Food Philippines participates at the 39th Winter Fancy Food Show in San Francisco
For the first time, the Philippines participated with a national pavilion at the 39th Winter Fancy Food Show held in San Francisco’s Moscone Center. The national pavilion, aptly named FoodPhilippines highlighted the organic, natural and heritage food products from the country. This popular trade show is the west coast’s largest specialty food and beverage trade show as was recently held on January 19 to 21, 2014. Ten Filipino exhibitors brought their products from the Philippines to give guests from all over the world a taste of Philippine specialty food products. Branded as Food Philippines, the exhibitors presented a variety of foods produced from Filipino favorites such as bananas, mangoes, coconut, coffee, cacao (single-origin chocolate), organic rice, pili nut, muscovado sugar, herbal teas, and roselle plant. Trade Commissioner Ignacio during the Press Conference said, “This National Pavilion named FoodPhilippines is the first major re-appearance of the Philippines in a major food trade show in the US for a long time, and marks the beginning of the government’s renewed mid to long term strategy to promote Philippine food and premium food products in the US Market.”
The Philippine participation in the 2014 Winter Fancy Food Show was organized by the Philippine Trade and Investment Center (PTIC) in San Francisco led by Philippine Trade Commissioner Michael Alfred Ignacio, PTIC Los Angeles led by Trade Commissioner Jose Ma. S. Dinsay and the Center for International Trade Expositions and Missions (CITEM) with their Delegation Head, Deputy Executive Director Ma. Lourdes Mediran. The ten Filipino companies participated in the trade show were the Celebes Coconut Corporation, GSL Premium Food Export Corporation, Herbanext Laboratiories, Islamic Da’wah Council of the Philippines, JNRM Corporation, Malagos Agri-Ventrue Corporation, Marigold Manufacturing Corporation, Pacific Isles International Trading, Inc., Prime Fruits International, Inc., and the Raw Brown Sugar Milling Company, Inc. The Philippine International Trade Corporation also provided popular
Filipino products to be displayed on the show. Among these products are the pili nut, the
Philippine coffee, organic brown, black and red rice, virgin coconut oil, dried fruits and fruit juices.
During the press conference, held on January 21, 2014 at the Philippine Center, Deputy Consul General Jaime Ramon T. Ascalon stressed the important role and invaluable contribution of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), through CITEM, in raising the quality and awareness of Filipino food products in the world stage. He also highlighted the role played by Filipinos and Filipino Americans alike in contributing to the production and marketing of these food products.
Another highlight of the press conference was a presentation by Trade Commissioner Jose Ma. S. Dinsay on promoting Philippine Specialty Food in the United States. With an official food brand ofFood Philippines the DTI, through its international trade offices and CITEM, aims to promote Philippine food products that are natural, organic and heritage (manufactured with love and care).
Executive Chef Thomas Weibull, Filipino Swedish American and 2012 Kulinarya winner, and Mr. PJ Quesada, Vice President for Marketing of Ramar Foods and Founder of the Filipino Food Movement, were also present during the press conference to discuss about Filipino food in the United States. They also talked about elevating Philippine cuisine, the challenges involved in it, as well as the strong potential for Filipino food and Filipino cuisine to be one of the major foods enjoyed worldwide.
According to CITEM Deputy Executive Director Ma. Lourdes Mediran, premium Philippine food products, such as those exhibited at the Winter Fancy Food Show, are high quality products that are manufactured with care. In effect, the Filipino exhibitors enjoyed a favorable reception from brokers, distributors, retailers and guests during the trade show. Approximately 300 prospective buyers visited the Philippine Pavilion during the Winter Fancy Food Show. As a testimonial to the country’s very successful participation in the trade show, Raw Brown Sugar Milling Company, Inc., one of this year’s exhibitors, happily announced that they booked a substantial “on-the-spot” sale from a Spanish buyer, in addition to two others.