The International Food Exhibition (IFEX) Philippines 2013, the Philippines' biggest and most important food trade event, is now open to food manufacturers interested in the highly lucrative Asian food and beverage industry.
"We are taking IFEX to the next level as a one-stop destination for tropical flavors and the most effective venue to reach your target market," said Rosvi C. Gaetos, Executive Director of the Center for International Trade Expositions and Missions (CITEM), the Department of Trade and Industry's export marketing authority and organizer of the show.
Invited to join IFEX Philippines are: Philippine food manufacturers, retailers, consolidators, agents, distributors, cooperatives, institutional suppliers, food-related people's organizations, players from the government and allied food industries (franchising, hotel and restaurants, retail chains, culinary schools, shipping, packaging, refrigeration, post-harvest, machinery and equipment).
"We expect over 700 exhibitors from the Philippines and countries such as China, India, Japan, Korea, Singapore, Malaysia, Brunei, Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, Taiwan and Turkey to join and showcase uniquely Asian food products to buyers from all over the world. Local exhibitors can look forward to global exposure and more opportunities to connect with their leading Asian counterparts," she said.
Gaetos added that in preparation for the show, a complete program of product development and packaging assistance will be made available to regional micro-, small- and medium-enterprises (MSMEs) of a partner province under the show's Partner Region Program (PRP). This includes trainings, seminars and one-on-one consultations in the areas of production, food quality and safety, packaging and labelling, marketing and promotions, pricing and costing, and basic negotiation techniques.
"This follows CITEM's mandate to create and nurture a pool of globally competitive exporters and manufacturers that are both product-ready and market-ready," said Gaetos.
Relaunching itself as "Asia's Ethnic Food and Ingredients Show", IFEX Philippines will feature a comprehensive array of fresh, natural, Halal, and organic food products on 16-19 May 2013 at the SMX Convention Center in Pasay City, Philippines.
Gaetos said that focusing on Asia is a strategy to highlight and harness the region's growing economic importance as the world's leading tropical food source as well as a rapidly growing inter- and intra trade bloc.
It is for this purpose that the formerly annual show has been deferred in 2012 and made into a biennial event starting 2013, "in a bid to launch a more intensive campaign for local and foreign exhibitors, increase the value of our food offerings and attract more buyers looking for premium quality and premium taste," said Gaetos.
Data from the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) show that 42 percent of the over US$4 billion global trade of tropical fruits comes from Asia - a region expected to supply 69 percent of the world's mangoes, 46 percent of pineapples, and 20 percent of papayas by 2014. Asia also leads in the US$100 billion seafood market, accounting for two-thirds of total current aquaculture production and host to 85.5 percent of the world's fish farmers.
The region is home to over 1 billion Muslims who subscribe to the Islamic standard of Halal, and who drive the demand for the US$632 billion world market for Halal food. Asia is also a growing market for natural and organic food, with global demand pegged at US$59 billion.
Fuelled by these factors, IFEX Philippines will feature four major product showcases, namely: Power Fruits Asia for main fruit exports such as mango, banana, pineapple and papaya; Seafood Asia for fresh marine produce; Halal Food Asia for quality Halal food products; and Green Asia for healthy, natural and organic food.
Meanwhile, local exhibitors may exhibit under the following pavilions: the Best of Food Philippines Hall for the country's national brands and top food exporters; the Mindanao and Visayas Halls for these islands' main export produce, including mango, banana, pineapple, papaya, tuna, sardines, shrimp and prawn, carageenan and desiccated coconut; the Agri-Aqua Hall for marine and agricultural food from all Philippine regions; and the Natural Food and Health Products Hall for the country's emerging organic products such as rice, virgin coconut oil (VCO), upland vegetables, papaya, banana, traditional wines, herbal supplements, muscovado sugar, coffee, and asparagus.
Other pavilions will include the International Hall for foreign food exporters with their own country pavilions; and the Retail Hall, where local and foreign exhibitors may launch their products and sell retail to show visitors.
Special events are: Super Chefs Asia, live demonstrations by professional chefs in creating specialty Asian cuisine; and the Grocers' Exchange, an exclusive networking venue for Asia's leading grocers and product suppliers. On-site food industry seminars will also be held for food players to keep abreast of market developments.
"Registered buyers are also in for a treat with the show's Very Important Buyer (VIB) program, which gives them a taste of world-renowned Filipino hospitality," said Gaetos. "They can avail of first-rate privileges such as pre-arranged business meetings with preferred exhibitors, complimentary hotel accommodations and shuttle services, personalized business assistance and high-level networking opportunities for a very rewarding trip to Manila."
Co-organized with the Department of Agriculture-Agribusiness Marketing Assistance Service (DA-AMAS), IFEX Philippines has effectively highlighted quality and innovation in the international food market since 2004.
Over the years, it has become a main sourcing hub for international food retailers, including Wal-Mart (United States), FBC Worldwide (United States), Mon Chong Loong (United States), Hirasho Shoten Health Co. (Japan), Heuschen Schrouff (Germany), Manning Impex (United Kingdom), Wilby Commercial (Canada), Choithram (Middle East), EMKE Group/Lulu Hypermarkets (Middle East), the Americana Group of Companies (Middle East), the AL MAYA Group of Companies (Middle East), Shankar (Middle East), and NTUC Fairprice (Singapore).
For more information on IFEX Philippines, visit www.ifexphilippines.com