The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) said on Monday said Philippine agricultural exports have already reached new markets.

In a statement, DTI said that in the past two months, maiden shipments of avocados arrived in China, cacao in Belgium, and coconut milk in Russia.

DTI-Trade Promotions Group Undersecretary Adbulgani Macatoman said the shipments was due to the combined efforts of the DTI-Foreign Trade Service Corps (DTI-FTSC) overseas, Export Marketing Bureau (DTI-EMB) and the Department of Agriculture (DA).

Philippine avocados officially entered China through a 7.7-ton shipment from the fruit company Dole Philippines. The avocados were shipped from Davao and arrived on the Dole China processing plant in Shanghai last March 31.

The avocados will be first sold by Alibaba Group’s supermarket chain Hema Xiansheng and will be available in more stores in the future.

Auro Chocolate, on the other hand, brought Philippine cacao beans to the European market through a shipment to Antwerp, Belgium last April 16.

The 20,000-kilogram shipment of Mindanao-sourced, premium cacao beans, was composed of five different cacao varieties/products, including the Paquibato Origin, winner of the Cocoa Excellence Award in 2019.

Philippine brand Coco Daily organic coconut milk, meanwhile, arrived at the port of Saint Petersburg in the first week of April.

Russian importer PanAsia Impex Ltd. said that the 1-liter packages of Coco Daily that arrived in the 40-foot shipping container will be available to mainstream consumers during the spring in Russia, which typically runs from March to May.

“Now is the time for Philippine agricultural products to thrive,” said DTI-EMB Director Senen Perlada.

He said that DTI-EMB will strengthen its coordination with the DA and DTI-FTSC to match supply with demand. In turn, DTI-EMB will capacitate existing and aspiring exporters for them to be able to comply with international standards.

“Covid-19 (coronavirus disease 2019) may lead to market access issues and non-tariff measures. It may be more difficult to comply with stricter regulations, certifications, external and domestic regulations. The DTI-EMB commits to assist exporters, especially MSMEs (micro, small and medium enterprises), to comply with these requirements and introduce their products to the world,” said Perlada.