10 proudly Philippine-made but delightfully ASEAN offers at IFEX 2017

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Over 700 exhibitors and 2,100 buyers are expected to participate at IFEX 2017, slated on May 19 to 21 at the World Trade Center in Pasay City. Photo by Bernard Testa, InterAksyon.

Over 700 exhibitors of food and ethnic ingredient manufacturers; exporters; consolidators; artisans; chefs; culinary historians; experts; and gourmet enthusiasts from different parts of the country and the globe are featured for this year’s International Food Exhibition (IFEX) under the theme “Taste ASEAN.”

Organized by the Department of Trade and Industry-Center for International Trade Exhibitions and Missions (DTI-CITEM), IFEX is being positioned by DTI-CITEM as “Asia’s ethnic food and ingredients show. It is happening on May 19 to 21 at the World Trade Center in Pasay City.

CITEM Executive Director Clayton Tugonon said in a statement, “Under the theme ‘Taste ASEAN,’ IFEX Philippines will be the main food export platform for ASEAN Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) to capture the immense global demand for oriental flavors and drive up more trade opportunities in the region.”

Tugonon also said in a press conference that the event hopes to “harness more productivity within the region,”and be able “to help MSMEs to be more innovative in the region.”

DTI-CITEM Executive Director Clayton Tugonon and DTI Undersecretary for Trade and Investment Promotion Group Nora Terrado lead the toasting ceremony during the press preview of IFEX held in early May. IFEX is happening on May 19 to 21 at the World Trade Center in Pasay City. Photo by Bernard Testa, InterAksyon.

The center shared that over 2,100 trade buyers from across the world are expected to come. Tugonon said, “Global retail owners, importers, and investors cannot simply overlook the Philippines’ fast-growing food industry with all the major developments in manufacturing, retail, and exports.”

Citing data from the Philippine Statistics Authority, Tugonon shared that the food and beverage is one of the most dominant manufacturing sector in the Philippines.

“Food accounts for nearly half of the total output of the country’s manufacturing sector, which contributes around 23% to 24% of the annual GDP,” the data indicated.

Further citing the success of past IFEX events, Tugonon also mentioned that in 2015, IFEX was able to generate Php7.69 billion in sales. For this edition, CITEM targets to generate Php 8.72 billion in export sales.

“I would like to announce the good news. IFEX is only done once every two years but because of the demand and we saw that the increase of numbers of participants we have, we are now doing this every year,” he said.

Top Philippine food brands, ingredients and agricultural products at IFEX 2017 on May 19 to 21 at the World Trade Center in Pasay City. Photo by Bernard Testa, InterAksyon.

With the success of the last IFEX, this year’s edition is expected to be bigger and exciting. Meanwhile, here are some things to expect at the event:

1. ASEAN Pavilion
As part of the 30th ASEAN Summit’s year-long roster of events held in the country, a special pavilion is mounted to highlight Southeast Asian food and brands.

2. Food Halls
IFEX 2017 features the Food Philippines Hall, which showcases mainstream and latest product offerings from Philippines’ leading brands; while the International Hall, features products from different parts of the world including China, Malaysia, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, and Turkey.

Award-winning Malagos Chocolates from Davao is one of the participating premium brands at IFEX 2017, happening on May 19 to 21 at the World Trade Center in Pasay City. Photo by Bernard Testa, InterAksyon.

The Food Artisans Village on the other hand, puts into spotlight the Philippine local flavors presented by the Department of Agriculture (DA). This hall also features the country’s top demand export commodities including tuna, rice, coffee, cacao, coconut, pineapple, banana, and mango.

At the Mama Sita booth during an IFEX press preview, a woman lets guests taste local chicken barbecue prepared with the brand’s marinade and dipping sauce. Photo by Bernard Testa, InterAksyon.

3. Cooking demonstrations
Tugonon also promised to deliver an “epicurean adventure” for the participants of IFEX 2017. The three-day event is conducting cooking demonstrations featuring celebrated names in the culinary industry.

Chefs Jam Melchor, Myke Tatung Sarthou, Rolando Laudico, Xavier Btesh, and King Phojanakong will be presenting their innovative dishes at the event. Participants can also look forward to various food and beverage tasting activities.

IFEX 2017 also features various food and beverage tastings. The international food expo featuring top Philippine brands is slated on May 19 to 21 at the World Trade Center in Pasay City. Photo by Bernard Testa, InterAksyon.

4. Seminars
Buyers and visitors of IFEX 2017 are also encouraged to be part of engaging discussions on the latest trends and innovations in the food industry from the experts. This is organized with DTI’s Export Marketing Bureau, DA, Management Association of the Philippines-Agribusiness and Countryside Development Foundation, Inc., the Organic Coconut Association of the Philippines, and the Philippine Wine Merchants.

5. Food Innovation Gallery
In here, participants get to know more about the advancements in food processing and manufacturing in the Philippines. It showcases the country’s latest equipment, processing, and developments in food products.

6. EU Pavilion
This pavilion highlights the economic relationship of Philippines and the European Union. It showcases products from France, Germany, Lithuania, Belgium, Estonia, Poland, and The Netherlands.

7. Bread Alley
Composed of local companies, the Bread Alley is set to showcase Philippines’ rich bread-making culture.

8. Taste Philippines by FCAP
In collaboration with the Food Caterers Association of the Philippines, this pavilion will be serving iconic and heirloom dishes rooted in the rich cultural traditions of the Philippines.

See the best of local and international food brands at IFEX on May 19 to 21 at the World Trade Center in Pasay City. Photo by Bernard Testa, InterAksyon.

9. Halal Pavilion
In partnership with the Philippine Halal Board, the Halal Pavilion aims to elevate the export competitiveness of halal-certified products in the international market.

10. RIPPLES Plus
This pavilion showcases the export-competitive products developed and upscaled by local MSMEs in coordination with DTI-Export Marketing Bureau and its Regional Operations Group.

For updates, check IFEX 2017 on Facebook. 

Christopher Quimbo, COO of Calabria Company that makes Novellino Wines. Photo by Bernard Testa, InterAksyon.