Philippine premium food exports set to delight visitors at Taipei International Food Show

  • DTI-CITEM assembles Philippine delegation to highlight the country’s best food exports at one of the leading food shows in Asia

IFEX 2019 Overhead shot.JPGFOODPhilippines at IFEX Philippines NXTFOOD ASIA 2019

After the successful turnout of IFEX Philippines NXTFOOD ASIA last month, the Center for International Trade Expositions and Missions (CITEM) now sets its sights on the Taipei International Food Show (TIFS) this coming 19-22 June 2019 at the Taipei Nangang Exhibition Center and the Taipei World Trade Center (TWTC). As the Department of Trade and Industry’s (DTI) export promotion arm, CITEM will be managing the Philippine delegation at this year’s TIFS. The Philippine Pavilion will be located at the ground floor of the TWTC Hall 1.

More commonly known as FOOD TAIPEI, this year’s TIFS will also be held concurrently with four other food-related shows (Foodtech & Pharmatech Taipei, Taipei Pack, Taiwan HORECA and Halal Taiwan). This 5-in-1 food show provides visitors and exhibitors a one-stop shop to engage companies, brands and suppliers from all facets and related sectors of the food industry.

For this edition, the Philippine delegation will be bringing with it both returning and first-time exhibitors to Taiwan which will all be united under the theme FoodPhilippines. The theme’s goal is to highlight the natural and healthy food products of the Philippines while putting a special focus on the country’s premium tropical fruits (e.g., banana, mango, pineapple, calamansi), coconut products (e.g., VCO, coco water, coco powder, desiccated coconut), natural sauces & condiments and ready-to-eat processed foods & beverages.

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Philippine Craft Spirits
by Destileria Limtuaco

Some companies returning to FOOD TAIPEI this year are Destileria Limtuaco, Year Luck, and Century Pacific Food. Joining them are TIFS newcomers like GAINCOCO, Leonie Agri Corp. and JND Manufacturing Industries. Many of these exhibitors will be going to Taiwan with the goal of raising their brand awareness, promoting their new product lines and exploring the Taiwanese market in the hopes of landing foreign clients not only in Taiwan, but also in mainland China.

Last year’s Philippine participation in FOOD TAIPEI generated US$25.83 million in sales from 18 participants. For the 2019 edition, DTI-CITEM is planning to reach a sales target of US$26 million along with an increase in the number of business inquiries. And with the number of health-conscious consumers on the rise, the FoodPhilippines theme is bound to make an impact on both the international and Taiwanese buyers at the show

See the Philippine exhibitors and more at the Taipei International Food Show this coming 19-22 June 2019 at the Taipei World Trade Center Hall 1 and take part in various food samplings and buyer services, as well as explore the other food-related shows held throughout the venue. For more information on this event, visit www.citem.com.ph/food-taipei.

 

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.
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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.

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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).

“KNOWLEDGE SHARING SESSIONS”

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 www.ifexphilippines.com.

 

From trend to mainstream: PH rises in the world of food

IFEX Philippines NXTFOOD ASIA presents the next big thing in Filipino food at Islands on a Plate

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Rustic bibingka.  A modern reinvention of the homegrown Philippine favorite rice cake during Christmas season.

Manila, Philippines ‐‐ This year, Filipino food and chefs have been getting rave reviews and international recognition for their culinary technique, creativity and usage of local ingredients.

National Geographic has listed Filipino food as one of the top food trends in 2019 with the food rave on Filipino-led eateries across the globe such as Washington DC’s Bad Saint and LA’s Lasa, Mamasons’ in London, as well as Filishack, The Adobros and Mamasons’ in London.

Filipino-American chef Tom Cunanan of Bad Saint finally won as the Best Chef: Mid-Atlantic at the James Beard Awards, which is considered the “Oscars” of the culinary world.

Meanwhile, Toyo Eatery, led by Filipino culinary star Jordy Navarra, has recently entered the list of prestigious Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants 2019 as the only Philippine entry at rank 43.

As the world craves for Filipino cuisine, it begs a question: what is next for Philippine food?

“The next step for Filipino food is to channel all of its culinary technique, wealth of ingredients and traditions from a global sensation to actually become a mainstream staple on dining menus all over the world,” shared Pauline Suaco-Juan, the executive director of the Center for International Trade Expositions and Missions (CITEM).

CITEM is the export promotion arm of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and the agency that is mandated to promote Philippine food in different international exhibits in UAE, US, Germany, Japan, Taiwan, China and many more.

“The complexities and diverse flavors of our homegrown dishes are now being unraveled to the global audience thanks to the brilliance of Filipino chefs and restaurants abroad with their refined culinary techniques and choice of quality Asian ingredients, as well as the Philippine food exhibits overseas,” Suaco‐Juan said.

“Now is an exciting time for Philippine food. Our local cuisine is rising in the world of food and we want to push for Filipino food products, dishes and ingredients to become the next big Asian trend,” she added.

This statement comes a day before CITEM opens its gate to thousands of local and international food buyers and culinary influencers to check out what’s the next big thing in Asian food in IFEX Philippines NXTFOOD ASIA at the World Trade Center Metro Manila (WTCMM), Pasay City from May 24‐26, 2019.

According to Suaco-Juan, IFEX Philippines NXTFOOD Asia seeks to answer the question “What’s NXT in the world of FOOD?” by giving exhibitors from the Philippines and beyond a platform to showcase premium food exports, emerging trends, best practices, and industry innovations to the world’s biggest buyers.

A highlight of the event is the showcase of the country’s “Premium 7” export products, namely banana, coconut, coffee, cacao, mango, pineapple and tuna. Foodies attending the event can also relish dishes or products made with the “Rising Stars of Filipino food,” which include ube, calamansi, turmeric (luyang dilaw), moringa (malunggay), muscovado rice and heirloom rice, among others.

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Open-faced mango and premium red tuna salad. A fusion of the corned tuna sourced from the pristine waters of  General Santos City with a tangy zest of fresh Philippine mango and mango poppers from Cebu.

“International foodies and chefs across the globe are welcomed to see, taste and experience the wealth of ingredients in the Philippines and see how they can use it in their own local dishes,” said Suaco‐Juan.

“We cannot wait to show the world what makes Filipino food a champion. We want the world to know that when it comes to food, the best in taste and quality can be found in the Philippines,” she added.

Islands on a Plate celebrates Philippine food

As the country’s biggest export-oriented food show, IFEX Philippines NXTFOOD ASIA is taking foodies all over the world in a gastronomic feast of Filipino flavors in the Islands on a Plate special setting.

This special setting will feature the heirloom cuisines and iconic food products from Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao with the inclusion of a Halal Pavilion, One Town One Product (OTOP) Pavilion and a Seafood Pavilion by the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR).

It shall also have a special pavilion for food producers hailing from Central Luzon, CALABARZON, Central Visayas, Eastern Visayas, Northern Mindanao, Davao Region and SOCCSKSARGEN, as well as the provinces of Negros Occidental, Misamis Oriental and Taguig City.

“Foodies will be able to taste and get an intimate knowledge on the roots of the country’s most popular dishes and delicacies across the regions straight from the some of the same culinary minds who have made those iconic and part of Filipino culinary tradition,” explained Suaco-Juan.

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Diners relish and take photos of the dishes served at the IFEX Philippines Media Preview.
Dishes were prepared using the Premium 7 export products and Rising Stars of Filipino food
to highlight the culinary strength of the Philippine top food exports and give a gastronomic
preview on what to expect on the Islands on a Plate special setting.

To highlight the use of the Philippines’ Premium 7 and the Rising Star of Filipino food, CITEM invited selected members of the media in an exclusive 12-course merienda cena dining experience presented with Via Mare and Chef Bea Nitard ingredients.

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Taba ng talangka with roasted kinurat rice. Heirloom rice from Kalinga with a dash of coconut vinegar (pinakurat) and topped with aligue and ginger.

Included in the lineup of dishes were rustic bibingka, pirurutong bumbong, open-faced mango and premium red tuna salad, calamansi sherbet with pomelo bits; Cebuanong alimasag ala brandade gratinee; Batangas turmeric rice with chicken inasal; taba ng talangka with roasted kinurat rice; and champoradong waray with danggit. Also served for desserts were crème emperatrice, turon with chocolate and caramel filling, tropical fruit cake flambe and spicy chocolate ginger bombs.

“The abundance, diversity and flexibility of our local ingredients make the Philippines one of the best sources of food products and culinary inspirations in the world. You really just have to be at IFEX Philippines NXTFOOD ASIA to see, taste and experience it,” she added.

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

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.

 

Fill it with Gusto: The Philippines excites with premium quality, premium taste at food trade show SIAL Paris

DTI-CITEM’s Food Philippines inspires hearty enjoyment by bringing the Philippines’ health and taste champions, bold flavors, and a vibrant selection of homegrown brands to the European table.

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SIAL PARIS

The Salon de l’Alimentation, or SIAL, held every two years, is an international trade show specializing in the food industry and offering 20 product sectors – from gourmet food to organic ingredients to wine and spirits – with 7,000 highly diverse exhibitors from 105 countries to create a melting pot of cuisines and cultures in one event.

This year, the show will run from October 16 to 20 and will be attended by over 155,000 trade buyers and visitors and 120 official delegations from the HORECA industry, flying all the way to la Ville Lumière – “the City of Lights” – Paris, France from 194 countries across the globe.

Regarded as the world’s largest food innovation exhibition, SIAL is considered as a crossroad of world agri-business supply and demand, as well as a springboard for small and medium enterprises (SMEs).

At this significant meeting point, the Philippine Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), through the Center for International Trade Expositions and Missions (CITEM), brings to Europe and the rest of the world Premium Quality, Premium Taste – fine food choices with added health benefits and exciting flavors that inspire gusto, not only in the kitchen or dinner table, but in every aspect of a robust lifestyle. The project is implemented in cooperation with the Export Marketing Bureau (EMB) and the Philippine Trade and Investment Center (PTIC) in Paris.

Leading the selection to be presented in the Philippine pavilion at SIAL are premium agricultural and marine produce coconut, banana, mango, and tuna, grown and harvested from the 7,107 tropical islands of the country. These food champions, owing to their versatility, excellent quality, and exquisite taste, have gained a solid reputation in markets in Asia, the U.S.A, Middle East, and Europe.

Coconut: an all-around healthy ingredient

The Philippine coconut, known globally for its quality and taste, has made the country the second largest coconut products supplier in the world.

About 42% of the world’s coconut oil is from the Philippines. At the same time, the country also satisfies 34% of the global requirement for desiccated coconut which is used as an ingredient in biscuits, snacks, cereals, cakes, and cookies.

Coconut derivatives are quickly gaining popularity as a healthy replacement for many staple products. In fact, a rising number of health conscious individuals and athletes all around the world are choosing coconut products over more traditional grocery items.

And why not? Coconut products are suited to many preferred diet plans such as Vegetarian, Vegan, Atkins, Paleo, Gluten-free, and South Beach, to name a few.

With a subtle sweet scent and flavor, gluten-free, high-fiber, and high-protein coconut flour is a healthy alternative to traditional baking flour. Cooks, pastry chefs, and bakers in many countries are starting to use coconut flour to create both sweet and savory breads and dishes.

For the Philippine participation, the companies B-G Fruits & Nuts Manufacturing Corporation, Brandexports Philippines, Inc., BusinessPeople, Inc., Pasciolco Agri Ventures, and ProSource International, Inc., bring to SIAL a wide variety of coconut products including organic amino sauce, chips, cream, flour, gel (nata de coco), jam, macapuno, milk, oil, strips, sugar, syrup, vinegar, and water, to share with the European market the million and one uses of coconut.

Banana: pro-energy, pro-flavor

As the most popular fruit in the world, bananas have the biggest commercial demand globally. Where do the huge markets source their bananas for the mass of consumers?

With 441,951 hectares of banana plantations and 30 nations receiving top quality Philippine banana products, the Philippines has secured its place as one of the world’s largest and most reputable banana exporters.

In 2015 alone, the Philippines’ banana export was valued over 439 million USD. This industry provides livelihood to 503,000 Filipinos who plant, harvest, and process Cavendish and Cardaba varieties yielding more than 9 million metric tons annually.

Among international chefs and food and health experts, the Philippine banana is considered as a staple fruit in the kitchen.

Generous in flavor and with numerous uses, bananas can transform plain cakes, breads, and muffins into sweet gourmet creations. Crisp bananas are also added to cereals and oats for a taste, texture, and nutritional upgrade.

Fitness enthusiasts also swear by this energy-boosting fruit. Rich in potassium and vitamin C, one fresh banana, or one small cup of plain banana chips, is a great pre-workout meal. Many energy drink companies actually imitate the combination of sugars in bananas, as this mix delivers the best results for athletes, promoting agility and speedy recovery, and providing more energy and focus.

For the Philippine participation at SIAL, B-G Fruits & Nuts Manufacturing Corporation and See’s International Food Manufacturing Corporation exhibits the humble yet exotic fruit in different preparations to suit various applications.

The Philippine mango: sweetest in the world

 It does not take much to succumb to the temptation of fresh Philippine mango, which renowned chef Gaggan Anand describes as “the perfect balance of sweet and sour.”

Possessing a unique flavor profile that goes amazingly well with an abundance of other food products, it makes the best ingredient for a great number of creations, such as savory salsa, cake, sweet lassi, festive margarita, muffin, spicy salad, sorbet, chili chicken sandwich…the list goes on!

Add to that a good list of health benefits. One cup of the “king of fruits” contains 1,785 IU of vitamin A which is needed to support healthy eyes and foster proper bone growth. Mango is also a source of folate or folic acid for pregnant women as it can help prevent birth defects and miscarriage.

Many studies reveal the cancer-preventive properties of mango. Rich in antioxidant compound, mangoes protect against breast, colon, leukemia, and prostate cancers.

No other country in the world can claim to have the sweetest, juiciest mango. Only in the Philippine soil do the most loved mangoes grow and ripen. Countries such as Canada, China, Japan, South Korea, Singapore, and USA, major export destinations of fresh and processed Philippine mango, can attest to the superior taste and quality of the country’s national fruit.

And with 187,837 hectares of plantations producing 788,074 metric tons for the domestic market and 48 countries abroad, coupled with a steadily improving production capacity, the Philippines is more than capable of offering this legendary fruit to the world.

Amley Food Corporation, Brandexports Philippines, Inc., and Green Enviro Management Systems, Inc. will showcase the selection of enticing mango products such as healthy dried mango snacks, spiced mango sauce, mango vinegar, mango kernel flour, mango-cassava flour, and mango-coconut flour at the European trade show for the world to sample.

Tuna: one of the world’s favorite fish

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The Philippines will bring to SIAL not only fruits of the land but also produce from the sea including tuna and other fish.

A  part of the almost 6 million square kilometers of tropical marine expanse called the Coral Triangle, the Philippine waters is home to large populations of tuna that thrive alongside 600 reef-building corals and over 2,000 other species of fish.

As the second-largest tuna exporter in the world, serving major markets such as Japan, the U.S., and the United Kingdom, the Philippines is capable of producing 58,660 metric tons of canned tuna and 28,808 metric tons of frozen or chilled tuna for the international market.

Tuna is also many athletes and health-conscious individuals’ go-to protein source. Just 3.5 ounces of tuna, or a little less than one cup, provides 30 grams of lean protein, along with important nutrients including omega-3 fatty acids – of which tuna is famous for, vitamins D and B12, and selenium. As such, eating tuna often can help lower risks of heart-related diseases, maintain healthy bones and teeth, sustain energy throughout the day, and support the immune system.

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And a versatile food, the Philippine tuna can be served and eaten in many ways – not just as filling in sandwiches – but as the star ingredient in nutritious salads, tacos, macaroni dishes, stuffed potatoes, relishes, and many more.

High quality tuna, processed and canned using only the strictest standards, along with other choice fish products (sardines and milkfish), will be brought to the trade show by Alliance Select Foods International, Inc., Brandexports Philippines, Inc., and Century Pacific Food, Inc..

Homegrown brands, trusted manufacturers: the Philippines’ favorite tastes and kitchen staples ready for the world

 Food Philippines through SIAL also offers the world the Philippines’ most loved food brands and top-of-mind suppliers that have become a fixture in the Philippine kitchen and an important element of the authentic Filipino lifestyle.

Snacks

Goldilocks Bakeshop Inc., founded in 1966 and one the Philippines’ well-established bakeshops, will bring their Sweet Polvoron Delights to SIAL. Polvoron is a Filipino delicacy that captures the dreamy combination of milk powder, toasted flour, sugar, and melted butter.

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A food brand close to the heart of every Filipino child, Regent, and its wide assortment of savory potato and corn chips and crackers; single-serve cakes in different flavors; corn, chicken teriyaki, cheese, vegetable, and seafood-flavored chips and crackers; and the brand’s newest addition, matcha-flavored corn cracker, will be exhibited by Grand Eight Export Packaging and Logistics Corp. and Philippine Grocers Food Exports Inc.

Philippine Grocers also brings to SIAL the brand Lemon Square, a prolific Philippine baked goods manufacturer and maker of popular cheese cupcakes. Assorted cupcakes and inipit (which means “pressed”, is a favorite Filipino delicacy made of two slices of sponge cake stacked together and filled with cream in the middle) will find their niche in the European market through the trade show.

International buyers and guests will finally get a taste of the Philippines’ “national biscuit” Skyflakes, as well as Fita and Grahams manufactured by Monde M.Y. San Corp. These crackers and biscuits are considered heritage brands holding top spots in the Philippine market for more than four decades.

Although pili is native to maritime Southeast Asian countries, only the Philippines harvests and processes the delicious nut, making it a uniquely Filipino treat. But one does not have to fly to the Philippines just to enjoy pili, thanks to J. Emmanuel Pastries – The House of Pili and Y Nut!, a selection of pili nut nibbles will be made available to the European market.

The pili nut is also a healthy food choice that places well with the Paleo diet and the Ketogenic diet which is starting to gain traction in the U.S. and the U.K.

A healthier alternative to fried pork rinds is Boy Bawang, a well-loved brand of the heritage snack called “chichacorn” (blend of Spanish word chicharrón and corn) or “Ilocos chicharon” in northern Philippines. Boy Bawang, which is already being exported to many countries across the world, is showcased by KSK Food Products.sial-photo7

The Philippines’ queen city of the South, Cebu, has a favorite snack called otap, an oval-shaped puffed pastry made from flour, shortening, coconut, and sugar that is baked twice to achieve its characteristic flaky crunch. Golden Harvest Otap will reach Europe through Brandexports.

Frozen fruit juices, known as “ice candy” in the Philippines, is a favorite cooler during hot and humid summer months. Miesto International Foods Corp. makes export-quality versions of this icy treat and takes them to SIAL for international taste buds to try and fall in love with.

Drinks

Always present in every Filipino school kid’s lunchbox is a carton of Selecta Moo Choco drink, which will be a part of Grand Eight’s selection of product offerings.

Other Philippine beverages taking part in SIAL are Tanduay Asian Rum and Cobra Energy drink, both manufactured and exported by Asia Brewery, Inc.

Considered as one of Asia’s best kept secrets, Tanduay Asian Rum, which spends 5-7 years in charred oak barrels, are made by a distillery company existing since the 1800s. Asia Brewery, Inc. brings Tanduay Asian Rum to SIAL to offer European guests the chance to see for themselves why the spirit is labeled the “Rum of Distinction.”

Meanwhile, Cobra Energy Drink is the Philippines number one drink for mental and physical alertness that combines taurine, inositol, caffeine, B-vitamins, carbohydrates, and ginseng.

 Noodles and Pasta

Different kinds of noodles such as thick cornflour noodle, fine rice noodle, flour stick noodle, vermicelli noodle, and mung bean noodle by the brands Cucina Filipina and Golden Harvest, and brought by Brandexports and Philippine Grocers, will be offered to give a chance to European foodies to make in their own homes delicious and authentic Asian and Filipino dishes like pancit luglog, pancit bihon, pancit canton, and sotanghon.

Grand Eight will present leading pasta brands like Royal Pasta, White King brand Fiesta Spaghetti (number one in the Philippine market), along with White King brand Fiesta Spaghetti Sauce.

Sugar

Organic muscovado made from sugar cane by Raw Brown Sugar Milling Co., Inc., and Suchero’s low glycemic natural sweetener made from coconut sap will be made available at the Food Philippines pavilion through Brandexports.

Condiments, Marinades, Spice Mixes, Sauces, Seasonings

Numerous authentic Philippine dishes such as binagoongang lechong kawali and kare-kare, and sour fruits and crops like green mango and singkamas, are made more mouth-watering with a bit of bagoong or sautéed shrimp paste.

This favorite Philippine condiment, specifically the Golden Harvest brand, will be offered by Brandexports.

No other dish says Filipino better than adobo. The most sought-after Philippine dish, that English gourmet and journalist Nigella Lawson is striving to perfect, can now be effortlessly made and served at home even by the untrained using Mama Sita’s adobo marinade and adobo sauce mix, brought to SIAL by Philippine Grocers, together with other great kitchen help by the Mama Sita’s brand such as barbecue marinade, sisig spice mix, and sinigang sa sampalok seasoning mix.

Processed Fruits and Preserves

No town fiesta celebration will be complete without Philippine fruit salad, and to make this delicacy, the required ingredients are preserved fruits such as pineapple chunks, tropical fruit cocktail, and red sugar palm fruit (kaong), which will be brought by Brandexports.

DLA Naturals will offer a wide selection of fruit fillings and pastry glazes for industrial baking. The company understands the baking industry’s demand and has perfected their recipe for economic and luxury varieties of hot- and cold-application glazes and  fillings made from apricot, apple, blueberry, cherry, raspberry, pineapple, and strawberry.

Dried Seafood

Aside from premium tuna, the Philippine pavilion at SIAL will also offer dried seafood by the Golden Sea Queen brand brought by Brandexports.

Included in the product selection are quintessential Philippine breakfast foods that pair with the iconic silog (a wordplay of sinangag, or fried rice, and itlog, or egg): dried salted ponyfish (sapsap), rabbit fish (danggit), squid, threadfin bream (bisugo), silverfish anchovies (dilis), and mackerel (alumahan).

Food Philippines in SIAL Paris 2016: Premium Quality, Premium Taste

Trade buyers and guests at SIAL Paris 2016 are invited to visit the Food Philippines pavilion at Hall 4 Stand Number 4L 106 and let Premium Quality, Premium Taste from the Philippines spark a new zestfulness for food and flavors.

For more information on Food Philippines in SIAL Paris 2016, interested parties may visit the official website citem.com.ph/sial/.

PH muscovado sugar sweetens your way to a healthier lifestyle

muscovado sugar to be featured by Food Philippines
Muscovado sugar, promoting a healthy and quality lifestyle among the Middle East consumers, will be featured at the Philippines Pavilion in the 20th “Gulfood: The Gulf Food Hotel and Equipment Exhibition and Salon Culinaire.” The show is slated at the Dubai World Trade Center, Dubai, UAE on Feb. 8-12, 2015.

As the awareness and drive to maintain a healthy lifestyle grows globally, demand for healthy foods consequently increased.

Naturally processed muscovado sugar from the Philippines, regarded as a healthy food has gained popularity in the international market, which industry is growing by 22 percent each year. Latest available figures in 2013 show that export of muscovado sugar attracts both trade and businesses from around the world, with total export reaching 1,829.31 metric tons.

Muscovado, is a type of unrefined brown sugar, considered as the purest form of sugar, with a strong molasses flavor, slightly stickier than most brown sugars. Also known as “Barbados sugar” or “moist sugar,” it owes its distinct flavorful taste and color from the sugarcane juice it is made from.

At the 20th “Gulfood: The Gulf Food Hotel and Equipment Exhibition and Salon Culinaire” slated at the Dubai World Trade Center, Dubai, UAE on Feb. 8-12, 2015, muscovado sugar will be featured at the Philippine pavilion, promoting a healthy and quality lifestyle among the Middle East consumers.

“With the wide acceptance and appreciation of the Philippines’ healthy and natural foods worldwide, we are delighted to bring the Philippines’ healthy muscovado sugar to the Middle East region, particularly at the 20th Gulfood,” said Rosvi Gaetos, Executive Director of the Center for International Trade Expositions and Missions (CITEM), adding that the country’s muscovado sugar responds very well to the global need for healthier food options.

Source muscovado sugar and other healthy food finds from Food Philippines!
Source muscovado sugar and other healthy, natural food finds from Food Philippines!

Throughout most of history, sugar-making has been a closely guarded secret until the 16th century when the process of making unrefined dark brown sugar became known to many. The 18th century then marked the start of sugar trade becoming an important economic activity, with tropical regions, like the Philippines, putting up sugarcane plantations. Large quantities of muscovado sugar produced in the country were imported to the US in the early 20th century.

In the late 20th century, with a more health-conscious public, consumers consider muscovado sugar as a healthier alternative for refined sugar because it is naturally produced without chemicals. When produced under regulated conditions, muscovado sugar is nutritionally richer than other sugars, and retains most of the natural minerals inherent in sugarcane juice. It is an essential ingredient in making chocolate and Philippine delicacies, and goes well with coffee and other beverages.

Along with the Philippine muscovado sugar, a select group of 24 Food Philippines companies will bring to Gulfood the country’s halal, natural, and organic food products with fair trade, organic, and halal certifications and approval from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), British Retail Consortium (BRC), Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP), SGS, and International Organization for Standardization (ISO) 9000.

Food Philippines is the industry brand for the food sector which unifies the overseas promotional efforts of the CITEM, the export promotions arm of the Philippines Department of Trade and Industry (DTI). Under this national brand, the Philippines is positioned as Asia’s most exciting sourcing destination for food exports, being one of the world’s top exporters of fresh fruits and marine products.

Philippines’ presence in Dubai this February will help solidify CITEM’s branding campaign cycle for 2015, following a successful run in the recently concluded 40th edition of Winter Fancy Food Show, the West Coast’s largest specialty food and beverage event held in the US.

Food Philippines is also scheduled to participate in Japan for the 40th edition of FOODEX Japan 2015 slated this coming March 3-6. FOODEX Japan is considered the Asia’s number one professional trade show for food and beverage.

Read more here about the Philippines’ participation in the 20th Gulfood.

Food Philippines brings natural and halal products to the 20th Gulfood

The Food Philippines Pavilion in the 19th edition of Gulfood in Dubai.
The Food Philippines Pavilion in the 19th edition of Gulfood in Dubai.

Food Philippines will once again generate more trade opportunities for the country when it brings halal, natural, and organic products to the 20th “Gulfood: The Gulf Food Hotel and Equipment Exhibition and Salon Culinaire” slated at the Dubai World Trade Center, Dubai, UAE on Feb. 8-12, 2015. A select group of Philippine exhibitors will showcase processed tropical fruits and vegetables, coconut products, and ethnic and gourmet products in UAE.

Gulfood is where professionals from across the food and hospitality spectrum converge from every corner of the globe at the center of the east and west trade, with over 20,000 brands by more than 4,500 exhibitors and 81,622 visitors from 170 countries.

Spearheaded by the Center for International Trade Expositions and Missions (CITEM), the export promotions arm of the Philippine Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), Food Philippines highlights the country’s halal-certified food products and “power” fruits in its participation in the world’s biggest annual food and hospitality show.

Agrinurture, Inc.
The fruit products of food manufacturer Agrinurture, Inc.

“Favorable feedback and results from Gulfood’s last edition inspired us to continue bringing our healthy and natural food products to the world. Buyers and visitors who will troop to the 20th Gulfood can expect more from the Food Philippines since we are ready to bring our halal-certified products and tropical fruits in the UAE region,” said CITEM executive director Rosvi Gaetos.

With trade amounting to millions of US dollars per year, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has been in the top list of the Philippines’ leading trading partners—both as export market and as import supplier of different consumer products.

The global halal trade is estimated to be worth USD2.3 trillion.  While halal food products have a ready market among the world’s Muslim population estimated at around 2 billion, halal food is consumed by even non-Muslim consumers because it has become synonymous with the highest standards of food safety. The increasing demand for halal-certified products in UAE and in the international market poses a huge opportunity for Philippine exporters.  The Philippine Export Development Plan identifies halal food exports as one of the growth areas that could trigger a 30 percent increase in the export figures for food by 2016.

The Philippines’ power fruits such as banana, coconut, mango, and pineapple will also take the spotlight at Gulfood, promoting well-being and quality lifestyle with their numerous health benefits. Philippines’ tropical fruits are considered to be among the best-tasting fruits in the world, owing to the country’s tropical weather and rich soil. These are preferred by consumers because of their distinct flavor, aroma, texture, and color.

inquiry from foreign buyer
A foreign buyer making inquiries at the Food Philippines Pavilion in the 19th edition of Gulfood

By 2020, the Gulf Cooperation Council is predicted to be an important economic and trading hub with a USD 2 trillion economy. The region’s population is expected to grow from 417.7 million in 2010 to 49.9 million in 2017, increasing the food demand and consumption in the Middle East. This increase marks an emerging market potential for the collective food exports brand Food Philippines.

Food Philippines is a branding initiative that ensures food products made of quality, healthy, natural ingredients are derived from the Philippines’ tropical islands. It unifies the overseas promotional efforts of CITEM. Under this national brand, the Philippines is positioned as Asia’s most exciting sourcing destination for food exports, being one of the world’s top exporters of fresh fruits and marine products.

Food Philippines sizzles with unique flavors and textures in SIAL Paris

Food Philippines, the country’s branding initiative for food exports, once again unified the Philippines’ presence in a high-impact promotion of the country’s terroir food products in SIAL Paris, the world’s largest food innovation observatory in the world.

SIAL or the Salon International de l’Agroalimentaire (SIAL), is the banner food event in France which celebrated its 50th edition on Oct. 16-19, 2014 at the Parc des Expositions de Paris – Nord Villepinte, Paris, France.

Fifteen (15) Philippine companies showcased their best food brands to over 130,000 trade buyers from 200 countries who visited SIAL.

Featured Philippine 'terroir' products
Featured products under the terroir setting of the Food Philippines Pavilion included the Pili nut from Bicol, Malagos chocolates of Davao, Amadeo coffee and mango liqueurs, heritage rice, coconut nectar vinegar, coconut sugar, and desiccated coconut. Other products featured include: dried mangoes of Cebu, banana chips from Davao, and Manille Liqueur de Calamansi.

The country’s tropical fruits, coconut products, fresh and canned tuna, and a number of innovative products like the popping juice balls drew very strong interest from the buyers. This year, the Philippines earned a combined initial sales record of US$29.37M, generating 223 trade inquiries with high potential for future business. The reported sales figure is 52% higher than the previous participation in said event in 2012.

“The Philippine participation in SIAL Paris is a wonderful opportunity for our food exporters to tap into the enormous European market as well as meet buyers from other parts of the world who are looking for high-value and distinct products. These products will definitely be making waves in European supermarkets and specialty stores very soon,” said Ms. Rosvi C. Gaetos, Executive Director of CITEM.

The local companies which participated in SIAL were: B-G Fruits and Nuts Manufacturing Corporation; Brandexports Philippines, Inc. / Profood International Corporation; Century Pacific Food, Inc.; DLA Naturals, Inc.; Franklin Baker Company of the Philippines; GSL Premium Food Export Corporation; JUD Products Philippines, Inc., M. Lhuillier Food Products, Inc.; Marigold Manufacturing Corporation (Mama Sita’s); Miesto International Foods Corporation; Philfresh Corporation; Philippine Grocers Food Exports, Inc.; Philippine International Trading Corporation; See’s International Food Manufacturing Corporation; and Universal Robina Corporation.

Switzerland Global Enterprise's Remo Daguati (2nd from the left) and Ralph Langholz (5th from the left) meet with Director  Senen M. Perlada of Philippine Export Management Bureau (EMB) and CITEM Executive Director Rosvi C. Gaetos to discuss future collaboration aimed to strengthen Philippines exports.  Joining them are: CITEM's Deputy Executive Director Rhea Matute, Philippine Trade and Investment Center – Paris Commercial Attache Vichael Roaring and EMB's Rorie Castillo.
Switzerland Global Enterprise’s Remo Daguati (2nd from the left) and Ralph Langholz (5th from the left) meet with Director Senen M. Perlada of Philippine Export Management Bureau (EMB) and CITEM Executive Director Rosvi C. Gaetos to discuss future collaboration aimed to strengthen Philippines exports. Joining them are: CITEM’s Deputy Executive Director Rhea Matute, Philippine Trade and Investment Center – Paris Commercial Attache Vichael Roaring and EMB’s Rorie Castillo.

“We are happy to learn that the organizers of SIAL value the contribution of our Philippine food exporters in providing more fresh and healthy food options to the over-all offering of SIAL and that they are looking forward to see the Philippine participation grow in SIAL in the coming years,” added Ms. Gaetos.

Of high interest to a large number of buyers are the country’s coconut products such as dessicated coconut, coconut water, coconut sugar, virgin coconut oil, and coconut flour. The buyers complimented the superior quality of the Philippine coconut products, which also fascinated even the ASEAN exhibitors. The country’s dried fruits such as banana, mangoes, coconut, papaya, and jackfruit, which were processed in various forms like fresh, dried, juices, jams and marmalades, syrups, also received numerous business inquiries. The superior taste and quality of our dried fruits have been well-recognized by the market. Tuna, being a consistent bestseller in SIAL, still has a very strong demand in Europe. Century Pacific’s canned tuna with variant flavors and Philfresh’s fresh frozen tuna were highly-regarded for their quality.

SIAL pic3
Brandexports Philippines, Inc.’s Tomas Medina provides tasting samples to buyers.

The Philippines’ new products; specifically pili nuts, coconut sugar and flour, premium coconut nectar vinegar, the Manille liqueur de Calamansi, and the premium vinegar; caught the interest of buyers and the media, since they have the potential to excite the market as something new and innovative. In addition, Marigold Manufacturing Corporation or Mama Sita’s reported that foreign buyers are becoming more open to try the Philippine heritage sauces and mixes, which could possibly expand the market beyond the Filipino communities abroad.

Other bestsellers in the Philippine Pavilion were: banana chips, tropical fruit juices, and assorted dried fruits. The Philippines food offerings in SIAL have passed the European Union’s international safety and quality regulations and certification requirements such as Halal, Organic, Fair Trade, and British Retail Consortium/European Union.

Joyce Lapuz-Sandoval of Mama Sita gives a buyer a taste of their heritage recipes.
Joyce Lapuz-Sandoval of Mama Sita’s gives a buyer a taste of their heritage recipes.

While as expected that most buyers were from the EU – France, Germany, Spain and Italy, quite a number of buyers from the United States, United Arab Emirates, as well as non-traditional markets such as the French Colonies, Eastern Bloc nations and Scandinavia, also visited the Philippine Pavilion.

The Philippine participation in the above trade fair is led by the Center for International Trade Expositions and Missions (CITEM), the export promotions arm of the Department of Trade and Industry.

Food Philippines continues worldwide promotion of natural, healthy products at Food Taipei 2014

With an impressive track record in the first quarter of this year, Food Philippines is set to break new ground in its upcoming participation in the 24th Taipei International Food Show (TIFS), or Food Taipei. This international food trade fair will be held at the Taipei World Trade Center, Taiwan on June 25-28, 2014.

tropicana product

Food Philippines is the industry brand for the food sector which positions the country as Asia’s most exciting sourcing destination for food exports, being one of the world’s top exporters of fresh fruits and marine products.The country’s participation in TIFS is spearheaded by the Center for International Trade Expositions and Missions (CITEM), the export promotions arm of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), in cooperation with the Philippine Trade and Investment Center (PTIC) – Manila Economic and Cultural Office (MECO) Office in Taipei, Taiwan.

 

Taiwan is a major trading partner of the Philippines and is one of the richest economies in Asia. We would like to increase the market share of Philippine food exports to Taiwan, by activelypromoting Food Philippines at Food Taipei,particularly healthy and natural food products,” said Ms. Rosvi C. Gaetos, executive director of CITEM.

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The Taiwanese consumer expenditure on food is valued at US$40.4M and about one third of household expenditure is spent in eating out. The Taiwanese are reported to have more purchasing power compared with the Japanese and British, and their buyers would prefer quality products even with higher prices rather than lower-priced products. Taiwan is therefore an attractive destination for the Philippines’ raw materials, semi-processed ingredients, and ready-to-eat food products. For this trade fair, the country eyes US$10 million in export sales from its participation.

 

The Philippine delegation to Food Taipei is composed of 10 local companies: Alter Trade Corporation; Andy Albao Enterprise; DLA Naturals; Fruits of Life, Inc.; M. Lhuillier Food Products, Inc.; Miesto International Foods Corporation; See’s International Food Manufacturing, Corp.; Team Asia Corporation; Tiongson Marketing and Export Services; and Tropicana Food Products, Inc. These companies will feature top-of-the-line natural and healthy products such as fresh coconut water in different packages; organic virgin coconut oil; tropical dried fruits and other healthy snacks; tropical beverages; muscovado sugar in various forms, food supplement like Spirulina, and natural herbal teas.

LA2PU Mixed fruitsDSC_3337

The Philippine participation in TIFS in 2012generated a total sales of US$15.12 million, US$5.12 million more than the sales target of US$10 million.The top sellers were: Mt. KitangladAgri-development Corporation’s fresh and processed Gollden Yellow MD2 pineapples, Prime Fruits International’s banana chips, Atson’s Coco’s coconut products, and Raw Brown Sugar Milling Corporation’s muscovado sugar.

 

Aside from generating sales, TIFS is a good venue for Philippine companies to be exposed to new technology and innovations. TIFS is co-organized with national shows in Taiwan, such as Food Taipei, Taipei Pack, Taipei Horeca, and Foodtech and Pharmatech Taipei.

 

Taipei International Food Show(TIFS)is one of Asia’s most important trade fairs for the food industry. Last year, the show gathered 1,557 exhibitors of ready-to-eat food items and distinctively Taiwanese produce, raw materials, processed and semi-processed food products. It was attended by 6,588 international trade visitors and 58,535 domestic trade visitors. This event is organized by Taiwan External Trade Development Council (TAITRA), and is jointly sponsored by the government, industry associations, and several commercial organizations. TAITRA aims to assist Taiwanese businesses and manufacturers to reinforce their international competitiveness and in coping with the challenges they face in foreign markets.

fruits of life

team asia_product

Food Philippines Goes to Japan’s Foodex

Food Philippines, the country brand for its food sector, will take its power fruits campaign to the next level as it gears up to participate in this year’s FOODEX Japan 2014, scheduled on March 4-7, 2014, at Makuhari Messe, Chiba, Japan.

Considered as the sweetest mango in the world, the Philippine mango will be the product highlight at the Philippines Pavilion in Foodex Japan.

The country’s product focus, Philippine mango in its various forms and applications, will be showcased through a special setting at the Philippines Pavilion. The other power fruits or top food exports of the country such as banana and pineapple, will also be featured in the special display, as a means to establish the country’s position as a reliable source of high-quality products to the Japanese market.

The Philippines participation is spearheaded by the Department of Trade and Industry’s (DTI) export promotions arm, the Center for International Trade Expositions and Missions (CITEM).

“In FOODEX Japan 2014, our goal is to sustain and strengthen the position of the Philippines as one of the top suppliers of fresh fruits in Japan, since we command a 45.1 percent share of total fruit imports there. Through the Food Philippines at the Philippines Pavilion, we would like to present our country as a source of high-quality, healthy, and natural products that have premium taste,” said Ms. Rosvi C. Gaetos, the Executive Director of CITEM.

Last year, the Philippine delegation generated over US$30 million in sales, with over 700 trade inquiries from countries such as the United States, China, South Korea, Hong Kong, France, Belgium, Australia, Germany, and Mexico. The best-selling products from the 22 Philippine companies, which participated in March 2013 were fresh bananas, dried fruits, coconut products, and fruit juices.

Le Potager Inc.’s fruit-flavored home-made style luxury jams which make use of the company’s French heritage and Philippine’s natural resources, will be among the high-value products on display at the Philippines Pavilion

FOODEX Japan is the largest food and beverage exhibition in the Asia-Pacific region. Having been in operation for 39 years, it caters not only to the Japanese market, but also to those who are interested in opportunities for growing a market in Asia. Serving as Japan’s top trade food and beverage show, FOODEX Japan is renowned as a rewarding event for both the exhibitors and the visiting buyers. The show boasts of having conducted business meetings, providing its participants with key opportunities for dynamic discussions and business possibilities to enter the Japanese as well as the Asian and global markets.

The Philippines Pavilion is located at Hall 2, Booth 2B02.

Philippine Participation in the 2014 Winter Fancy Food Show & Selling Mission in the U.S., a Resounding Success

Food Philippines, the country’s national brand for its food exports, makes waves in the first Philippine participation in the Winter Fancy Food Show (WFFS) in Moscone Center, San Francisco, USA on January 19-21, 2014. Food Philippines’ products received raves and warm reception from the local U.S media and from the big premium specialty food chains supplying natural and organic food products.

Food Philippines showcased the Philippines’ distinct taste and flavors through its unlimited food samples of Filipino heritage dishes to the food enthusiasts, and visitors of the Winter Fancy Food Show in San Francisco.

The WFFS is West Coast’s largest specialty food and beverage show that features around 80,000 on-trend and best-in-class specialty foods and beverages in the U.S. and from other countries. The Philippine participation in the WFFS is spearheaded by the Philippine Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), through the Center for International Trade Expositions and Missions (CITEM), and the Philippine Trade and Investment Centers (PTIC) in Silicon Valley and Los Angeles.

During the three-day event, the Philippine pavilion registered around 330 buyer inquiries and more than two hundred buyer visits. Moreover, three specialty food products from the Philippines were of particular great interest to a number of large importers in the U.S., namely the cacao-made single-origin chocolate of Malagos Agri-Venture Corporation, banana chips and nata de coco of Prime Fruits International, Inc., the steamed Filipino rice cake instant mixes of JNRM Corporation, and the edible Roselle (gumamela) flower of Herbanext Laboratories, Inc. Food Philippines featured 10 top food exporters and manufacturers that occupied the 16 booths of the Philippine Pavilion at the South Hall of the Moscone Center.

Food Philippines features the award-winning, San Francisco-based, Filipino-American Chef Thomas Weibull at the Philippine pavilion. Chef Weibull’s live cooking demonstration of the Philippine heritage dishes was well-received by the food enthusiasts and visitors at the Winter Fancy Food Show
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San Francisco-based, award-winning Fil-Am Chef Thomas Weibull is shown here doing a cooking demonstration at the Philippine pavilion during the second day of the Winter Fancy Food Show. Chef Weibull cooks Philippine heritage dishes like adobo and lumpia for the American food enthusiasts, buyers, and visitors.

The Malagos cacaos, which surprisingly are supplying to famous chocolate company Mars, as well as Askinoskie chocolate from Missouri, have fascinated a certain premium specialty food chain in the U.S. because of the company’s advocacy for natural and organic food that are practicing sustainable agriculture. This Davao-based cacao-derived chocolate products will also be featured in the U.S.’ famous confectionery magazine Dessert, as this celebrated food product has enticed the Editor-in-Chief of the magazine when he visited the Philippine pavilion.

“Our theme Natural, Organic, and Heritage really suits the U.S. market because the consumers there are now looking for products that are not only of premium quality, but natural and organic as well,” said Ms. Rosvi C. Gaestos, Executive Director of CITEM.

The Food Philippines Philippines pavilion, with its especially designed booth system that carried a cheerful, airy and warm ambiance has also impressed the organizers of the Winter Fancy Food Show who were all-praises for it. The Philippines, incidentally, has the largest country pavilion from ASEAN at the WFFS.

Visitors and food enthusiasts of the Winter Fancy Food Show in San Francisco at the site of Food Philippines located in South Hall, Moscone Center. The 16-booth Philippine pavilion showcased its finest healthy, natural and organic products that are of proud Philippine heritage.

“Our excellent preparation in our booth and in our promotional materials and, of course the food products that we brought meant that this activity is a serious investment for us. More importantly, the Philippine participation in the WFFS has opened the eyes of the U.S. and North American market that our country can be a reliable source of healthy, natural and organic specialty premium products,” said CITEM Deputy Executive Director Ms. Malou D. Mediran.

The CITEM Deputy Executive Director also reported that potential export orders in excess of US$10.0 million have been generated from the Show by the exhibiting Philippine companies.

After participating in the WFFS, the Philippine business delegation proceeded to a selling mission to Los Angeles on Jan. 22-24. It was highlighted by a press conference, meetings with selected importers and store visits, and whole day business matching event on Jan. 24 at the Crowne Plaza Hotel.

Deputy Executive Director Mediran also added that, “the exporters were very happy with the overall market response of the products they brought to the U.S., as well as the support of the government to them through DTI/CITEM. The exporters are highly appreciative of the efforts of government in helping SMEs promote their products in the global market, which on their own way cannot undertake because of the cost of investment required. Though the DEFood program, the exporters receive assistance in terms of proper mandatory labeling, getting alignment in certification, and packaging design.”

Trade Representative Jose Ma. Dinsay, Director of the Philippine Trade and Investment Center, Los Angeles, and appointed lead person of the DTI for food sector program in the U.S. said, “The said two events in the U.S. are part of a long-term strategy of the Philippine government in partnership with the country’s food manufacturers and exporters to promote premium products to the discerning consumers in the U.S. market.”

“We will aim to work closely with upscale and specialty food retail chains to ensure that our world- class products are available and accessible to our target mainstream market,” he added.

This program is supported by the Philippine Consulates in Los Angeles and San Francisco.