IN its effort to catapult micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) into the global market, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) has launched an innovation hub for the processed food sector.
The Food Connection Innovation hub is in collaboration with the Department of Science and Technology, Food Innovation Center (DOST-FIC).
“With the growing opportunities in the food sector and the anticipation of the huge market demand for innovative food products under the Asean Economic Community [AEC] integration, we would like to provide areas of assistance for our entrepreneurs specifically those processed food MSMEs,” said Philippine Trade Training Center (PTTC) Executive Director Nestor Palabyab during the soft launch of the Food Connection Ihub.
Under the latest Philippine Export Development Plan (PEDP), the processed food sector is positioned to create demand in the growing market abroad especially with the rise of healthy food and Halal-certified products in non-Muslim regions.
Through the hub, the DTI-PTTC expects to promote networking among key players and venture capitalists to establish collaboration and develop viable business strategies.
The Philippine Exports Confederation Inc. (PhilExport) counts about 500 processed food MSMEs as registered members. These enterprises are expected to benefit from different trade assistance from the hub in penetrating the global market.
In 2014, the Philippine Statistics Agency (PSA) reported a total of 127,518 established MSMEs in the food and accommodation sector. The numbers are expected to grow as the Philippines prepares for the full integration of the Asean Economic Community.