Filipinos are looking to New Zealand for high-quality food and beverages as shown by the three-day ‘Experience New Zealand’ Trade Fair held at the Glorietta Activity Center, Palm Drive.
To officially open the fair, New Zealand Trade Commissioner Hernando Banal and New Zealand Ambassador to the Philippines Reuben Levermore led a ribbon-cutting ceremony on its first day. Ayala Land Corporation chairman Jaime Augusto Zobel de Ayala also joined New Zealand Ambassador to the Philippines Reuben Levermore for a ceremonial toast later in the evening to celebrate the start of the fair.
One of the highlights of the fair was enthralling cultural performances by the New Zealand Maori KapaHaka (dance) group, “Nga HaueWha” making the guests experience the New Zealand culture. Shoppers during the fair also got a chance to win a trip to New Zealand.
New Zealand’s international reputation as a world-leading exporter of high-quality, safe food and beverage products continues to resonate in the Philippines, with imports of food and beverages from New Zealand growing nearly 30 percent since 2009. The Philippines is New Zealand’s 15th largest export destination overall, and the 11th export destination for food and beverage products.
“New Zealand has built a reputation as a supplier of high quality, fresh, and healthy food,” said Ambassador Levermore.
New Zealand Trade Commissioner to the Philippines, Hernando Banal said that the growth of food and beverage imports from New Zealand shows that more Filipinos are beginning to discover how to use top-quality New Zealand produce and ingredients together with local cuisine. “New Zealand beef and lamb is grass-fed, and is raised free-range in a clean, green, and pristine environment. It’s also the perfect ingredient to some of our Filipino favorites—such as kaldereta, or piping hot bulalo soup.” he added.
New Zealand is considered a world leader in food safety, security and sustainability, and is the world’s largest exporter of lamb and dairy products. New Zealand is also a major supplier of premium-quality corned beef and seafood, such as native New Zealand Greenshell Mussels and smoked New Zealand King Salmon.
“Filipino consumers also love fresh New Zealand ZESPRI kiwifruit and crunchy New Zealand apples,” stated Banal. “Exports of these two fruits to the Philippines grew an extraordinary 82 percent in 2012.”
“We are also beginning to see an increasing range of quality New Zealand wine on offer in the Philippines.” he also shared.
With the ‘Experience New Zealand’ food fair, Manila got to taste and appreciate the best of New Zealand food, beverage, and culture opening more opportunities and development on the New Zealand-Philippines relationship.