PH boosts export drive in US major food show

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DTI-CITEM targets $48M sales in 2018
As the export promotion arm of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), the Center for International Trade Expositions and Missions (CITEM) leads in stepping up the country’s presence in the North American region with healthy, natural and organic premium products in the 43rd Winter Fancy Food Show (WFFS) in San Francisco, California, USA on January 21 to 23.

The Philippine delegation is set to showcase the country’s top agriculture commodities and processed food products, including coconut, banana, pineapple, mango, tuna, and other flavorful selections.

Tuna remains the country’s best-selling product in international food shows

“Under the Food Philippines pavilion, the Philippine delegation this year is keen on further strengthening its market foothold in the United States by catering to its growing health-conscious consumer market,” said DTI-CITEM executive director Clayton Tugonon.

WFFS is the US West Coast’s largest specialty food and beverage event with an estimated 20,000 annual visitors and 1,500 exhibitors from across the U.S. and 28 other countries.


Specialty food refers to food products of the highest grade, style or quality, derived from their uniqueness, origin, processing method, design, and other factors.

In its fourth participation last year, the Philippine delegation secured a total of US$ 48.73 million negotiated sales from trade buyers, recording its highest sales in its four years of participation in the WFFS.

Clayton Tugonon

Among the country’s best-selling items are premium rice and tuna. The Philippine corn snacks also garnered positive reception for its crunchier, tastier and bigger servings compared to those in other countries. Other top Philippine products include banana chips, nuts, coconut products, and other tropical fruits.

For this year, DTI-CITEM aims to generate at least US$ 48.75 million sales by bringing in at least 20 new and returning Philippine manufacturers and exporters that are compliant with US’ international safety and quality regulations and certification requirements, such as USDA Organic and US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

“As an export promotion agency, we are also committed to providing knowledge assistance to our local exhibitors that will help them enhance the innovativeness and competitiveness of their product,” said Tugonon, stressing that local food producers and manufacturers can fortify the country’s position as a top global agri-exporter with the upgrade of storage and processing facilities.

The Philippines is the world’s second-largest producer of coconut and banana, according to the 2015 data of the Philippine Coconut Authority and the Department of Agriculture.

Meanwhile, the country is also a top global producer of pineapple (3rd), canned tuna (4th), and mango (10th), based on a 2013 data of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization.

As of 2016, the US is the Philippines third major trading partner and the second biggest export market, amounting to $8.851 billion, according to the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA).

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