Beyond Buzzwords: Transforming Philippine Agriculture!

Phl to further boost fruit, fishery, food exports to Korea

Author: DA Communications Group | 11 June 2022

Seoul, South Korea — As part of its renewed and continuing efforts to increase the country’s exports of farm, fishery and food products, the Department of Agriculture (DA) participated at the recently concluded “Seoul Food Expo 2022,” at Korea International Exhibition Center (KINTEX), in Goyang, about 23 kilometers from the capital city.

Twenty-four Filipino agri-fishery and food companies joined the Philippine delegation both on-site and virtually, occupying a prominent corner location at Hall No. 4 of KINTEX 1, a sprawling complex of convention and exhibition center and hotels that hosted the largest gathering of food producers and processors, equipment manufacturers and suppliers, and service and logistics providers in the Korean Peninsula.

“We are here again at Seoul Food Expo, June 7 to 10, to further prop up our growing food exports to this land of ‘K-pop’ that last year alone amounted to more than US$525 million (M),” said DA assistant secretary Noel Ocampo Reyes, who led the delegation, on behalf of secretary William D. Dar.

South Korea is the fourth largest destination of Philippine agri-fishery and food exports, which in 2021 amounted to US$526.8 M, 20 percent (%) more than in 2020, and registered a favorable trade surplus of US$228.4 M.

The four-day event is the first international food fair that the Philippines through the DA physically attended in the last two years, constrained by the Covid-19 pandemic and the resulting lockdowns. 

“This is a big opportunity for us to once again promote and sell as many Philippine food and fishery products as possible to South Korea and the rest of the world, and gain new and additional partners and investors,” said Reyes.

Six Philippine food enterprises attended on-site, while the rest virtually. Together, they entertained hundreds of prospective clients of their respective food enterprises involved in the production, processing and trading of various agriculture and fishery products, said Ma. Aleli Maghirang, DA agriculture attache in South Korea.

“With Korea’s expanding market and demand for quality and healthy food, being part of Seoul Food Expo is definitely an advantage for  farmers, fishers, food processors and entrepreneurs,” said Maghirang.

Reyes cited her for the diligent preparation and coordination with the 24 Filipino food exhibitors, who  were led by Ruben See, of See’s Int’l. Food Mfg. Corp. He was recently elected president of the Philippine Food Processors and Exporters Organization, Inc. (PhilFoodex), succeeding the late Roberto “Bobby” Amores.

For her part, Philippine Ambassador to Korea Maria Theresa Dizon-de Vega lauds the country’s active participation that was ably organized and coordinated by the DA through the Philippine Agriculture Office (PAO) led by agri attache Maghirang.

“We are happy to welcome the Philippine delegation, led by the Department of Agriculture and PhilFoodex. After two years we are back in business. We are pleased that 24 companies are represented in our Philippine pavilion in Seoul Food 2022, showcasing their best export products. It is heartwarming that Team Philippines proudly offers premium quality goods to South Korea and the international market, in general,” Ambassador de Vega said

For his part, PhilFoodex president See said “the food fair will hopefully regain momentum and exposure to the Philippine food industry, sending the message to the international market that we are ready to provide them their requirements again.”

He added that “we look forward to working with the DA and DFA in similar events in the future, and we hope the new administration will continue to provide us with the much-needed support and assistance. We also look forward to the next Seoul Food 2023 with bigger booths and more fellow Filipino exhibitors.”

During the four-day expo he and fellow exhibitors, like Avante Agri Products, Phils., Inc., were able to meet new and old Korean clients. While See focused on banana chips, Avante showcased fresh Cavendish and Cardava bananas, pineapples, papayas and mangoes; and frozen durian, marang and langka.

“We commend the efforts of DA agri attache Aleli Maghirang for ably organizing and supporting our agribusiness delegation. This is our first ever on-site participation to an international food expo after the pandemic. We look forward to exporting more fresh and frozen fruits from Mindanao,” said Avante CEO Lalaine Lam.

Aside from See and Avante, the four other Filipino enterprises on-site were:

  • Fisher Farms, Inc. — frozen and processed bangus and shrimp products;
  • Oleo-Fats, Inc  – virgin coconut oil (VCO), coconut products, bakery mixes, dressings and dips;
  • Pasciolco Agri Ventures — VCO and coconut products; and
  • Bahaghari Global Food, Inc. — banana and taro chips.

The 18 Filipino food enterprises that attended virtually but displayed their products were:

  • JelFarm Fresh Produce Enterprise (fresh okra);
  • Hi-Las Marketing Corporation (fresh and frozen okra);
  • Eng Seng Food Products (fresh young coconut, fresh & frozen durian, banana chips, freeze-dried fruits);
  • Martsons Food Corp. (dried mangoes & pineapples);
  • Peter Paul / Wellness Care Int’l Corp. (VCO & coconut products);
  • Yamangbukid (turmeric tea);
  • C. O. P. Pili sweets and pastries (pili nut products);
  • Destileria Limtuaco (fruit-flavored spirits);
  • Sangkutsa Food Products Inc. (mango salsa, pickled mango and other picked fruits and vegetables);
  • SAMANCE Agro Products, Inc. (Guimaras dried mangoes, crispy veggie chips, banana pops);
  • Fruits of Life, Inc. (fresh and pasteurized coconut water, fresh meat and puree);
  • Good Sense Food and Juices Corp. (calamansi extract and juices);
  • Seabest Food Corp. (dried mangoes, papayas and pineapples);
  • Shelfmates (Saint C calamansi extract, cocomansi and coco vinegar);
  • Cocoplus Aquarian Dev’t.Corp. (VCO, organic coco milk & sugar; refined bleached and deodorized or RBD coco oil; soap, aromatherapy oils and other coconut products);
  • Lion Heart Farms Phils. Corp. (Cocoes organic dark and light coconut flower syrups, coco sugar, organic coconut aminos);
  • Rosario’s Delicacies (durian and chocolates); and
  • Limketkai Mfg. Corp. (RBD coconut cooking oil). ###
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