immigrant communities, at restaurants like Reys Place in Sydney and Lolo and Lola in Canberra.

With his participation in MFWF, Chef Ross will use these flavors to further mainstream Filipino food on diners and tables across Australia. “I just want to make sure that I continue to push Filipino cuisine through Sister. I also have a couple of dinner events planned in the next couple of months both local and international which I am looking forward to,” he noted.

Mainstreaming PH food in Australia

Part of the efforts to mainstream Philippine food in Australia is the Philippine Trade and Investment Center (PTIC) in Sydney in collaboration with the Filipino Food Movement, San Francisco-based organization that aims to elevate the country’s food in the international scene, and THE ENTREE.PINAYS, a Melbourne-based group of food-loving and enterprising Filipino female entrepreneurs.

Fides Mae Santos-Arguelles, the co-founder and sales and marketing director of Entrée.Pinays, said they aim to combat the challenges and negative stigmas facing Filipino cuisine, shed light on the true value of Filipino cuisine, build a better platform upon which to celebrate and elevate the Filipino food experience and gather those that are working tirelessly to do the same.

Alma Argayoso, the PTIC Special Trade Representative in Sydney, also said they aim to promote Filipino food and culture via creative collaboration, community experiences and stories.

“Our trade office will collaborate with Entrée.Pinays and other relevant stakeholders to promote a better appreciation of Filipino cuisine and commercially ensure that more Filipino food and ingredients are available in the Australian market,” says Argayoso.

“We also have a Very Important Buyer Program and Fly-in-Journalist Program in the Philippines where we sponsor food importers and journalists to fly to the Philippines to see, taste, experience and source Filipino food at IFEX Philippines, an international food exhibition showcasing the freshest produce and finest food and ingredients that the Philippines can offer,” Argayoso added.

To know more about Filipino food and heritage, visit www.ifexphilippines.com/ to sign up for the event or to check out more details. Follow IFEX Philippines on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to get more updates on the event.

 

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Local and int’l food traders invited to source in the PH amid booming agri-exports

  • DTI-CITEM eyes to further boost exports as it presents ‘NXTFOOD ASIA’ in its next edition of IFEX Philippines
IFEX Philippines Premium ExportsThe Philippines’ ‘Premium 7’ food exports include banana, cacao, coffee, coconut, mango, pineapple and tuna.

 

Food traders and enthusiasts around world are invited to source the finest Asian food and ingredients in the Philippines as the country’s food and agricultural product exports continuous to expand.

The Philippine Department of Trade and Industry, through the Center for International Trade Expositions and Missions (DTI-CITEM), said global buyers could discover the next big thing in Asian food in the International Food Exhibition (IFEX) Philippines at the World Trade Center Metro Manila (WTCMM) on May 24-26, 2019.

Now on its 13th edition, the three-day event will present ‘NXTFOOD ASIA’ featuring the innovations, trends and best practices in the food industry with the participation of Philippine and Asian food champions, manufacturers, culinary talents and other stakeholders.

“The Philippines is your gateway to Asian food products with its vibrant agri-export and food manufacturing industry, as well as its strong oriental influence and strategic proximity to other Asian countries,” said DTI-CITEM Executive Director Pauline Suaco-Juan.

“Food buyers and lovers can savor these Asian products and other tropical delights with the showcase of ‘NXTFOOD ASIA’ in IFEX Philippines, the country’s biggest and most respected business-to-business (B2B) event for Asian food and ingredients,” she added.

The three-day event will cover 12 different food sectors, namely (1) seafood and marine products; (2) alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages; (3) coffee, herbal teas and cocoa; (4) fresh and processed seafood; (5) fruits and vegetables; (6) grains and cereals; (7) herbs and spices; (8) meat and poultry; (9) natural, healthy and organic products; (10) bakery and confectionery; (11) specialty, ethnic and gourmet products; and (12) allied industries.

According to Suaco-Juan, buyers and visitors are in for a much exciting and productive sourcing experience in IFEX Philippines this year. Attendees can discover, taste, feel, smell, see in full color the next big thing in Asian food and relish in their lineup of exhibits and activities.

“By presenting ‘NXTFOOD ASIA,’ we aim to showcase the agricultural bounty and culinary heritage of the Philippines and other Asian countries that are now delighting palates across the globe,” noted Suaco-Juan.

PH agri-exports boom

In 2017, the Philippines’ export earnings from agricultural products reached a total of Php 331.61 billion with fresh banana as the country’s leading agricultural export commodity according to the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA). This number was higher by 32.25 percent from the 2016 record of Php 250.75 billion.

The country has recently reclaimed its position as the second-largest exporter of bananas in the world based on a preliminary market review report of the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).

FAO estimated that Philippine banana exports last year expanded by 77.34 percent to an all-time high of 2.95 million metric tons from a recorded volume of 1.663 MMT in 2017.

The output recovery of the Philippines, which accounts for about 90 percent of the total Asian banana exports, boosted the region’s shipments by 70 percent in 2018 to 3.2 MMT from 1.9 MMT in 2017, according to FAO.

Meanwhile, the same PSA report showed the volume of centrifugal sugar exports at 440,733 metric tons indicating a 142.48 percent increment in 2017. Its exports value went up to Php 10.26 billion by 118.14 percent and contributed 3.09 percent to the total value of agricultural exports.

The volume of fresh mango exports at 16,166 metric tons and value at Php 1.17 billion also went up by 12.36 percent and 84.56 percent, respectively, with a notable increase in market price.

“Increasing exportation both in volume and value were noted for onion, mongo, cocoa beans, sweet potato, cassava, papaya and calamansi,” said Suaco-Juan. “There’s also a huge market interest for the other agri-commodities like santol, kamias, jackfruit, dalandan, passion fruit and other rootcrops and exotic Philippine fruits.”

PSA report also revealed that the value of rice exports in 2017 at Php 44.61 million grew by 114.85 percent. Its corresponding volume went up to 322.0 metric tons or by 22.30 percent. Exportation of corn in 2017 at 595.5 metric tons valued at Php 84.11 million also increased by 71.66 percent and by 65.32 percent, respectively.

In the world export market, the Philippines has a bigger share in the export earnings generated from coconut products. In 2016, the contribution of the Philippines’ export value of desiccated coconut to the world export earnings increased to 31.07 percent.  Increasing shares were noted as well in pineapple at 24.99 percent and banana at 5.77 percent.

The “next big thing” in Asian food to be served at IFEX Philippines 2019

  • Presenting ‘NXTFOOD ASIA,’ this year’s edition will showcase the next big thing in Asian food featuring the latest food innovations, trends and best practices in the food industry.

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Are you ready for the next big thing in Asian food?

Discover it in the upcoming 13th edition of the International Food Exhibition (IFEX) Philippines at the World Trade Center Metro Manila (WTCMM) on May 24-26, 2019.

Presenting ‘NXTFOOD ASIA,’ this year’s edition will showcase Asian food featuring the latest food innovations, trends and best practices in the food industry with the participation of Asian food manufacturers, experts, culinary masters, enthusiasts and other stakeholders in the food world.

IFEX Philippines is the country’s biggest and most respected business-to-business (B2B) event for Asian food and ingredients organized by the Philippines’ Department of Trade and Industry through the Center for International Trade Expositions and Missions (DTI-CITEM).

“See, taste and experience the next big thing in the future of food in the Philippines and other countries as we serve you the flavorful selections that emanate from our deeply rooted Asian culinary tradition and heritage,” said DTI-CITEM Executive Director Pauline Suaco-Juan.

“Be part of this gastronomic celebration to discover the finest food and ingredients, iconic culinary fusions, home-grown delicacies and latest food trends that Asia has to offer, as well as experience the world-renowned hospitality of the Filipino people,” she added.

 

Asian Food Bonanza

Culminating this year’s edition is the exhibit of ‘Asian Food Champions’ featuring international country pavilions such as China, Taiwan, Korea, Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia and other Asian countries. It shall be complemented by the ‘Asian Flavors Avenue’ where a variety of Asian cuisine will be offered to event participants, buyers and visitors.

“With the show’s strong reputation and our aggressive marketing campaign, we hope to get the support of Asian embassies, tourism promotion organizations (TPOs), marketing agents and well-known Asian restaurants to sign up for the event,” said Suaco-Juan.

Welcoming buyers and visitors with an appetizing zing will be the corner for fermented Asian food with a palatable selection of iconic pickles, relishes, condiments and tangy selection. It will feature the sweet, sour, salty and fermented preserves from various Asian countries.

“The flexibility of Asian food will also be put to the test in an Asian noodle exhibit which will highlight the range of traditional to ready-to-eat noodle products in their various forms, shapes, colors and flavors,” added Suaco-Juan.

A new much-awaited exhibit is the ‘IFEX Degustacion: Islands on a Plate’ that will host a unique food tasting experience and retail section in a ‘fiesta’ setting featuring home-grown food brands and best-known delicacies originating from various regions in the Philippines with a unique culinary heritage. Along this setting is a beverage lane that will give buyers and visitors a preview of the latest in fruit- and vegetable-based alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, juices, wines and spirits where Filipino home-grown beverages and top local brands will be featured.

“We’re also very excited to debut ‘The Cold Room,’ an innovative exhibit designed to feature various Philippine seafood like tuna, prawns, octopus, seaweed and other high-value marine food products in an actual cold storage facility open to the guests,” Suaco-Juan said as she described how buyers and visitors will have the chance to taste and sample fresh sashimi, ceviche and shrimp cocktails.

 

Global PH food firms step up

Another exciting addition is the ‘Food Philippines’ hall which shall be the premier venue for top Philippine food brands with a strong presence in the global food market. It shall house the country’s exporters of Premium 7 products and the next rising stars in Philippine food, as well as consolidators representing Philippine food exporters.

“The country’s Premium 7 export products are banana, mango, pineapple, coconut, tuna, coffee and cacao. These commodities are tagged as the Premium 7 since these have been the Philippines’ leading food export for the longest time,” said Suaco-Juan.

Meanwhile, the next rising stars of Philippine food include calamansi (Philippine lime), pili nuts, ube (purple yam), and fruit and vegetable-based beverages.

According to Suaco-Juan, these exhibits are only teasers of what is to come in IFEX Philippines 2019. Buyers and exhibitors can expect this year to be more oriented towards oriental flavors as the show strengthens its position as a premier sourcing event for Asian food and ingredients.

In 2017, IFEX Philippines was one of the official business events during the country’s hosting of the 31st Association of Southeast Asian Nation (ASEAN) Summit. The show paved the way for more opportunities and innovations around the world with the showcase of the Philippines’ best and overseas participation of Asian countries like China, South Korea, Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore and Thailand.

Last year, the three-day event was relaunched as an annual trade show. It showcased Asian food products from nearly 600 food exhibitors and welcomed more than 7,000 visitors including over 1,800 trade buyers from 40 countries around the world.

Visit www.ifexphilippines.com/ to sign up for the event or to check out more details. Follow IFEX Philippines on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to get more updates on the event.

Int’l, PH firms urged to tap growing global food markets at IFEX Philippines 2019

  • DTI-CITEM enjoins international and local food companies to sign up for the upcoming IFEX Philippines 2019 on 24-26 May 2019 at the World Trade Center (WTC) in Pasay City.
  • IFEX Philippines 2019 welcomes international and local companies to tap the rising global demand for premium and quality food products.
img1Trade buyers and visitors flocked toward international and local exhibitors in the last edition of IFEX Philippines.

Manila, Philippines — International and local companies are invited to explore the growing market for quality food exports in the 13th edition of the International Food Exhibition (IFEX) Philippines which will be held on 24-26 May 2019 at the World Trade Center (WTC) Pasay City, Metro Manila, Philippines.

Organized by the Philippines’ Department of Trade and Industry through the Center for International Trade Expositions and Missions (DTI-CITEM), IFEX Philippines is the country’s biggest and most respected business-to-business (B2B) event for Asian food and ingredients.

Starting 2018, IFEX Philippines has become an annual event for more opportunities for international and local companies to tap the rising global demand for premium and quality food products from different regions across the globe, including North and South America, Europe, East Asia, the Middle East, Southeast Asia, Australia and many more.

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DTI-CITEM Executive Director Pauline Suaco-Juan.

The three-day event will cover 12 different food sectors namely (1) seafood and marine products; (2) alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages; (3) coffee, herbal teas and cocoa; (4) fresh and processed seafood; (5) fruits and vegetables; (6) grains and cereals; (7) herbs and spices; (8) meat and poultry; (9) natural, healthy and organic products; (10) bakery and confectionery; (11) specialty, ethnic and gourmet products; and (12) other allied industries.

“IFEX Philippines continues to be the premier export platform for international and local companies with its reputation as an internationally recognized food trade show brand for Asian food and ingredients in the food exhibition industry,” said DTI-CITEM Executive Director Pauline Suaco-Juan.

“For our upcoming edition, we aim to elevate participating companies to a strategic position where they can better leverage on the event’s exhibits, seminars, networking and business-matching activities, as well as take advantage of the Philippines’ proximity to other markets,” she added.

According to DTI-CITEM, individual exhibitors who participated in IFEX Philippines 2018 can avail of a loyalty discount. This discount excludes exhibitors or companies under group or regional participation.

IFEX Philippines 2018 performance

In the previous edition of IFEX Philippines, DTI-CITEM surpassed its targets with over USD 256 million worth of export and domestic sales from 513 international and local exhibitors.

Among 12 product sectors in the event, natural and organic products emerged as the best-selling category which generated USD 29.9 million worth of sales. It was followed by fine food and specialties (USD 29M); fresh and processed fruits and vegetables (USD 22.6M); grains and cereals (USD 12.9M); and beverages (USD 8.55M).

Nearly 8,000 buyers and visitors attended the event, including over 1,800 high-profile trade buyers from top global retail giants and supermarkets. 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 or consultants.

The top five country origin of Very Important Buyers (VIBs) in the event came from Japan, United Arab Emirates (UAE), China, Qatar and the United States, respectively.

VIBs in the event represented notable supermarkets and retail chains, including Lulu Hypermarket, Al Maya Group; Nesto Group; T&T Supermarket; ISETAN the Japan Store; Integral Food Services (IFS) WLL; Kobebussan Co., Ltd.; Variety Trading and many more.

A springboard for trade exhibitions abroad

Participating in IFEX Philippines not only allows MSMEs meet potential buyers, but also are given the opportunity to be part of the Philippine participation in overseas exhibitions and trade missions.

“IFEX Philippines offers more than just an exhibition and a business event. Through its different trade show features and programs, IFEX Philippines allows large companies and MSMEs to feel the pulse of the export industry and get an idea on which countries they can tap to grow their business,” said Suaco-Juan.

A prime mover in export marketing, driving numerous official Philippine participation in overseas trade exhibitions and notable promotional endeavors for food and beverage products, DTI-CITEM takes companies with trade fair experience in IFEX Philippines to international food exhibitions such as Winter Fancy Food Show and Summer Fancy Food Show in the US, Gulfood in the UAE, FOODEX in Japan, Taipei International Food Show in Taiwan, SIAL Paris in France, and ANUGA in Germany.

Those who are interested to join IFEX Philippines 2019 can contact the Project Officer-Lead for Exhibitor Campaign, Ms Zhary S. Bagayas, via e-mail at zbagayas@citem.com.ph or telephone number at (632) 831-2201 local 228.

Pangasinan MSMEs join IFEX Philippines

DTI-CITEM, Dagupan LGU team up to uplift local firms in PH biggest food show

img1.jpgMSME representatives from Dagupan City under the Produktong Dagupeño Marketing Cooperative (PDMC).

Products of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) based in Dagupan City, Pangasinan will be showcased during the three-day IFEX Philippines, the country’s biggest export-oriented food show on 25-27 May 2018 at the World Trade Center Metro Manila and the Philippine Trade Training Center (PTTC).

IFEX Philippines is the Philippines’ biggest export‐oriented food show organized by the Center for International Trade Expositions and Missions (CITEM), the export promotion arm of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI).

A total of 16 Dagupan-based MSMEs already confirmed participation in IFEX Philippines 2018 which is expected to draw thousands of visitors around the world. The exhibiting firms are members of the Produktong Dagupeño Marketing Cooperative (PDMC), a group of entrepreneurs assembled by the local government unit (LGU) last January 2018 to uplift the best of Dagupan‐made products.

“PDMC is proud to represent the best of what Dagupan has to offer to the world in IFEX Philippines,” said Fiona Mae Lopez, the Dagupan City Cooperative Officer. “This will be the first major trade event of PDMC as a cooperative ever since the group took off starting 2018.”

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Fishing accounts for a major slice of livelihood in Dagupan City.

In partnership with CITEM, the local government of Dagupan City facilitated and subsidized the participation of the MSMEs to promote the city’s premier products and provide more livelihood opportunities for small businesses.

“The collective participation of Dagupan firms is a welcome development for the upcoming seafood edition of IFEX Philippines,” said Nora K. Terrado, DTI Undersecretary for Trade and Investments Promotion.

“Developing MSMEs is one of the priority growth areas of DTI under the Duterte administration. They are our partners for pushing for inclusive growth and it is now our turn to help them elevate their marketing promotions and export-readiness,” added Terrado.

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Palitao de yema, one of Dagupan City’s special delicacies, will also be featured in IFEX Philippines.

PDMC members showcasing the world-class Dagupan Bangus includes La Catalina, Delia’s Marinated Boneless Bangus, Nak‐Nak’s, Nana Cion, Maria Endang, Noreen, Pugaro Fish Products and other bangus producers.

The group is also featuring some of the city’s other high-value seafood products and local delicacies from Mamang’s Homemade, Aling Galing, Jarold’s Super Desserts and Anne’s Cassava Chips.

Their products include lapu-lapu, talakitok, oysters, crab, shrimp, dried fish, cassava chips, organic nipa vinegar, ube halaya, roasted peanut, turmeric tea, palitao de yema, and other local treats.

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), in partnership with the Department of Agriculture (DA).

Interested companies/exhibitor may contact Ms. Alex Lucas at 831-2137, or send an inquiry at alucas@citem.com.ph.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

‘Milkfish Capital of the World’ joins IFEX Philippines 2018

Dagupan City local gov’t brings worldfamous bangus in PH’s biggest export food show


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Dagupan Bangus, known for its sweet and savory taste, is set to make a splash in IFEX Philippines 2018.

Touted as the “Milkfish Capital of the World”, Dagupan City will take center stage in the 12th edition of IFEX Philippines 2018 on May 25‐27 at the World Trade Center Metro Manila in Pasay City.

With the theme ‘The Best of the Seas,’ this year’s edition will highlight Dagupan City’s wide product assortment of world‐renowned milkfish, locally known as bangus, other seafood offerings, and various local delicacies in their Regional Pavilion.

“We are proud to welcome Dagupan City as a premier addition to our roster of regional participants in the upcoming event,” said Nora K. Terrado, Undersecretary for Trade and Investments Promotion of the Department Trade and Industry (DTI).

“As a prime export promotion platform, IFEX Philippines is the perfect venue for Dagupeños to showcase the country’s national fish and show to buyers why their city is fast becoming the Bangus Capital of the World,” explained Terrado.

IFEX Philippines is the Philippines’ biggest export‐oriented food show organized by the Center for International Trade Expositions and Missions (CITEM), the export promotion arm of DTI.

“Everyone is invited to visit our pavilion in IFEX Philippines to enjoy Dagupan Bangus in various ways since we will offer it fresh and frozen in their cut of choice, deboned, marinated in corn oil, smoked, or stuffed,” said Dagupan City Mayor Belen Hernandez.

Dagupan Bangus: World’s Tastiest Milkfish

As a major commercial hub in the province of Pangasinan, Dagupan City prides itself with the reputation of supplying the world’s tastiest milkfish products with its sweet and savory taste, producing at least an estimated 16,000 tons of milkfish annually.

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The 8.04 kg bangus in the 2017 Bangus Rodeo.

Thousands of jobs are generated through the bangus industry including farmers, processors, and dealers. As of 2017, there are 221 accredited milkfish‐producing businesses in the locality.

With its lucrative milkfish industry, Dagupan City mounts its annual “Bangus Festival,” a month‐long thanksgiving celebration highlighted with a showdown of the city’s finest catch and an iconic simultaneous grilling of thousands of Dagupan Bangus.

Last year, the heaviest bangus winner weighs 8.04 kilograms. This is considered as one of the heaviest ever recorded in the annals of the Bangus Rodeo, one of the major events of Bangus Festival. In 2003, the city’s grill line was also featured in the Guinness Book of World Records when it secured the record for the Longest Barbeque in the World (later taken by the town of Bayambang, also in Pangasinan).

According to City Agriculturist Ema Molina, Dagupan Bangus derives its distinct taste to the topographical arrangement of its fishing sites in brackish waters with fresh water coming from Mt. Ampucao in Benguet while the salty water comes from the Lingayen Gulf.

“The combination of waterbodies make Dagupan City the perfect place to raise bangus since this setup enables the breeding grounds to have more salinity than fresh water, but not as much as seawater,” said Molina.

Studies show that the soil was found to be low in phosphorus and high in calcium. The bones of the fish are bigger due to the high‐level of calcium concentration and this allows for more meat.

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“The frequent tidal action also results in the flushing of soil and dirt in the fishing grounds, preventing unwanted change in taste and quality,” explained Molina.

“Constant flushing also contributes to the growth of lablab which fishes feed on,” she added.

Lablab is a naturally-grown aquatic plant that consists of diatoms, planktons, and benthic blue algae. In order to grow lablab, the water from the fishponds has to be flushed out and allowed to dry for a day.

Molina also shared that Dagupan Bangus can be distinguished by its lower tail that is shorter than its upper tail, which really makes it very unique as compared with other milkfish varieties.

Among its distinguishing features are its short head and short mouth, as well as its protruding belly which is considered as the most delicious part of the fish.

“Since Dagupan Bangus is well-known and sought-after in the market, other milkfish sellers are trying to fool buyers by cutting the lower tail shorter to make it seem like a real deal,” warned Molina.

To protect and promote their brand, the local government has instituted the Dagupan Bangus Industry Development program through an ordinance to maintain high standards in breeding, processing and certifying their milkfishes in partnership with DTI, the Department of Science and Technology (DOST), Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) and other private entities.

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Milkfish with ‘Dagupan Certified’ seal.

“Through public and private efforts, we have developed a ‘farm‐to‐fork’ process for our bangus products, which involves the accreditation and recommendation of farms, dealers, processors, and retailers all over the country,” explained Molina.

Just last year, the city government opened a shared‐service deboning facility at the Malimgas Public Market that adheres to good manufacturing practices of milkfish processing.

“We have also instituted a tagging scheme to protect the interest of our patrons and consumers, so if you want to ensure that you are buying a genuine Dagupan Bangus, you need to look for a ‘Dagupan Certified’ yellow seal on the fish,” shared Molina.

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), in partnership with the Department of Agriculture (DA).

Interested companies/exhibitor may contact Ms. Alex Lucas at 831-2137, or send an inquiry at alucas@citem.com.ph.

 

IFEX Philippines 2018 makes waves with exciting seafood edition

World-class seafood and marine products headline at PH’s biggest food show

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Global buyers are up for an exciting showcase of the Philippines’ premier seafood and other food segments in the International Food Exhibition (IFEX) Philippines, the country’s biggest export-oriented food show, on May 25-27 at the World Trade Center Metro Manila, Pasay City.

Organized by the Department of Trade and Industry‐Center for Trade Expositions and Mission (DTI‐CITEM), IFEX Philippines 2018 will stage its first special edition featuring “The Best of the Seas,” focusing on the fast-growing seafood market in the Philippine regions and other Asian countries.

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“Now an annual event, IFEX Philippines continues to be the largest and widely anticipated food trade event in the country,” said Nora K. Terrado, DTI Undersecretary for Trade and Investments Promotion Group and CITEM Officer-in-Charge (OIC).

“For its 12th edition, we will highlight the Philippines’ finest seafood to satisfy the growing global demand for marine product and coastal cuisines, along with other exquisite food products across the globe,” added Terrado.

As one of the official business events during the country’s hosting of ASEAN in 2017, last year’s IFEX Philippines opened more trade opportunities and innovations around the world with the showcase of Philippines’ best and overseas participation of the European Union (EU), China, South Korea, Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore, Thailand and other countries.

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.

For its 12th edition, the IFEX Philippines will excite buyers with the country’s top and emerging food export companies to promote Philippine food products and strengthen links with buyers, importers, and retailers in the global market. Meanwhile, the event will also put up an International Hall to host the top seafood and non‐marine products of leading companies and manufacturers from other participating countries.

Making a flavorful splash in its seafood edition, IFEX Philippines will also stage the Regional Seafood Pavilion, a regional showcase of world‐class seafood products and ingredients locally sourced from the coasts and diverse marine environments across the Philippine archipelago.

“We are tapping the country’s most marine-abundant coastal regions from Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao. This is where we will bring key suppliers to make it easier for buyers to source in one pavilion the best fish and marine products, such as tuna, milkfish, prawns, tilapia, and other seafood from the Philippines,” said Terrado.

The Coastal Culinary Cuisine will then complete the culinary journey in a dynamic presentation of the Philippines’ most iconic and distinct regional seafood cuisines from top international and local experts to give an exquisite experience of the country’s heirloom flavors and traditions.

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The Marketplace is also open for a one‐stop retail experience of premium food products ranging from seafood products, fruits and vegetables, meat and poultry, processed foods, homemade regional delicacies, and many more.

For those in want of much more inspiration and adventure, visiting buyers and exhibiting companies can also attend export and investment seminars to get new ideas and updates on the latest regulations, trends, and innovations in the food industry from renowned experts, researchers, lecturers and members of the academe.

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 companies/exhibitor may contact Ms. Alex Lucas at 831-2137, or send an inquiry at alucas@citem.com.ph.