In February 2021, 5 companies will join Biofach, the world’s leading trade fair for organic food, while 13 Philippine companies will participate in Gulfood Hotel and Equipment Exhibition and Salon Culinaire (Gulfood), one of the world’s biggest fairs for food and hospitality held annually in Dubai.
CITEM will build on the groundwork it started in 2020 for its digital initiatives as the 2021 edition of Biofach will be fully digital while Gulfood will be in a hybrid format
Philippine food companies return to the global stage as they participate in two international trade fairs this February.
From February 17 to 19, five food companies will showcase the best of Philippine organic food products in Biofach, the world’s leading trade fair for organic food to be held in Nuremberg, Germany. Meanwhile, 13 food brands are set to participate in Gulfood Hotel and Equipment Exhibition and Salon Culinaire (Gulfood), one of the world’s biggest fairs for food and hospitality to be held in Dubai from February 21 to 25.
The Center for International Trade Expositions and Missions (CITEM) will be bringing Philippine exporters to these shows in fulfillment of its mandate as the export promotions arm of the Department of Trade and Industry. The Philippine participation in Biofach and Gulfood are organized in coordination with the Philippine Trade and Investment Center (PTIC) Berlin and PTIC Dubai, respectively.
“The DTI is excited to keep the local food sector’s momentum going,” DTI Undersecretary for the Trade Promotions Group Abdulgani Macatoman remarked. “We are confident that under the stewardship of CITEM and PTIC, the Philippines will once again show why buyers all over the world keep coming back for Pinoy food products,” he added.
In the 2020 edition of Biofach, the Philippine delegation accumulated a total of USD36.37 million in sales, surpassing CITEM’s initial target of USD10.37 million. Similarly, the Philippine participation in Gulfood 2020 was a resounding success, bringing home more than USD102.6 million in export sales.
“We’re thrilled for the world to see and taste the vibrant food offerings and diverse flavors that are unique to the Philippines,” CITEM Executive Director Pauline Suaco-Juan says of the agency’s export promotion initiatives.
This year, under the new normal and in view of the public health measures to safely conduct events, Biofach will be fully digital while Gulfood will be staged in a hybrid format comprising a physical exhibition and digital components to the show.
For the Philippines’ 16th participation in Gulfood, a physical exhibit will be complemented by QR codes for featured products, which will lead interested buyers straight to the inbox of the Philippine delegation’s exhibitors. Two weeks after Gulfood, CITEM will also facilitate extensive business matching with Gulfood exhibitors and prospective buyers.
Suaco-Juan noted that in the previous year which saw a great digital migration across sectors, CITEM began strengthening its digital capacities to make sure that the agency and its stakeholders are prepared to evolve and adapt to the dynamic needs of the digital space.
The agency’s Executive Director cited as an example the launch of foodphilippines.cn in 2020, which improved the searchability of featured exhibitors and their products to the Chinese market.
Suaco-Juan also expressed optimism in the “digital facilitation of trade,” despite the inherently physical nature of trade shows. “The digital format opens you up to a bigger portion of the world rather than just people who physically go to the trade shows. As we know, sourcing now, because of digital, is enabled 365 days of the year, 24/7. And it’s good for our products to be searchable online,” she noted.
The Center for International Trade Expositions and Missions (CITEM) is the Department of Trade and Industry’s (DTI) export promotions arm committed to nurturing the global competitiveness of Philippine micro, small and medium scale enterprises (MSMEs), exporters, designers, and manufacturers. The agency has a portfolio boasting the highest standards of creativity and innovation, and spanning industries including home, fashion, lifestyle, and food sectors.
Core to the agency’s Integrated Approach to Export Marketing, implemented in partnership with both public and private sectors, are CITEM’s signature events. For the food sector, CITEM has also been providing a homegrown platform for the country’s food sector, International Food Exhibition (IFEX) Philippines NXTFOOD Asia, the country’s biggest and most respected business-to-business (B2B) event for Asian food and ingredients. Through IFEX Philippines, local and international companies have the opportunity to tap the rising global demand for premium and quality food products from different regions across the globe, including North and South America, Europe, East Asia, the Middle East, Southeast Asia, Australia and many more.
Ref. Elmer Harold Grande