By: Janina C. Lim

Source: Business World

PHILIPPINE companies joined a Dubai trade show this month to expand their exposure to the Middle Eastern and North African halal markets, the Department of Trade and Industry said.

The Gulfood trade show, an annual expo for the food and hospitality industries in the United Arab Emirates, held at the Dubai World Trade Centre on Feb. 17 to 21, attracted the participation of 25 Philippine companies, according to a statement issued on Wednesday by the Department of Trade and Industry’s Center for International Trade Expositions and Missions (DTI-CITEM).

Their offerings include processed fruits and vegetables, marine products, and coconut products.

The target for the food companies is at least $90 million in export agreements during the five-day event.

In a previous trade show, the Philippine delegation generated $89.7 million worth of total sales, including coconut products, rice, mangoe, canned fruit, canned seafood and fermented marine products.

Citing Hexa Research, the DTI said the global halal food market is expected to hit $2.55 trillion by 2024.

“The Philippines’ leading and emerging food brands are ready to take on the export demands of Middle East countries to widen the country’s reach in niche and mainstream markets in the Middle East,” DTI-CITEM Executive Director Pauline Suaco-Juan was quoted as saying.

Seven new companies joined the Philippine delegation: Columbia International Food Products, Inc. which makes sweets and chewables; Alsons Aquaculture Corp., producers of Sarangani Bay milkfish; Fitrite, Inc., a juice, dried fruit and sauce company; Leonie Agri Corp., which makes food supplements and organic products; LTH Food Industries, Inc., which makes creamers and cupcakes; snack maker Monde Nissin Corp.; and Phil-Union Frozen Foods, Inc., which sells canned crabmeat and frozen seafood.

Also returning to the trade show are Brandexports Philippines, Inc., Celebes Coconut Corp., Century Pacific Food, Inc., Gem Foods International, Inc., Krystle Exports Phil., Inc., Mama Sita’s, Marikina Food Corp., Market Reach International Resources, Mega Global Corp., Philippine Grocers Food Exports, Inc., Pixcel Transglobal Foods, Inc., Profood International Corp., Q-Phil Products International, Sagrex Foods, Inc., San Miguel Pure Foods Co., See’s International Food, SL Agritech Corp. and Super Q.

The Philippine participation in the Gulfood 2019 is organized by CITEM, in partnership with the Philippine Trade and Investment Center (PTIC) in Dubai.

CITEM is the organizer of IFEX Philippines, which is the Philippines’ biggest export-oriented food show, which will take place on May 24-26.