IFEX – International Food Exhibition

On May 16, 2018, Go Negosyo sa Radyo host Cheska San Diego-Bobadilla and co-host Senator Bam Aquino were joined by Trade and Investment Promotion Group (TIPG) Undersecretary Nora Terrado as well as East-West Seed Marketing Manager Dexter Difuntorum and Resource Mobilization Manager Dr. Robert Acosta to discuss everything there is to know about the International Food Exhibition.

The International Food Exhibition (IFEX) is an annual event organized by DTI’s Center for International Trade Expositions and Mission co-presented by the Department of Agriculture’s Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources and Agribusiness and Marketing Assistance Service. It features the best products from local markets in the country.

This year’s three-day event will focus on the country’s seafood products or the “best of the seas,” as per Usec. Terrado said. Aside from the wide array of food products, attendees get the chance to see how the food is actually prepared through cooking demos.

Usec. Terrado shared that IFEX is a platform for micro, small, and medium enterprises to match with their target buyers. Small business owners undergo a series of seminars regarding product development, pricing, marketing, packaging, and exporting.

She also mentioned that the industry is heavily influenced by millennials, which, according to her, are socially conscious and sophisticated. She also brought up that they are willing to spend more money as long as it is healthy, safe, and convenient. They are also after the story behind the food. Other food certifications like Halal and Kosher are also being considered.

Proudly Pinoy food products like chocolates and pili nuts are already recognized internationally particularly France, Germany, and the United Kingdom. Seafood products such as tuna, processed milk fish, and tuyo are also being exported in other countries.

Iba na ang labanan ngayon because we are part of ASEAN, we are competing with our neighbors in our very own market kaya kailangan [of high] quality talaga,” Usec. Terrado shared. This is why DTI always partners with small businesses so they could level up their product development and marketing.

East-West Seed is one of the businesses helped by DTI. Since 1982, Dutch Simon Groot has partnered with Filipino Benito Domingo in introducing high-quality vegetable seeds in Southeast Asia. The company is producing seeds such as eggplant, pepper, okra, and kangkong that are tailor-fit for the Philippine topography.

May mga nagsasabi na ang pagtatanim daw ay [para sa mga] green thumb-holder lang‘Yun po ay aking dini-dispute dahilfor 15 years ‘yan po ang aking trabahopagsasanay sa mga magsasaka. Kung lahat po ay mabigyan ng tamang pagsasanay, lahat po tayo ay magiging green thumb-[holder]. Wala pong hindi green thumb-holder sa atin,” Dr. Robert Acosta explained.

East-West Seed is joining this year’s exhibit for the first time. “It’s an opportunity for us to create awareness about the organization,” Dexter Difontorum said. Having attended previous exhibits, he shared that he learned the latest trends about food, packaging, hotel and restaurant catering scenes and now they are equipped with the adequate knowledge to present their products.

The IFEX 2018 will happen on May 25-27 at the World Trade Center, Pasay City.