Published in Business Mirror

25 July 2017

SIXTEEN Philippine food companies generated $23.4 million worth of export sales in the recently held Taipei International Food Show (TIFS) at the Nangang Exhibition Center Hall 1 in Taiwan from June 21 to 24.

Led by the Center for International Trade Expositions and Missions (Citem), the Philippine delegation surpassed the target sales of $22 million and exceeded the previous $21.58-million sales generated in 2016 by 8.4 percent.

“The Philippines had a successful participation in Taiwan. We surpassed our sales goal and actually brought 16 companies under the Philippine banner from an initial target of 12 companies,” Citem Executive Director Clayton Tugonon. said “We were also able to share necessary information to these companies so that they can capitalize on the promising market opportunities in Taiwan.”

Joining the Philippine delegation were Celebes Canning Corp., CJ Uniworld Corp., DMI Medical Supply Co. Inc., Fitrite Inc., Greenlife Coco Products Philippines Inc., JNRM Corp., Malagos Agri-Ventures Corp., Mama Tina Pasta Co. Inc., Pasciolco Agri-Venture, Prosource International Inc., Raw Brown Sugar Milling Co. Inc., Team Asia Corp., Tropicana Food Products Inc., Weambard International Traders Inc., and Yearluck Food and Industrial Food Corp.

Also participating was the Department of Science and Technology-Industrial Technology Development Institute (DOST-ITDI).

Among the Philippines’s best sellers in the event were ready-to-drink tropical fruit juices and preserves; canned tuna; coconut products, such as virgin coconut oil, coconut cream, sugar and medium chain triglycerides (MCT); muscovado sugar in powder form and rock form; banana chips; soft-serve ice cream mix, cones and waffles; and herbal tea, MX3 coffee and food supplements.

Other products showcased in the Philippine pavilion included unsweetened chocolate powder, roasted cacao nibs and dark chocolates; bagoong; noodle pasta; canned meats; vacuum-fried vegetables and fruits; and premixed rice cakes and other food flavorings.

“Through our benchmarking and market visits, we observed that the Taiwanese market has a huge demand for health and organic food and beverages. There is also a big market potential for exporting high-value fresh and frozen fish, shrimps and prawns, abalone, scallops and other seafood products,” Tugonon said. “We also surveyed that the major international competitors for the Philippines’s best-selling products were China, Vietnam and Thailand because of their price and packaging. Sri Lanka was also found as one of the toughest competitor for coconut products, while European countries, such as Switzerland, are also seen as a major competitor for chocolate products,” he said.

The TIFS, popularly known as Food Taipei, is an annual food fair that links the entire food industry supply chain in Taiwan and other countries—from agriculture and aquaculture, refrigeration, processed food, food machinery, packaging and packaging equipment.

The four-day event was held in conjunction with Taipei Pack, Foodtech and Pharmatech Taipei, Taiwan Horeca and Halal Taiwan. It was participated in by 1,717 exhibitors, with a total of 4,011 booths, including participating representatives from 36 countries, to cover every link of the supply chain in Taiwan.

“Citem looks forward to its next participation in Food Taipei next year. Hopefully, our participation this year has helped Philippine companies benchmark themselves in the international market to better improve their packaging, product labeling, and secure the necessary food standards and certifications to expand their reach on the Taiwanese export market,” Tugonon said.

The show organizer, the Taiwan External Trade Development Council (TAITRA), said the local revenue of the Taiwan food industry already reached NT$618 billion (US$20 billion), and is expected to increase to NT$620 billion (US$21 billion) by the end of 2017.

FoodPhilippines in Food Taipei is a branding initiative of CITEM, the export promotion arm of the Philippines’ Department of Trade and Industry (DTI). It spearheads the efforts of the government in promoting the Philippines as a source of quality food products in the global market. This was undertaken in cooperation with the Export Marketing Bureau of DTI, Manila Economic and Cultural Office (MECO), and the Philippine Trade and Investment Center (PTIC) in Taiwan. This participation is one of DTI’s major efforts to intensify the promotion of Philippine specialty-food products in overseas trade shows.

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