Twenty-six exhibitors from Negros Occidental joined the soft opening of the 9th edition of the International Food Expo Philippines at the SMX Convention Center in Pasay City yesterday.
About 800 exhibitors are participating in the expo this year that aims at promoting healthier food options through Green Asia, a showcase of healthy, natural, and organic food, Josephine Fernandez, Negros Occidental Agri-Business coordinator, said.
Fernandez said the food expo is being promoted by the Center for International Trade Expositions and Missions, an export promotions agency of the Department of Trade and Industry, and will run until Sunday.
Other countries joining the food expo are China, India, Japan, Korea, Singapore, Malaysia, Brunei, Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, Taiwan, and Turkey.
Negros Occidental Governor Alfredo Marañon, Jr. attended the opening of the booths of exhibitors from the province.
Department of Agriculture Secretary Voltaire Gazmin, Department of Trade and Industry Secretary Gregory Domingo, DTI undersecretary Ponciano Mando, Philippine international Trading Corporation president Ma. Lourdes Baua, Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala and CITEM Director Rosvi Gaetos of the Bureau of Export and Trading welcomed the participants.
As of yesterday, Fernandez said, there were already interested buyers negotiating with Negros Occidental exhibitors, but the sales report data was not yet available.
The food expo focuses on four product showcase that include Power Fruits Asia for major tropical fruit exports; Seafood Asia for fresh marine produce; Halal Food Asia for Halal-certified delicacies; and Green Asia for natural and organic food.
The province was named the lone partner local government unit of IFEX 2013.
The products by Virgie's, Felicia's, Casa Carmela, Quan's, and a wide range of organic products from Alter Trade, Himaya-an Deli, Fresh Start, Options MPC, KITS Herbs, SanCa Balik Kalikasan, Federico's Wines, Kalipayan Products, Sir Jess, Sofia seafood, HLS Aqua, El Ideal, SJ Veloria's Squid rings, Negros Binhi, Saring's Special Bago-ong, T-Flavors, Negros Island Rainforest Organic Coffee are displayed at the expo.
DTI Regional Director Dominic Abad commended the provincial government for its support to local producers, saying that the IFEX is a goldmine of business opportunities.*APN