Local food exporters are making waves abroad following the country’s successful participation in two food fairs and exhibitions in Singapore and Japan.
The two events yielded on-the-spot and negotiated orders for Philippine firms, according to Export Marketing Bureau (EMB) director Senen M. Perlada.
In a phone interview, Perlada explained that the sector’s prospects continued to be good for this year, as statistics showed double-digit growths in export receipts for processed food, fresh fruits and beverages in the first quarter.
At the Food and Hotel Asia (FHA) 2014 event held in Singapore last month, Filipino firms that participated were able to generate $13.21 million in sales, Perlada said.
Of this amount, $12.15 million were sales under negotiations, which could be concluded in the next 6 to 12 months. The remaining $1.06 million were considered booked sales, he added.
Seventeen home-grown Philippine brands joined the FHA in Singapore, which was said to be the largest international food trade show in Asia.
The brands were CDO, Clover, Goldilocks, Leslie, Ligo, Lipa Fresh Coconut Water, Mama Sita’s, Master Sardines, Mega Fishing Corp., Philippine Fresh Fruits Davao, Rebisco, San Marino, Agrinurture, Brand Exports, Dealo Koffee Klatch, Gem Foods, Market Reach International, Prifood and Q-Phil.
The Philippine participation at the food fair was organized by the Department of Agriculture-Agribusiness Marketing and Assistance Service, (DA-AMAS), in collaboration with the Philippine Trade and Investment Center (PTIC-Singapore), the Center for International Trade Expositions and Missions (CITEM) and the EMB.
Meanwhile, local food exporters that participated at the Foodex 2014 held in Japan last March reportedly yielded initial sales orders amounting to $25.24 million, based on data provided by Citem.
Citem paved the way for the Philippines’ participation in the Japanese food fair.
Foodex is said to be the largest food and beverage exhibition in the Asia-Pacific region.
It was reported that the Philippine food items that received significant interest included “chicken yakitori, biscuits and banana chips, while some relatively new product exports such as frozen vegetables and Peking duck generated interest among prospective international buyers.”
In an earlier statement, Citem said that the country’s product focus was the Philippine mango in its various forms and applications, as well as banana and pineapple.
This was supposedly meant to “establish the country’s position as a reliable source of high- quality products” for the Japanese market.
“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,” Citem executive director Rosvi C. Gaetos said in an earlier statement.
Last year, the Philippine delegation generated over $30 million in sales, with over 700 trade inquiries from the United States, China, South Korea, Hong Kong, France, Belgium, Australia, Germany, and Mexico. The best-selling products from the 22 Philippine companies that participated in March 2013 were fresh bananas, dried fruits, coconut products, and fruit juices, Gaetos said.