Food Philippines is geared up to feature the country’s premium tropical fruits in FOODEX Japan 2015, the 40th International Food and Beverage Exhibition, slated at the Makuhari Messe in Chiba, Japan on March 3-6, 2015. A select group of 13 Food Philippines exhibitors will showcase tropical fruits such as coconuts, bananas, mangoes, and pineapples, as well as healthy and natural food products derived from them.
The Philippines dominates Japan’s tropical fruits imports, supplying 93.3% of its bananas, 99.7% of its pineapples, and 27.3% of its mangoes – all considered by the Japanese to be mechauma or “absurdly delicious.” The country has consistently been the largest exporter of bananas to Japan. Almost all of Japan’s fresh and processed pineapples come from the Philippines, owing to its distinct and sweet taste. Japan is also an attractive market for the Philippine mangoes. The Japanese consumers are developing consciousness for food safety and they are willing to pay premium price for food products that meet their standards for safety, taste, health, and nutrition. This increasing demand for food products with food safety standard certifications poses a huge opportunity for Food Philippines exporters.
“Japan is a significant market for our tropical fruits. This edition of FOODEX Japan is an opportunity for the Philippines to prove that the country is the undisputed source of fresh and processed tropical fruits and natural food products in the Asia-Pacific region,” said CITEM Executive Director Rosvi Gaetos, adding that the unique and identifying characteristics and natural features of the Philippines’ best-tasting fruits make it more globally recognized.
The 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. The Philippine coconut is famous for its distinct flavor, fragrance, and texture, which very well responds to the global need for healthy and natural food products. Aside from coconut meat and nata de coco, the Philippine coconut water is now growing in popularity in Japan due to the demand for healthy beverage. The Philippines’ coconut exports have diversified over the years, ranging from food and non-food products, enabling this palm to gain the distinction of being called the “tree of life.” The coconut industry is a dominant sector of Philippine agriculture, having the world’s widest geographical area devoted to coconut. There are around 3.5 million coconut farmers in the country and 3.1 million hectares of farmlands for the fruit.
The Philippine banana industry is one of the best-performing agricultural products of the country. It is one of the oldest cultivated crops in the Philippines with plantations of 450,125 hectares across the country. The fruits’ varieties include saba or Cardava, lacatan, latundan, bongolan, Cavendish, señorita, chiquita, bangaran and kadulce from Tacloban, tindok from Cebu, among others, each with distinct flavor and quality. Two-thirds of bananas exported are grown in the Philippine region of Mindanao, where the humid climate and rich soil allow it to grow in abundance. More than 90 percent of Japan’s bananas are from the Philippines, with fresh “Cavendish” bananas as Japanese market’s favorite.
The country is one of the largest exporters of pineapples in the world. It supplies 99 percent of Japan’s total fresh pineapple import volume. The country provides the Japanese market with the “Sweetio” pineapple, a fragrant and sweet variety that appeals to them. Majority of Philippine pineapples are produced in the island of Mindanao, where volcanic ash soil and climate create a suitable environment for pineapple production. The proximity of pineapple plantations to its ports ensures the freshness of the fruit.
Another power fruit from the Philippines is the world’s “queen of fruits,” mango, which is also the country’s national fruit. Considered to be sweetest in the world, it is abundant in the Philippines because of the country’s warm, dry weather and well-drained soil. When the fruits are ripened on the tree and picked just before full ripeness, it produces an aromatic smell and sweetness, which makes it the source of the most successful commercial products available in the market. The Philippine mango exports amount to USD 12 million, showing a 15.4 percent growth rate from January to September 2014 as compared to that of the same period in 2013.
The Philippines’ tropical fruits will take the spotlight at the 40th FOODEX Japan, validating the country as the leader in the production of highest quality food products. FOODEX Japan is Asia Pacific’s largest food trade show for food and beverage, with 3, 480 booths and over 2,800 exhibitors from 78 countries and regions. It offers many opportunities to meet potential business partners not only from Japan, but from major East Asian countries as well.
“The Japanese always put quality above all else — be it the packaging, taste, color, nutritional value, safeness or the product as a whole – and that makes their country a challenging market to explore. Being able to please the strict and discerning taste of the Japanese market, Philippines’ food products are definitely ready and qualified to tap into the global market,” said Daisy Johanna Uy, an exporter of processed tropical fruits to Japan.
Spearheaded by the Center for International Trade Expositions and Missions (CITEM), the export promotions arm of the Philippine Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), in partnership with the Philippine Trade and Investment Center (PTIC) in Tokyo, Food Philippines highlights the country’s top tropical fruits in its participation in FOODEX Japan 2015. The country’s delegation to Japan will also bring frozen and processed tuna, poultry products, and snack items in Japan. With the commitment to excellent service, backed by strict adherence to international food standards, the country is a reliable source of quality food products which recognize the Japanese taste preferences.
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 Philippines 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 fresh fruits and marine products.