FoodEx Japan

Taste of the tropics: Philippines' fruit-based products helping boost exports to Japan

By Gary Scattergood contact

- Last updated on GMT

Seventeen firms from the country made the trip to Japan.
Seventeen firms from the country made the trip to Japan.
Food exporters from the Phillippines are hopeful of securing new trade that will top $10m at this week's FoodEx trade show in Japan, with fruit-based products proving particularly popular with consumers.

Under its “Food Philippines” brand, the country’s Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) is leading a delegation of tropical fruits, beverages and packaged goods suppliers at the event.

Japan accounts for around 17% of the country’s exports. It is the Philippines’ largest market for fresh food and second only to the US for processed goods.

Speaking to us in Tokyo, Rosemary L Panotes, from DTI, said she was hopeful of securing a 25% increase of trade deals at this year’s event.

“Last year we achieved trade of around $8m, and this year we are targetting $10m,”​ she said.

“This is because we already have very good relationships in Japan, and because we think demand will increase, especially due to the 2020 Olympics.

“This is a very important market for us and one which we believe can continue to grow.”

The Philippines is currently the world’s second-largest producer of coconut and banana.

The country is also a major producer of pineapple (third), canned tuna (fourth), and mango (10th).

More product lines

Nora Terrado, undersecretary for Trade and Investments, said: “The Japanese people are no stranger to us. We know that they have a penchant for our tropical fruits, and that is what we are really looking to showcase,”

“We are also featuring other tropical food and ingredients to widen the line of Philippine products shipped to Japan and promote the country as a premier sourcing destination,”​ she added.

“With the existing Japan-Philippines Economic Partnership Agreement, Japan provides an attractive and vast market for Philippine food suppliers to serve the retail, food service and manufacturing industries,”​ added Torado.

Tropical fruits being showcased included banana, coconut, mulberry, papaya, pineapple and mango. The Philippine delegation also highlighted organic products, cakes and confectionery, tuna, ice pops, and muscovado sugar.

The delegation included  Agrinurture Inc., Association of Laguna Food Processors (Alafop), Big E Food Corporation, Citra Mina Canning Corporation, CJ Uniworld Corp., GSL Premium Food Export Corp. and Miesto International Foods Corporation.

Also participating in the country exhibit are Monde M.Y. San Corporation, Pasciolco Agri Ventures, Prime Fruits International Inc., Profood International Corporation., Prosource Int'l Inc., Raspina Tropical Fruits, Inc., Raw Mbrown Sugar Milling Co., Inc., Republic Biscuit Corporation, And Roxas Sigma Agiventures, Inc.

“With these 17 firms, we are confident this country participation will hit our sales target and maintain the Philippines strong market presence in Japan,”​ said Terrado.

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