PH products rake in $102M in largest food trade show in the Middle East

  • The Philippine participation in the recently concluded Gulfood 2020 proved successful as the delegation surpassed its export sales target for this edition.
FoodPhilippines - Middle East buyer tries Philippine food samples
Middle East trade buyer partakes in the food sampling activities at the FoodPhilippines booth.

Philippine food products featured in the recently concluded Gulfood held at the Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC) last 16-20 February 2020 were well-received by trade buyers and visitors alike as the Philippine delegation promoted the country’s top-performing food exports.

Headed by Undersecretary Abdulgani Macatoman of the Department of Trade and Industry’s Trade Promotions Group (DTI-TPG), the delegation with 24 exporters from the Philippines’ food sector booked a total of $102 million dollars in reported export sales at the event, which surpassed this year’s target of $93 million.

“The positive reception and performance of Filipino food products in Gulfood reaffirms the demand and market opportunities for Philippine food exports in the Middle East and North African region,” Macatoman said. “This outcome is a signifier and an invitation for local food companies to strengthen their export capabilities to better capture this promising market segment and further promote Philippine products globally.”

The participating companies carried with them a variety of fresh, processed and pre-packaged food products to showcase for the Middle East and North African (MENA) markets. Bestsellers from the Philippine exhibitors include food preserves, fresh and processed bananas, mixes and sauces, condiments and frozen shrimp. On-site demos and samplings were also conducted at the FoodPhilippines pavilion to supplement the promotion of these products during the show.

Visitors at the show particularly noted the superior quality of the seafood and newly introduced frozen meats on display at the Philippine Pavilion. Banana chips were also among the more in-demand products with foreign buyers looking for larger quantity packaging of the local snack food.

The Philippine participation in the 25th edition of Gulfood was organized by the Department of Trade and Industry, through the Center for International Trade Expositions and Missions (DTI-CITEM) and in partnership with the Philippine Trade and Investment Center (PTIC) Dubai.

Visit for more information on FoodPhilippines and the Philippine participation in Gulfood.


PH to highlight top products in largest Halal food show in the Middle East

  • The Philippine delegation aims to capture a larger portion of the continuously growing global halal market and capitalize on the significant business potentials of its burgeoning local halal industry.

The Department of Trade and Industry, through the Center for International Trade Expositions and Missions (DTI-CITEM) and in partnership with the Philippine Trade and Investment Center (PTIC) Dubai, will lead 23 exporters from the Philippines’ food sectors in the 25th edition of the Gulf Food, Hotel and Equipment Exhibition and Salon Culinaire (Gulfood) this 16-20 February 2020 at the Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC), United Arab Emirates.

After raking in $83.2 million in last year’s edition, the Philippine delegation will return this year under the FoodPhilippines brand to showcase a bevy of locally produced food products which include last year’s bestsellers like bananas, coconut products, canned seafood and dried fruits. Located at the Sheikh Rashid Hall of the DWTC, the FoodPhilippines Pavilion will feature local companies, majority of which are halal-certified, with some also having additional relevant certifications like HACCP, USFDA, kosher and organic.

Gulfood is one of the world’s biggest food and hospitality trade shows and a quintessential meeting point for members of the global food industry. The international food trade show welcomes over 100,000 visitors from 200 countries every year and will be celebrating its 25th edition this 2020. Gulfood will launch its landmark anniversary under the theme, “Rethinking Food,” which challenges its visitors and participants to take the same direction with their processes, approaches and executions.

With Gulfood attracting not only buyers from the Gulf countries, but also from all over the Middle East and North African (MENA) region, these certifications are crucial in meeting the demands and capturing a bigger market share of the US$ 3.3-trillion global halal market.

PH top exports (banana & coconut)
Top-performing Philippine exports, bananas and coconuts, will be featured in Gulfood 2020

The Philippine delegation will mostly consist of returning exhibitors such as Century Pacific Food Inc., Mega Global Corporation, Profood International Corporation and Mama Sita’s. These companies will be joined by three Gulfood newcomers namely, Jeverps Manufacturing Corporation, Mofels Food International Corporation and GAINCOCO. This upcoming Philippine participation is all set to showcase the country’s top food exports to buyers from the Gulf states and the MENA region with the help of some on-site demos and samplings. The export food products that will be featured include fresh cavendish bananas, dried fruits, coconut products, mixes and sauces, canned seafoods, noodles, pastries and dairy products.


Promising future

According to DTI Secretary Ramon M. Lopez, Halal is a good business venture for 2020. Secretary Lopez, who is also the Chair of the Halal Export Development and Promotion Board, said in a recent statement that entrepreneurs should start with a change in mindset and see halal as a lifestyle that can be enjoyed by everyone.

“Halal-certified food products connote positive attributes such as being clean, healthy and pure,” said Lopez. “We encourage more companies to apply for Halal certification because it opens more markets, so more consumers can buy their products.”

There are currently 10 Halal-certifying bodies in the Philippines, but the Trade Secretary is pushing for more certifying bodies to accommodate more applicants and encourage more businesses to tap into the continuously growing Halal industry. With this, Lopez looks at Singapore as a benchmark on how the Philippine halal industry can be grown and improved since Singapore is known to be largely Muslim-friendly and both countries have 10% of their respective populations belonging to the Muslim community.

DTI Undersecretary Abdulgani Macatoman emphasized that the global halal industry is still relatively untapped by Philippine businesses. With the global Muslim populations concentrated in the MENA and Asia-Pacific regions, Macatoman notes that this creates suitable conditions for local micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) to make a breakthrough in these regional halal markets. This can be achieved by growing the Philippine halal industry and by participating in relevant trade fairs in the Middle East.

“With the steady growth of Muslim populations worldwide, and consequently the halal market, it is even more important now that the Philippines pushes for improved and expanded halal accreditation among its concerned industries,” Macatoman said. “This is in order to penetrate the market and address the needs of the underserved halal markets locally and worldwide.”

“Having harmonious halal certification processes and accreditation policies and standards for the Philippines is the key to improving the country’s integrity and credibility in both the national and the international communities,” Macatoman added.

Discover what sets Philippine food products apart in the 25th edition of Gulfood at the Dubai World Trade Centre this 16-20 February 2020 as the Philippine delegation continues to strengthen the promotion of Filipino halal products in the Middle East and North African regions.

For more information on the Philippine participation and FoodPhilippines in Gulfood 2020, visit

Top Chinese trade delegation seeks PH food exports at IFEX Philippines: NXTFOOD ASIA

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Banana is one of the Philippines top agricultural exports to China.

A delegation of top food companies from Shanghai, China and its surrounding cities seek to source food products and ingredients from the Philippines in the upcoming 13th edition of IFEX Philippines: NXTFOOD ASIA on May 24, 2019, at the World Trade Center Metro Manila (WTCMM).

This Chinese buyer delegation will represent 12 companies from the seafood, snacks, cold chain and agricultural products sectors. They were given the “Very Important Buyer” (VIB) status by the Department of Trade and Industry through the Center for International Trade Expositions and Missions (DTI-CITEM).

“One company is seeking to increase banana orders from 120 to 300 containers per week while another is looking to find sources for snacks, fruit chips, nuts and other new and exciting food that they can carry in more than 2,700 outlets across China,” said Vice Consul Mario Tani from the Philippine Trade and Investment Center (PTIC-Shanghai) and in-charge of bringing the delegation.

Organized by DTI-CITEM, IFEX Philippines is the biggest export-oriented food fair in the Philippines with more than 2,000 buyers and over 800 exhibitors participating this year.

Presenting “NXTFOOD ASIA,” this edition will host a grand showcase of the innovations and culinary techniques behind the country’s top agricultural export products with a focus on the Premium 7.

Selected Chinese representatives will also hold a forum and panel discussions titled, “How to Launch Your Food Brand Successfully in the China Market” and “Key Food Trends in China,” to help food companies in the Philippines enter the Chinese market. These talks will be held from 2PM to 6PM on May 24 at the Hidalgo Room of the WTCCM.

“During this activity, there will also be ample time provided for business meetings and matching with the participating Chinese companies,” noted Vice Consul Tani.

China is the Philippines’ largest trading partner with bilateral trade amounting to 55.7 billion US dollars in 2018.  Total agricultural exports to China from the Philippines increased by 62% in 2018 to 678.6 million US dollars, with products such as Cavendish bananas, pineapples, papaya and mango as top contributors.

Other food-related industries, such as the snack industry in China, are showing robust growth with forecasts of a 444 billion US dollars valuation by 2020 to serve the growing needs of the Chinese population, which is projected to grow to 1.42 billion by the end of 2019.

According to Vice Consul Tani, there are still a lot of products that China can source from the Philippines.  These include fresh and processed seafood, individually quick-frozen (IQF) fruits, coconut-related products, avocado, durian, mangosteen, sauces and various condiments, among others.

“IFEX is a great platform to showcase the best of what the Philippines can offer and help push for more exports of bananas and other food and agricultural related products, which is also one of the DTI’s key initiatives,” he added.

China’s food imports have quadrupled over the last decade and China aims to import US $5 trillion worth of products and services in the next 5 years.

With its growing economy and consistent increase in consumption trends, there is enormous potential for suppliers from the Philippines to benefit from China’s market and increase their footprint as well as their revenues.

PH spotlights Aurora province as ‘City of Charm’ at CAEXPO 2017

CITEM highlights Aurora’s business, agri-tourism sector in Chinese, ASEAN market

Tourist in Baler
Tourist in Baler, one of Aurora’s town and the birthplace of surfing in the Philippines.

The Province of Aurora will take center stage as the Philippines’ “City of Charm” in the 14th China-ASEAN EXPO (CAEXPO) in Nanning, Guangxi, China on September 15-17.

As part of the Philippine delegation led by the Department of Trade and Industry-Center for International Trade and Expositions and Missions (DTI-CITEM), the local government of Aurora will highlight their province’s wonderful sights, fascinating culture, and its promising investment opportunities in the ‘City of Charm’ pavilion.

In their booth, the Aurora provincial government is also set to feature the amazing sight and economic potential of each of its eight municipalities, namely the towns of Baler, Casiguran, Dilasag, Dinalungan, Dingalan, Dipaculao, Maria Aurora, and San Luis.

CAEXPO is the second biggest trade event in China, with a total exhibition space of about 80,000 sqm. and 4,600 exhibition booths with around 57,000 participants. It is the only international trade fair in the region dedicated to promoting the building of China-ASEAN Free Trade Area (CAFTA) and celebrating regional economic and trade cooperation.

“Aurora will be given a chance to promote its premier agriculture sector and tourist destination in the Chinese and Southeast Asian market. This will lead to more employment and livelihood opportunities to its locals through the entry of foreign and domestic capital that will boost our income-generating industries,” said CITEM Executive Director Clayton Tugonon.

“Harnessing the economic competitiveness of Aurora province will enable its local to diversify its products and improve the services that it can offer to the local and international markets,” Tugonon added.

Agriculture is the main economic driver in Aurora, employing approximately half of the population in this booming industry. About 49,991 hectares or 15% of the provincial land area are cultivated farmlands. Major crops include rice, coconut, coffee, bananas, root crops, corn, citrus fruits, peanuts, and abaca. The province is also a major producer of the Philippine’s best-tasting virgin coconut distilled wine, also known as “lambanog,” which is made from the sap or “tuba” of coconut tree flowers.

Doña Aurora Aragon Quezon Marker

 Doña Aurora Aragon Quezon Marker, a residential replica of the wife of late President Manuel Quezon.  Aurora is named after Doña Aurora Aragon Quezon.

As a tourist destination, Aurora is a filled with exciting water adventure. The Pacific Ocean brings the Northeast Monsoon wind, creating versatile waves suitable for surfing amateurs, enthusiasts, and professionals—earning the reputation as a world-renowned surfing hub.

The province’s marine biodiversity is a sight to behold for scuba divers as its underwater terrain is a habitat for a variety of fishes, sea snakes, turtles, mollusks, and other marine creatures. Some of the fascinating water spots in Aurora are the Dinadiawan Beach, Sabang Beach, Dingalan White Beach, Dimadimalangat Islet, Dicasalarin Bay and Banju Springs.

Dinadiawan Beach.jpg

Dinadiawan Beach, one of the premier and untouched tourist sites in the municipality of Dipaculao.

Nestled in the arms of the Sierra Madre mountain range, the province is teeming with various land escapades, whether you are a hiker, trekker, or a nature lover. It has some of the most captivating rainforest, a lively eco-paradise for the distinct Philippine flora and fauna.

“In fact, Aurora is where you can find the 600-year-old “balete” tree that was designated the official “Millennium Tree” of The Philippines, the largest tree of its kind in Asia. It is also home to the endangered Philippine eagle and other rare species of amphibians, reptiles, and other birds,” said Tugonon.