Award-winning PH chocolate brands to be featured in the Netherlands’ top chocolate and cacao show

Chocolate Chocoa
Visitors in Chocoa will get a full taste of Philippine chocolates and value-added cacao products from bean to bar.

The Philippines gears up its award-winning chocolate makers and cacao producers for a country exhibit in the Cocoa Trade Show & Chocolate Festival, also known as CHOCOA, at the Beurs Van Berlage, Amsterdam, the Netherlands, on 19-23 February 2020.

The FoodPhilippines delegation is set to showcase eight Philippine producers and manufacturers of chocolates and other value-added cacao products including local brands that have earned global recognition. It will be led by the Department of the Trade and Industry, through the Center for International Trade Expositions and Missions (DTI-CITEM), in partnership with the Philippine Trade and Investment Center (PTIC) in Brussels, Belgium, and the Rural Agro-Industrial Partnership for Inclusive Development (RAPID) Growth Project, funded by the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD).

“The Philippine chocolate and value-added cacao products have been making waves in the international market for its distinct flavor profile and high-quality beans,” said CITEM Executive Director Pauline Suaco-Juan. “We want to make a statement that the Philippines is ready to take on the global cacao demand by showcasing some of our top brands in Netherlands, the world’s leading importer of cacao beans.”

Below are the five award-winning Philippine firms with their brands to be showcased in CHOCOA:

Malagos Agri-Ventures Corporation

Malagos Chocolates is one of the frontline brands of the Philippines in the international market. Launched in 2012, the brand has made a name with its line of single-origin 100%, 85%, 72% and 65% dark and drinking chocolates, earning multiple awards from the Academy of Chocolates, International Chocolate Awards and Great Taste, among others. Now, they offer chocolate beer and chocolate variants with truffles and tropical fruits. The Puentespina Farm, where its beans are cultivated, earned its heirloom status from the Heirloom Cacao Preservation Fund in 2019 for growing one of only 16 Heirloom Cacaos in the world. In 2017, Malagos Chocolates’ cacao bean made it to the list of the “Best 50 Beans in The World” under the Cocoa Excellence Programme.

Auro Chocolates/Filipinas Oro de Cacao

Another multi-awarded brand under the FoodPhilippines roster is Auro Chocolates. The company takes pride for its bean-to-bar process since they have cacao beans that are fully traceable in planting communities in the Philippines. Their chocolates are made with 100% premium cacao butter and premium ingredients with no extenders and processed in a state-of-the-art facility where it is properly segregated and classified to optimize the flavors of Philippine cacao. Its commitment to quality has earned it 23 international awards including the Top 20 Best Cacao Beans Award—a first for the Philippines—in the International Cocoa Awards (ICA) in Salon du Chocolat Paris with their partner farmer, Jose Saguban. Auro shines in the global market as it offers chocolate varieties from their Classic, Heritage, Reserve and Tropical collections living up to its name which is taken from the chemical symbol of gold and the Spanish word “Oro.”

Theo and Philo Chocolate Factory, Inc.

Theo & Philo takes pride in its use of high-quality local ingredients from the cacao beans of Davao and the sugar of Bacolod which are molded into perfection. The company sets itself apart with its fearless use of tropical fruits and ingredients, and takes inspiration from local cuisines to create flavors that are undeniably Filipino. Among its treats that garnered recognition from the London Academy of Chocolates and the International Chocolate Awards are their 65% Dark Chocolate with Labuyo, Milk Chocolate with Pili Nut & Pinipig, 65% Dark Chocolate with Calamansi, Milk Chocolate Turon, 65% Dark Chocolate with Black Sesame and Milk Chocolate Adobo.

MS3 Agri-Ventures Corp.

MS3 Agri-Ventures Corp. is a newly emerging chocolate brand in the Philippines recognized for its Dark Chocolates, Cashew and Coffee Granules and 100% Dark Chocolate Cacao Tablet (2019 Academy of Chocolates), Unsweetened Chocolates (2018 Academy of Chocolates) and 75% Dark Chocolate with Coco Sugar (Top 10 Finalist in the 2019 SIAL Food Innovation Awards in Middle East). Touted as the “Philippines’ Best Cacao Tablet Producer” in the Asia HALAL Brands Awards in 2017, the company is made up of farmers unified with a cause to create thriving cacao communities from the value-added products that they produce and offer to their patrons.

Kablon Farm Food Corporation

Kablon Farms is a chocolate brand that adheres to sustainable methods of farming and is known for producing spicy dark chocolates made available in 60% and 70% variants. The cacao flavor profile of Kablon Farms is enhanced by the tropical vegetation that grows alongside it, including coconut, mangosteen, guava, jackfruit, durian and passionfruit. Its 70% Dark Chocolate won in the Academy of Chocolate Awards and was a Double Gold Star Winner in Great Taste in 2017.

Emerging Cacao and Chocolate Producers

The FoodPhilippines Pavilion shall also sample products from Tigre y Oliva Chocolates (Tiger Craft Food and Beverage Co.), another emerging chocolate brand in the country. Likewise, Biao Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries Cooperative and Kennemer Foods International, Inc. are also looking to showcase their cacao beans and other value-added products.

7 New Filipino Chocolate Treats at IFEX Philippines NXTFOOD ASIA

Raw cacao beans and chocolate branded bars are lined up in front of the Philippine Cacao Pavilion.

Delectable, decadent and delicious.

These are just some of the flavors that describe the country’s chocolates and cacao-based products, which are being showcased from May 24-26 at the Philippine Cacao Pavilion in IFEX Philippines NXTFOOD ASIA at the World Trade Center Metro Manila, Pasay City.

“Buyers and visitors from major target markets abroad were delighted with heavenly treats by makers of cacao—also known as the ‘Food of the Gods’—at the Philippine Cacao Pavilion,” said Pauline Suaco-Juan, the Executive Director of the Center for International Trade Expositions and Missions (CITEM), the organizer of the event.

Here are 7 of the newest Filipino chocolates spotted at the Philippine Cacao Pavilion:

68% Dark Chocolate – Mango by Auro Chocolatesimg2

Auro Chocolates presents a new experience to enjoy Philippine-sourced chocolate and mango with 100 percent of the fruit but without the added sugar. Each piece of this new product is carefully freeze dried to a crisp, giving everyone the crunch and none of the oil.



Tangy Granola with Green Mango and Cacao Nibs by Wit’s Sweets and Savouries


Wit’s Sweets and Savouries prepared its Tangy Granola by combining mood-boosting cacao nibs with the tangy flavor of green mangoes to give an energizing and palatable flavor in every bite. Aside from tangy, granolas are also available in classic tasty, spicy, zesty and in coffee flavors.




Arabica Chocolates by Dulche Chocolates

Bringing the first chocolate brand from Benguet, Dulche Chocolates offers in its Arabica Chocolates two of the best Philippine agri-commodities from the highlands: coffee and cacao. This bitter-sweet concoction is a perfect treat for coffee lovers.




Dark Chocolate Nibs with Cranberries by Chocoloco

Cacao nibs are basically the purest form of chocolate that give you more cacao bean health benefits since it undergoes less processing stages. With its Dark Chocolate Nibs, Chocoloco uses fermented cacao beans which are then perfectly roasted, cracked and coated with premium organic coconut sap sugar.



Cacao Tea by Cacao Culture


Different from the usual tablea, Cacao Culture offers Cacao Tea that is made of 100% cacao husk, or the outer shell of the cacao beans. The husks are from high-quality cacao beans grown, harvested and processed in Davao City—the  “Chocolate Capital of the Philippines.”





Pili Choc by MS3 Choco

Another energizing offering under the Philippine cacao pavilion is the Pili Choc by MS3 Choco made from premium cacao combined with pili nuts which are a significant source of essential minerals, proteins and vitamins.





100% Cacao Bar by Chocoliz/Saret Organic Farmville

This new offering by Chocoliz is a sugar-free, guilt-free, dark chocoloate-tasting candy bar made with organic cacao grown in Luzon by Saret Organic Farmville. This chocolate bar undergoes minimal processing to retain the natural health benefits of cacao.

Minimally processed cacao helps fight against cancer, cardiovascular & kidney diseases, stress and anxiety. It is good for the brain, heart, blood and skin.

Cacao is one of the Philippines’ “Premium 7” export products and has been produced in the country since the 17th century. The Premium 7 exports include coconut, coffee, banana, pineapple, mango and tuna.

All of the three varieties of cacao beans are present and grown in the country. The majority of cocoa beans produced are mid-value Trinitario beans. Criollo beans, which are mainly from older trees, have lower yield but are still being produced while higher value varieties of Forastero beans are beginning to be planted in some local farms.

To know more about Philippine cacao and chocolate products, visit IFEX Philippines NXTFOOD ASIA happening on May 24 to 26, 2019 at the World Trade Center Metro Manila, Pasay City.

RAPID Growth project to transform agri-based PH enterprises for global markets

DTI, IFAD champions MSMEs, farmers through a P4.7-billion peso, agri-enterprise development project launched at IFEX Philippines NXTFOOD ASIA.

Representatives from the sectors of trade, agriculture and finance converge at the launch of RAPID Growth project in the first day of IFEX Philippines NXTFOOD ASIA last May 24, 2019 at the World Trade Center Metro Manila.

Farmers and micro-, small- and medium-enterprises (MSMEs) in the Philippines can expect more marketing and business support from the government with the launch of the Rural Agro-enterprise Partnership for Inclusive Development and Growth (RAPID Growth) project.

RAPID Growth is a 4.7-billion-peso value chain-based and market-driven business development initiative that aims to achieve inclusive and sustainable economic development for rural farming communities in the country.  It is spearheaded by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and funded by the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD).

Led by DTI Secretary Ramon Lopez, RAPID Growth project was kicked off in the first day of IFEX Philippines NXTFOOD ASIA on May 24 at the World Trade Center Metro Manila, Pasay City.

“RAPID Growth project goes to the heart of what we are doing at DTI: linking farmers and businesses,” said Lopez. “And by promoting the microenterprises or those in the bottom of the pyramid, we are empowering the nation.”

DTI Secretary Ramon Lopez excites buyers, exhibitors, visitors and members of the media on the market-drive model and long-term prospects of RAPID Growth project.

“IFEX Philippines NXTFOOD ASIA is an excellent platform to present this momentous project due to the presence of local and international food companies which can be potential partners and forward linkages to the export market in the agricultural value chains to be developed,” said Lopez.

Through RAPID Growth project, Lopez said that DTI is looking to address rural poverty and unemployment by building partnership between MSMEs and farming communities to produce products that are competitive and enjoy a high demand in the global market.

Held at the launch was the signing of the pledge of commitment by the Project Steering Committee for RAPID Growth project composed of leaders and representatives from the government, agricultural, trade, finance and private sectors.

IFAD Country Director Alessandro Marini said poor families from local communities now have a better chance to increase their income level, improve their social status and participate in the global value chain since RAPID Growth makes the agri-enterprise ecosystem “more inclusive and competitive.”

According to Lopez, RAPID Growth project is different from all other agri-based development programs since it focuses on a market-driven approach where the MSMEs are the entry point to develop the value chain from agricultural production side to processing, distribution and marketing.

The country’s trade chief also emphasized that RAPID Growth project will link local farmers, MSMEs and corporations thru Negosyo Centers and other market interventions to ensure their access to raw materials, markets, technology and suitable investment finance.

“Increasing the production of our small farmers will helped them grow alongside our burgeoning manufacturing sector, prepare them for the global market and provide much-needed boost to our MSMEs in the food business,” he explained.

Elevating PH’s agri priority sectors: coffee, cacao, coco coir and processed fruits and nuts

Sultan Coffee displayed at RAPID Growth project pavilion. Coffee is one of the four priority sectors of the project.

RAPID Growth project is sets to target small farmers and micro-entrepreneurs engaged within the selected commodity chains, further targeting unemployed and underemployed rural women and men. Special focus will be on women, youth and indigenous people.

According to DTI Secretary Ramon Lopez, RAPID Growth will primarily target four agricultural value chains, namely cocoa, coffee, processed fruits and nuts, and coconut.

“These four commodities have lucrative markets, social features and have the potential to provide sustained economic benefits to small farmers and enterprises,” Lopez said.

It is set to be initially implemented in six regions, which are regions eight to 13 with 20 target provinces. This includes Leyte, Southern Leyte and Northern Samar from Region 8; Zamboanga del Norte, Zamboanga del Sur and Zamboanga Sibugay from Region 9; Bukidnon, Lanao del Norte and Misamis Oriental from Region 10; Compostela Valley, Davao del Sur, Davao del Norte and Davao Oriental from Region 11; North Cotabato, Sarangani, Sultan Kudarat and Maguindanao from Region 12 or ARMM; and Agusan del Norte, Agusan del Sur and Surigao del Sur from Region 13.

Five components in transforming PH agri-enterprises

The RAPID Growth pavilion at IFEX Philippines NXTFOOD ASIA.

Under the RAPID Growth project, five levels of interventions will be implemented to ensure the holistic development of farmer and MSME beneficiaries, namely:

  • Direct Assistance to Enterprises -To strengthen complementary activities necessary to boost investments along the four commodity value chains. This includes the provision of conditional matching grants and partnership/coordination for the rehabilitation of farm-to-market roads to improve the connectivity of production areas in intended markets.
  • Institutional Strengthening – To intensify the promotion of MSMEs and farmer in the four commodity value chains. The interventions include the establishment of provincial networks of Negosyo Centers to also serve as one-stop-shops; development of MEs and cooperatives as service hubs to provide basic services to farmers; facilitation of inclusive and equitable partnerships between farmers and SMEs; and, capacity building of LGUs on the supervision of FMR rehabilitation.
  • Technical Assistance to Financial Service Providers (FSPs) – To provide capacity building to companies that provide accessible financial products and services. This includes consultancy for FSPs, capacity building for cooperatives and support to Agricultural Guarantee Fund Pool (AGFP) and Philippine Crop Insurance Corporation (PCIC), among others.
  • Innovation Fund – To provide incentives to private equity and venture capital firms to finance SME capital requirements. This will include innovative financial instruments as an alternative to simple loan products and develop non-loan products and services, among others.
  • Management, Monitoring and Evaluation – To implement an approach that will feature public-private partnerships, embedding project management in DTI and building capacities of public and private partners, among others.

The RAPID Growth Project was proposed to directly address policy commitments of the Philippine Government aligned with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that are of high relevance in eliminating poverty and reducing inequality.

Anchored in the government’s ‘Pagbabago’ pillar, this project seeks to address the Philippine Development Plan 2017-2022 target outcomes which are (1) expanding economic opportunities and (2) increasing access to economic opportunities including smallholder farmers and fisherfolks.

Likewise, through this project, the DTI is set to prioritize the micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) as the key pillar of its economic program. This approach will facilitate collaboration among public agencies in supporting agriculture-based enterprises and synergies among stakeholders. DTI’s capacity to broker cross-sectoral synergies and partnerships will be upgraded at national, regional and provincial levels.

The project is funded by IFAD through a combination of Loan and Grant; Government of the Philippines (GoP); Local Government Units (LGUs); Financial Service Providers (FSP).

Agribusiness forums lead seminars at this year’s IFEX Philippines NXTFOOD ASIA

  • The 13th edition of the IFEX Philippines opens this weekend with a slew of food-tasting and knowledge-sharing activities.
Elisha's link (DSC_0119) [cropped 2].jpg
Philippine dried mango facility

MANILA, Philippines – The biggest international food fair in the country opens its doors this May 24-26 to welcome local and foreign trade buyers and food enthusiasts at the World Trade Center Metro Manila (WTCMM). Featuring the Premium 7 (coffee, cacao, coconut, mango, banana, pineapple, tuna) and Rising Stars (heirloom rice, calamansi, ube, pili nut, turmeric, malunggay, muscovado sugar, tamarind, dalandan) in the Philippine food export industry, IFEX Philippines is set to delight visitors with its various components and special settings designed to highlight and showcase Philippine food, ingredients and cuisine.

Organized by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) through the Center for International Trade Expositions and Missions (CITEM), IFEX Philippines NXTFOOD ASIA brings the latest in the Philippine food scene to the tradeshow floor.

Along with more than 600 exhibitors and three full days of various food-tasting activities, IFEX Philippines will also host a slew of food export seminars featuring tracks on agri-investment and foreign market entry requirements.

These free seminars will be conducted by industry experts and leading practitioners to share their insights on the latest trends, innovations and best practices in the food exporting and servicing sector.

Knowledge sharing sessions

Day one of the food fair will start things off with the Agribusiness Investment Forum by the Department of Agriculture’s Agribusiness and Marketing Assistance Service (DA-AMAS). This forum will include tracks on pig husbandry, goat production and natural farming. Together with these agri-investment forums, day one will also feature Market Entry Requirement Tracks for the UK and Chinese markets, as well as a talk on market value-adding concepts.

Elisha's link (ttb).jpg
Harvesting raw cacao beans


The second day of the show will feature another round of Agri-investment Forums covering aquaculture, agri-technologies, high-value crops and cacao production. In addition, IFEX will also be hosting an exciting forum focused on The Business of Cacao with panelists from the Philippine and European cacao industries. There will be another market entry requirement track that will discuss Australia’s Food Regulatory System and Export Requirements. To cap off the second day of seminars, there will be a track discussing how entrepreneurs can properly handle and manage their intellectual property rights.

Discover the latest market trends in the food exporting industry with these knowledge-sharing sessions on the first and second days of IFEX Philippines NXTFOOD ASIA on the 24th and 25th of May 2019 at the World Trade Center Metro Manila.

Visitors may also visit the featured special settings and participate in the different food-tasting activities scheduled throughout the entire event. These include Food Philippines, Asian Food Champions, Islands on a Plate, Flavors and Spices Garden, The Cold Room: Seafood at Sub-Zero, Philippine Cacao and Tropical Wines and Spirits.

This year’s edition of IFEX Philippines is co-organized with the DTI’s Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise Development (MSMED) Council, the Department of Agriculture (DA) and the Philippine Exporters Confederation, Inc. (PHILEXPORT).


IFEX Food Export Seminars

Get ahead with the latest market trends and tools of the trade in the food exporting industry at the IFEX Food Export Seminars where the latest trends, innovations and best practices in the food exporting and servicing sector will be discussed by industry experts and practitioners.

Seminar tracks like the Agri-Investment Forum by the Department of Agriculture-Agribusiness and Marketing Assistance Service (DA-AMAS), Market Entry Requirement Tracks for the Australia, China and UK markets, and Market Compliance Tracks such as Kosher and Intellectual Property Rights will give ample learning opportunities to food SMEs that aim to succeed in the industry.

For more information on the schedule of seminars and activities, visit


PH top food exports take centerstage at IFEX Philippines 2019: NXTFOOD ASIA

  • Presenting “NXTFOOD ASIA,” IFEX Philippines gears up to highlight the country’s “Premium 7” export products and the “Rising Food Stars.”
  • RAPID Growth project will also be launched on the first day of IFEX Philippines. The program is aimed to scale up agri-based farmers and MSMEs of lucrative commodities including cacao, calamansi, coco coir and coffee.


Premium 7
The Philippines’ ‘Premium 7’: banana, cacao, coffee, coconut, mango, pineapple and tuna.

A grand showcase of the innovations and culinary techniques behind the country’s top agricultural export products will be a major highlight of IFEX Philippines at the World Trade Center Metro Manila (WTCMM) on May 24-26, 2019.

Presenting “NXTFOOD ASIA,” IFEX Philippines is gearing up to showcase the innovative use and culinary applications of the country’s ‘Premium 7’ namely coffee, cacao, coconut, mango, pineapple, banana and tuna.

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).

“Through this showcase of what’s next in Asian food, we want the global buyers to experience the Filipino food innovations that are being done with these commodities and see how they can use these products in the dishes in their respective countries,” she added.

The three-day event will also spotlight the roster of Philippines’ ‘Rising Food Stars,’ which include heirloom rice, calamansi, ube, pili nut, turmeric, moringa or malunggay, muscovado sugar, tamarind, dalandan and a selection of Philippine wines and spirits.

The country’s sauces and condiments will also be featured in the event. These include coco aminos, sarsa, fish sauce or patis, chili sauces, crab fat or aligue, shrimp paste or bagoong, sukang maasim, sukang tuba, sukang pinakurat, sukang iloko and balsamic vinegar, among others.

“To further highlight the Premium 7 and the Rising Food Stars, IFEX Philippines is gearing up for a delectable and sumptuous culinary showcase of the promising export products in the country as it sets the stage for the future of food in Asia,” said Suaco-Juan.

DTI to launch Php 3.7B project to elevate PH export commodities, agrientrepreneurs

To help strengthen the country’s major export commodities, IFEX Philippines will launch on its first day the Rural Agro-Enterprise Partnership for Inclusive Development and Growth (RAPID Growth) project, which is led by the DTI-Resource Generation and Management Service (RGMS) and funded by the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD).

An upscaling of the successful Rural Microenterprise Promotion Programme (RuMEPP), RAPID Growth is a Php 3.7-billion project that aims to propel agriculture-based processing enterprises and entrepreneurial communities to become innovative, productive and competitive so that they will be capacitated in meeting the challenges of the global market.

According to DTI Secretary Ramon Lopez, RAPID Growth will primarily target four agricultural value chains, namely cocoa, coffee, processed fruits and nuts, and coconut.

“These four commodities have lucrative markets, social features and have the potential to provide sustained economic benefits to small farmers and enterprises,” Lopez said.

The project is set to target small farmers and micro-entrepreneurs engaged within the selected commodity chains, further targeting unemployed and underemployed rural women and men. Special focus will be on women, youth and indigenous people. It is set to be initially implemented in six regions, which are regions eight to 13 with 20 target provinces.

“In order to serve as models, four pilot provinces were chosen for each of the priority sectors from among the 20. These provinces are Leyte for its coco coir, Bukidnon for coffee, Davao del Norte for cacao and Agusan del Sur for calamansi,” Lopez explained.

The RAPID Growth Project was proposed to directly address policy commitments of the Philippine Government aligned with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that are of high relevance in eliminating poverty and reducing inequality.

Anchored in the government’s ‘Pagbabago’ pillar, this project seeks to address the Philippine Development Plan 2017-2022 target outcomes, which are (1) expanding economic opportunities and (2) increasing access to economic opportunities, including smallholder farmers and fisher folks. Likewise, through this project, the DTI is set to prioritize the micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) as a key pillar of its economic program.

“Various products that are harvested or manufactured by local MSMEs have a huge potential in the export market. The launch of this project in IFEX Philippines shall help shed a light on these products as it elevates the emerging local entrepreneurs and farmer groups,” Lopez added.

To know more about the Philippines’ food export products, visit and sign up for the event. Follow IFEX Philippines on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to get more updates on the event.

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.


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 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.

Top brands lead FoodPHILIPPINES’ exhibit in one of US’ largest food fair

Food Network and Bloomberg predict Philippine food will be one of the hottest trends in 2017.

FoodPHILIPPINES will showcase coconut value-added products including coconut oil, coconut honey, organic coconut sugar, and coconut flour, among others.

FoodPHILIPPINES is all set to fulfill the global craving for Philippine food and tropical Asian products, such as premium coconut, banana, pineapple, mango, tuna, cacao, and other flavorful selections, in the 42nd Winter Fancy Food Show (WFFS) in San Francisco, USA on January 22-24.

Led by top local brands, San Miguel Pure Foods, Inc., Century Pacific Food, Inc. (CNPF), Monde M.Y. San Corporation, Big “E” Food Corporation, and Republic Biscuit Corporation (REBISCO), together with other leading suppliers, FoodPHILIPPINES is geared to showcase the country’s distinct flavors—blended from centuries of cross-cultural fusions and regional influences.

Food Network predicts that this “pungent, pucker synthesis of East, Spanish, and Pacific Flavors,” evident in Philippine food is certain to bring new surprises this 2017, while Bloomberg also hails “Filipino food as one of the hottest trends this year,” in its article “Eleven Fancy Food Trends You’ll Face in 2017.”

FoodPHILIPPINES is a branding initiative of the Center for International Trade Expositions and Missions, the export promotion arm of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI-CITEM), which unifies the efforts of the government in promoting the Philippines as a source of quality food products in the global market.

WFFS is the West Coast’s largest specialty food and beverage event with an estimate of 20,000 annual visitors and 1,500 exhibitors from across the U.S. and 28 other countries.

Distinct tastes from distinct brands

Seafood flavors will be showcased at the FoodPHILIPPINES Pavilion in WFFS 2017.

The Philippines’ largest tuna company, CNPF will showcase their new line of condensed milk and canned beef, alongside their signature canned tuna and seafood products. Last year, the company acquired the Kamayan trademark—one of the top US shrimp paste brand.

Meanwhile, San Miguel Pure Foods, Inc. is set to highlight their hotdogs, canned meats, and ice cream lines. San Miguel Pure Foods is a subsidiary of the San Miguel Corporation—Southeast Asia’s largest food, beverage and packaging company—and is set to get even bigger with their plan to invest P75 billion in their food line this 2017.

Meanwhile, Monde M.Y. San Corporation will feature their new line of Fita Thinz biscuit products and Skyflakes Sandwich, along with their signature crackers. REBISCO will promote the sweets, confectioneries, and assorted biscuits. Big “E” Food Corporation will also bring a tasteful delight with its assorted cakes, bread, cereal snacks, cookies, and pastries.

The Philippine pavilion will offer specialty cakes and confectionery flavored from locally sourced premium cacao.

FoodPHILIPPINES delegates will also bring coconut oil, sugar, sap, juices, jelly and water; banana chips and rolls; fresh and frozen pineapples; mango health bars; and different canned tuna flavors. Philippine companies will also offer a selection of other tropical fruits, like papaya and corn; frozen and canned meat products; assorted health snacks, nuts and biscuits; cakes and confectionaries; premium rice and sugar; salt, condiments, and other ingredients.

Included in the 13 new participants in the WFFS 2017 are Bethany Sales, Inc., Businesspeople, Inc., GCB Food Products, KSK Food Products, Magic Melt Foods, Inc., Pixcel Transglobal Foods, Inc., Profood International Corporation, and RDEX Food International Phils., Inc.

Also, making a comeback this edition are the Brandexports Philippines, Inc., Fruits of Life, Inc., Raw Brown Sugar Milling Co., Inc., SAGREX Foods, Inc., Inc. See’s International Food Mfg. Corp., SL Agritech Corporation, and Xroads Philippine Sea Salts.

2017 is the year of Philippine Food

In the last WFFS, FoodPHILIPPINES’ pavilion promoted specialty food products from 17 local companies, recording a total of 540 buyer inquiries and negotiated sales worth over US$44 million.

Mango and Pineapple will be highlighted at the FoodPHILIPPINES Pavilion, along the other top Philippine export food products.

For its fourth participation in the WFFS 2017, DTI-CITEM targets to generate total sales of US$47 million as it tapped 20 local companies, including 13 new participants, to showcase a variety of health and wellness specialty food products. The majority of these products are derived from the Philippines’ ‘Premium 7’ food group and other top export food commodities, such as coconut, banana, mango, pineapple, cacao, and tuna.

“With more exhibitors and new participants this year that capitalize on the country’s premium food products, FoodPHILIPPINES aims to expand and fortify our country’s export circle in the US specialty food market,” said CITEM Executive Director Rosvi Gaetos. “As a strategic response to the rise of western demand for healthy, natural and organic Asian food products, we anticipate a positive reception from US trade buyers and visitors.”

The Philippines is currently the world’s second largest producer of coconut and banana, according to the 2015 data of the Philippine Coconut Authority and the Department of Agriculture. Meanwhile, the country is also a top global producer of pineapple (3rd), canned tuna (4th), and mango (10th), based on a 2013 data of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization.

FoodPHILIPPINES’ participation in the WFFS 2017 is organized by CITEM, in partnership with the Philippine Trade and Investment Center (PTIC) in San Francisco and Los Angeles, as one of the DTI’s major efforts to intensify the promotion of Philippine specialty food products in overseas trade shows.

CITEM is the export promotion arm of the Philippine Department of Trade and Industry (DTI). CITEM is committed to developing, nurturing, and promoting globally competitive small and medium enterprises (SMEs), exporters, designers, and manufacturers by implementing an Integrated Approach to Export Marketing in partnership with other government and private entities.

For more information on its services and events, please log on to

DTI-CITEM brings coconut, banana, and tuna products to SIAL Paris

FoodPhilippines, through the Center for International Trade Expositions and Missions (CITEM), steps up its campaign in European countries, especially as the Philippines looks to maximize trade opportunities under the EU-GSP+ (Generalized System of Preferences Plus). The FoodPhilippines presentation will highlight coconut, banana, and tuna products in its participation to SIAL Paris on 16-20 October 2016 at the Paris Nord Villepente.

Citing a press report from the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) in 2015 that EU-GSP+ increased Philippine exports increased by 27 percent, CITEM Executive Director Rosvi C. Gaetos shares that coconut oil, canned tuna, and preserved fruits are included in the major export products under the zero tariff scheme.

“We are going to take advantage of this momentum in the Philippine export industry by highlighting top quality products like coconut, banana, and tuna through the participation of 15 companies in SIAL Paris, the largest food innovation  exhibition,” Gaetos states. “Tuna especially poses higher export potential because the world is starting to recognize that one of the best tunas in the world comes from the Philippines.”

According to government data on Philippine agricultural exports in 2012, coconut, banana, and tuna are constantly included among the top six export commodities from 2004-2010, with the Netherlands as one of the country’s biggest export markets. CITEM expects that these three food export commodities will benefit greatly from the zero tariff as the rate will go down from 20 percent for tuna, and 10 percent for coconut.

The Philippines is a major exporter of coconut products, particularly coconut oil. The country exports over 70 percent of its coconut oil, with Europe having 52 percent and United States receiving 33.9 percent of the trade, according to the United Coconut Associations of the Philippines (UCAP).

UCAP notes that coconuts are gaining popularity in the UK retail market, with coconut oil now worth over Lsd 14 million per year in sales, and coconut water worth almost Lsd 60 million in value sales, as reported by IRI’s InfoScan data. The same market analysis data also reported that the coconut trend is playing out in other European countries as well, with its increased popularity attributed to Thai-inspired food, and the its health benefits.

Banana is also one of the country’s major fruit exports, comprising 86.9 percent of the total volume in metric tons of fruit exports from the Philippines in 2013. It constitutes a substantial portion of the country’s export revenues. The Cavendish variety, in particular, topped the export statistics for fresh fruits as it surpassed the USD 1B mark in 2014, posting a growth of 18.06 percent from USD 962.58M in 2013 to USD 1.136M last year. Processed banana products are also gaining strong foothold in both local and international markets.

The Philippines ranked 7th among top fish-producing countries in the world in 2013, comprising 2.46 percent of the total world production of 191 million MT. In 2014, tuna, along with seaweeds and shrimp/prawn, accounted for 65 percent of the total export value worth USD 1, 274 million. Tuna is still the country’s top fish export commodity,  with export value at USD 443 million. Canned tuna in particular constituted the bulk of export tuna products.

Coconut, banana and tuna are part of the Premium 7 food group that is considered as the Philippines’ key export drivers in the food industry given that these products considered to be among the best in the global market or manifest high export potential. Also included in the Premium 7 are pineapple, cacao, coffee, and mango.


The Philippines participation in SIAL Paris is spearheaded by CITEM, the export promotions arm of the Philippines Department of Trade and Industry (DTI). FoodPhilippines is a branding initiative of DTI-CITEM that unifies the promotional efforts of the government in overseas trade exhibitions and events to project one brand, one image, one voice. For more information, please visit

PH identified as a potential ally of European Union on sustainable management

In December 2014, the Philippines has been granted Generalized System of Preferences Plus (GSP+) by the EU that provided duty free entry to the region for important Philippine exports including food products such as coconut and marine products, processed fruits, prepared food, animal and vegetable fats and oils. Using the GSP+ grant, the Philippine exporters now have the opportunity to bring more than 6,000 products to 28 EU-member countries at zero tariff.

The inclusion of the Philippines in the GSP+ scheme boosts the country’s agriculture and fisheries sector, particularly the tuna industry of General Santos City in Mindanao, according to Philippine Department of Agriculture (DA) Secretary Proceso Alcala.  Home to six tuna canneries and big tuna fishing companies, the tuna capital of the Philippines sees sales boost from the EU because of the grant.  The Philippines’ Bureau of Fishery and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) states that the EU is a major export market for the country’s marine and seafood products.

tuna (1)

As the world’s biggest fish importer, the EU follows a strict policy in filtering which marine and seafood products enter their market through Illegal, Unreported, and Unregulated Fishing (IUUF) regulation. The regulation allows only the fish products deemed legal by the EU-member country concerned to enter the EU market.

The Philippines was given the “green card” to bring in the country’s marine and seafood products to EU, which was previously put on hold for ten months. The country’s effort to cooperate in fighting illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing through Republic Act (R.A.) 8550, a national policy that will ensure compliance with international agreements on fishing, has been acknowledged by the EU.

With the Philippines’ efforts to help prohibit illegal fishing and protect marine resources, the EU considers the country as a valuable ally on sustainable management within global and regional organizations, thus giving the Philippines an opportunity to bring our premium food products to the EU market.

On October 10-14, 2015, Food Philippines will bring Philippine tuna and its food applications to Anuga, the world’s largest and most important food and beverage fair, slated at the Koelnmesse in Cologne, Germany. With canned and processed tuna on top of the list, the Philippines’ fish products exports to the EU market amount  to USD180 million annually.


Tuna is among Food Philippines’ premium seven food products which will be featured at the Philippine Pavilion together with banana, cacao, coconut, coffee, mango, and pineapple. The country’s delegation to Germany will bring processed fruits derived from the premium seven (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.

Food Philippines is the industry brand for the food sector which unifies the overseas promotional efforts of the Center for International Trade Expositions and Missions (CITEM), the export promotions arm of the Philippine Department of Trade and Industry (DTI). 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 Hall 1 – Booth Nos. D30-E39 / D40-E49.