The country’s biggest international food and ingredients trade show organized by DTI-CITEM surpassed its record export sales from last year.

The 16th International Food Exhibition (IFEX) Philippines, the country’s biggest international food and ingredients trade show held at the World Trade Center last May 26-28, 2023 saw a 52% increase in export sales or $162 million in actual and negotiated export sales, compared with its 2022 edition.

IFEX Philippines, a signature event of the Center for International Trade Expositions and Missions (CITEM) aimed to promote the country’s food export industry, attracted almost 9,500 local and international trade visitors and buyers.

Physical Business-to-Business (B2B) meetings, with the assistance of the Department of Trade and Industry – Export Marketing Bureau, generated over $61 million in export sales. Visitors, on the other hand, generated ₱9.7 million in retail sales during the event.

Fruits and vegetables are the top export commodities with nearly $80 million generated in export sales alone, followed by snacks and crispy and savory food generating over $21 million in export sales. Meanwhile, total domestic sales generated by the trade show this year reached ₱147 million.

Sharing the love for Filipino flavors

(L-R) The Katha Awards Gallery at the IFEX Philippines 2023; Sagana’s Coconut Spead, Katha Awards winner for natural, healthy, and organic product

The prestigious Katha Awards for Food was also a trademark component of the event. It served as an avenue for fresh flavors, innovations, and processes to be celebrated. The Katha Awards were categorized under baked goods and confectioneries, beverages, fine food and specialties, marine products, meat and poultry products, natural and healthy organic products, processed food and vegetables, snack foods, and crisp savory products, as well as special citations for best in packaging design, best in booth display (regional, individual booth and, best individual presentation, special product citation, and sustainable practices.

READ: 2023 Katha Awards for Food winners announced

Additionally, through the assistance of the DTI Foreign Trade Service Corps (FTSC) particularly the Philippine Trade and Investment Centers in Washington, New York, Los Angeles, Silicon Valley, Toronto, Sydney, Brussels, Singapore, Shanghai, Taipei, Seoul, Tokyo, Osaka, and Dubai; a total of 80 very important buyers from different regions worldwide participated this year’s IFEX Philippines. These buyers were able to discover new and innovative products from hundreds of local and foreign micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) from the Philippines.

CITEM Executive Director Dr. Edward L. Fereira (center) raises a toast with distinguished guests (FROM L-R): Malaysian Ambassador Dato’ Abdul Malik Melvin Castelino; Philippine Airlines President Capt. Stanley Ng; Senator Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III; Senator Mark Villar; DTI Usec. Carol Sanchez; DBM Secretary Amenah F. Pangandaman; Senator Cynthia Villar; His Excellency Tull Traisorat of the Kingdom of Thailand; DTI Assistant Secretary Glenn Peñaranda

According to CITEM Executive Director Dr. Edward Fereira, the event proves that Filipino food is on track to become one of the world’s food-sourcing destinations for healthy and tasty Asian cuisine, especially with the growing presence of businesses from the region.

“This year’s IFEX has been outstanding as we have brought together the best-tasting and the highest-quality of food products and ingredients under one roof with representations from the regions of the Philippines,” Fereira said.

Fereira also underscored the importance of events like IFEX Philippines, noting that Filipinos can not only share innovations within the food sector with the global market but also impart the centuries-old culture and heritage of the Philippines.

“Through the event, we bridged more businesses together and improved our relations with our current partners as we gear toward responding to the growing demand for Asian and healthy food products like durian and ube,” he added.


The Center for International Trade Expositions and Missions (CITEM) is the export promotions arm of the Philippine Department of Trade and Industry (DTI).

For nearly 40 years, CITEM has established the country’s image as a premier destination for quality export products and services. It continues to set the highest standards of creativity, excellence, and innovation to achieve competitiveness in the home, fashion, lifestyle, food, creative, and sustainability sectors.

CITEM is committed to developing, nurturing, and promoting micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs), brands, designers, and manufacturers by implementing an integrated approach to export marketing in partnership with other government and private entities.

About IFEX Philippines

IFEX Philippines (formerly International Food Exhibition) is CITEM’s long-running trade event and sourcing program for Philippine and global food and ingredients.

Together with, IFEX Philippines serves as a one-stop business-to-business (B2B) platform aiming to optimize their sourcing experience of buyers from anywhere in the world.

IFEX Philippines is organized by the Center for International Trade Expositions & Missions (CITEM).♦

Date of release: 13 June 2023