By Gil Gabriel D. Ragil | Emerging Products Divison (EPD) | DTI-Export Marketing Bureau

09 February 2019

Published also in Business Mirror

THIS year, Philippine exporters will participate in the Biofach and Vivaness 2019 Fair taking place from February 10 to 20 in Nürnberg, Germany. This second Outbound Business Matching Mission (OBMM) is an offshoot of the very successful first OBMM to Germany in Biofach 2018.

This year’s mission is also marked by the very first Philippine participation in Vivaness, the side event of Biofach for natural products, based on the recommendations from the scoping activity conducted in 2018.

This second consecutive year of the country’s participation in Biofach augurs well for exporters of Philippine organic products who were carefully selected to be part of the mission. Those who were part of the mission last year are expected to strengthen the business ties established with buyers in Biofach 2018. The first-time mission members are expected to expand their horizons given the exciting and boundless opportunities available during the fair and B2B meetings. 

Biofach is the biggest and the most-visited event by major buyers of EU-certified organic products from Europe and the rest of the world. The organizer, NurnbergMesse GMBH, ensures that visitors to the fair are committed and valued buyers seeking the latest innovations in the organic sector.

This OBMM to Germany, 2019 edition, supports and sustains the Philippine Export Development Plan (PEDP) Strategy Number 15, Sector Outcome 3: Strategic External Trade Policy Regime, to intensify the marketing and promotion of Philippine goods and services and increase market intelligence. In pursuing this commitment, the Export Marketing Bureau increased the number of participating Philippine exporters to 11 European Union organic-certified companies, with the corresponding increase in the depth and variety of organic products made available at Biofach, and an additional three Philippine exporters in Vivaness, for the very first time, to showcase Philippine-made and -produced natural products known more as cosmeceuticals, herbals and nutraceuticals.

The participants for this year’s Biofach are:

  • Ahya Coco Organic Food Manufacturing Corp. is an ardent manufacturer and exporter of coconut products including organic coconut water, coconut milk, virgin coconut oil, coconut cream, coconut flour and desiccated coconut. The business was established in 2014 with a current plant capacity of more than 500 tons per month. It regularly ships its certified-organic products to China, Korea, Taiwan and European countries.
  • Century Pacific Agricultural Ventures Inc.  is a subsidiary of Century Pacific Food Inc., an integrated coconut manufacturer with a multiawarded and strategic facility in General Santos City in Mindanao. Its products include coconut water, desiccated coconut, virgin coconut oil, coconut milk and cream, and coconut flour. The firm sells its products through two channels, namely under branded retail and under private label. Its products are duly certified organic, BRC, halal and kosher. CPAVI is committed to a sustainable coconut industry and in improving the lives of its farming communities.  It gives back to its coconut-farming communities through seedling distribution and microfinancing, among many other services.
  • Filipinas Organic Coconut Products Corp. is dedicated in manufacturing satisfying, nutritious and high-quality virgin coconut oil and other coconut-based products. Its plant operations is based in Misamis Oriental, one of the provinces in Northern Mindanao where coconuts grow abundantly. Guided by its vision to help its global clients, FOCP strives to “Adopt Healthier Lifestyles” and “Transform its Farmers into Co-Creators of Wealth” using systems that are beneficial to the environment. Its corporate social responsibility is based on its strive to “empower its farmers” to become its partners in its organic program and assist them in establishing a cooperative enterprise, which is Fairtrade-certified. As a dynamic business entity, FOCP continuously improves its products and services by investing in its personnel development and new technologies.  Its principal markets are European nations, the US and Japan. Its products are certified-organic, (USDA, JAS), kosher and Fairtrade.
  • Japan Philippines Malunggay Eco Farm Inc. was established in 2010 primarily to export moringa products, such as moringa powder, moringa flakes, moringa tea, moringa capsules, oil and seeds.  After securing for the company an internationally recognized organic certification, it started exporting to Japan in 2015.  Its organic farm is strategically located at the foot of Mount Makiling in Laguna province where the soil is believed to be naturally highly fertilized. JPM prides itself in working and collaborating with well-trained groups of women who are in charge of meticulously handpicking and sorting the moringa leaves to ensure maintaining the high quality desired of its products.
  • Lao Integrated Farms, Incorporated is a Filipino family social enterprise that strongly advocates organic farming and healthy living. Its farm is well-known in the country to farm-enthusiasts, farmers, people from academe, nongovernment organizations and government agencies who study LIFI’s “best practices” in organic farming systems.  In addition to organic farming, LIFI produces coconut sap-based products and does business using its own brand in the Philippine market, catering mostly to health and wellness-conscious individuals. It operates its own bakery using its own organic coconut sap sweeteners in its cakes, pastries and bread. LIFI exports 100-percent organic coconut blossom nectar and 100 percent organic coconut amino sauce to the US, Europe, Canada, Australia and some parts in Asia.  LIFI is highly committed to its sustainability principles by way of taking care of the environment, providing stable income to some indigenous peoples, small coconut farmers and sap harvesters and in delivering safe and high-quality products to its wide and diverse clientele.
  • Raw Brown Sugar Milling Co. Inc. is a corporation duly organized pursuant to Philippine law with its principal business located at Raw Brown Compound, Igbalanac, Pamplona, Negros Oriental. It is a food-processing plant, which produces raw brown sugar, referred to as “Muscovado,” entirely and purely from sugarcane juice. The sugarcane used as raw material are homegrown, adopting organic-farming practices. These sugarcane are freshly harvested and milled in producing Muscovado.
  • San Pablo Manufacturing Corp. is a part of the group of companies collectively known as Coconut Industry Investment Fund-Oil Mills Group, the manufacturer and brand owner of Minola lauric oil.  The CIIF-OMG is a group of coconut oil milling and trading companies in the Philippines.  Its five manufacturing plants are strategically located in the rich coconut-producing regions of the country, with a combined oil-milling capacity of more than 500,000 metric tons.  It has plants that are FSSC ISO 22000, USFDA and GMP-certified. CIIF’s mantra is to uplift the lives of Filipino coconut farmers.  It does not only provide business opportunities but also provides scholarships and other social development initiatives to enable children of coconut farmers in pursuing higher education, learn trade skills to avail and be assured of a decent way of living. In partnership with its sister company, the United Coconut Planters Bank, the CIIF-UCPB Foundation came into being. To date, more than 3,000 youth were able to finish their tertiary education through the foundation. For more than a half century now, Minola has been at the forefront of the coconut cooking oil segment and is one of the leading brands in the overall cooking oil category. CIIF products are organic-certified by USDA, EU and kosher-certified. 
  • Team Asia Corp. holds a strong leadership position and is one of the leading manufacturers and suppliers of health and lifestyle products in Asia. It produces natural and organic coconut products duly certified by international bodies.  The fresh matured coconuts are harvested from certified-organic farms owned by individual Filipino farmers or cooperatives and associations of coconut farmers. TAC partner-farmers have theirs farms certified organic and by buying their harvests at premium prices as TAC’s corporate social responsibility. The company’s premium products are virgin coconut oil, winterized coconut oil, coconut milk powder, coconut cream powder, coconut cocoa powder, refined, bleached and deodorized oil (rbd or coconut cooking oil), coconut sugar and coconut honey nectar. All its products are chemical-free and are processed under strict hygienic conditions set by internationally accepted food safety and quality standards.  All its coconut products are certified organic, halal and kosher. 
  • Tree Life is a company from Southern Philippines, which proudly provides premium organic products. Its farm was established in 2004, and by 2011 started its processing line. Tree Life has now expanded its horizon in neighboring areas by partnering with cooperatives and communities, thereby benefitting more than 800 partner farmers. Its products include organic coconut sugar (Class A and Class B), organic coconut syrup, organic virgin coconut oil, organic coconut flour, coconut jam, organic coconut aminos, organic coconut wine and organic banana chips. 
  • Tropicana Food Products Inc. was established in 1975 and is considered one of the pioneers in the Philippine coconut industry. It is a manufacturer of premium coconut products including virgin coconut oil, winterized coconut oil, coconut milk powder, coconut cream powder, coconut cocoa powder, refined, bleached and deodorized  oil (RBD or coconut cooking oil) , MCT oil and coconut chocolate bar.  All its coconut products are likewise certified organic, halal and kosher making them highly recognized and preferred in the USA, Europe, Japan, the Middle East, China and other Asian markets.
  • Wellnesscare International Corp. (WIC) aims to promote the overall well-being through the introduction of healthy products that are locally produced in the Philippines.  WIC is an authorized distributor of Peter and Paul Philippine Corp. It has been exporting organic coconut products since 2003.  It exports to Malaysia, Japan, New Zealand, China, Taiwan, Hong Kong,  Singapore and the EU.  The company is guided and runs on the principles of quality, service, fairness, and excellence in all endeavors of its business.

The very first Philippine exhibitors in VIVANESS Natural Products Exhibition are as follows: 

  • Elemie Naturals Inc. is a natural product company that aims to build a sustainable environment for the agricultural sector by consistently creating world-class, all natural Filipino products.  It only utilizes the exotic pili oil as its signature ingredient. “Pili” is known as “Chosen Tree.” In local language, pili means “chosen.” It is indigenous to the provinces of the Bicol Region in the Philippines.  The oil from the pili tree is meticulously extracted by hand, once a year. Scientifically blended with other natural active ingredients, it offers maximum skin care from moisturization, rejuvenation, to anti-aging. Pili is a natural health and beauty brand that is ethically sourced and produced. It uses pure and rare oil from the pili tree that is endemic to the Philippines in Southeast Asia. The rare pili oil enhances the natural ingredients in its products for maximum skincare benefits. Its product line consists entirely of personal and health care products using pili as a natural ingredient. 
  • Galo Organic & Natural Ventures Inc. is a manufacturer and trading company of virgin coconut oil and by-products.  In particular, coconut oil soap, artisan soap (handmade, all-naturals) and other coconut based like coconut lip balm. It was established to promote Philippine coconut oil in creating health and wellness products. 
  • GIGA Natural Products Specialist Corp., the idea of going into the natural personal care business first came to mind when the couple Peping and Joy de Villa visited an international exhibit in 1999 wherein they met an exporter of natural soaps.  Initially, they bought the soaps from said exporter to test the market. They packaged the soaps as gift items.  It gave birth to their first product which was a line of aromatherapy soap bars in seven (7) variants. They first sold the soaps to their friends and relatives who gave them away as gifts during the holiday season.  They were pleasantly surprised when their friends starting ordering soaps for their own use even after the Christmas season.  The very encouraging results paved the entry into the manufacture of these soaps the following year.  After spending months on product research and development, GIGA was able to produce its own soap made with natural plant-based ingredients. Thus, began GIGA’s foray into the retailing business.  Soon after, their soaps found their way in numerous stores, weekend bazaars, specialty stores, pharmacies and a few lifestyle stores. Later, they increased their offerings to include aromatherapy, natural remedies, spa, pet care and baby care products.