By Aleli Donado | Emerging Products Division | DTI-Export Marketing Bureau

09 May 2018

Published also in Business Mirror

THE Philippines’s first participation in Biofach 2018, held at the Organic Exhibition in Nuremberg, Germany, recently recorded total negotiated sales amounting to $27.5 million, roughly P1.426 billion. 

Organized by the Department of Trade and Industry-Export Marketing Bureau (DTI-EMB), in coordination with the Philippine Trade Investment Center (PTIC)-Germany, the country’s participation in the four-day event provided the Philippine exhibitors the opportunity to showcase organic products duly certified by the European Union (EU). These include muscovado sugar; moringa (malunggay) tea, capsule and powder; roselle flower tea, jams and candies; and coconut products such as virgin coconut oil, dessicated coconut, coco water, coco sugar, coco milk, jams and vinegar. 

Most of the buyers who visited the Philippine Pavilion were on the lookout for ingredients and latest innovations.  

Prior to the event, the DTI-EMB conducted a two-hour information session on “Organic Market Opportunities and Strategies for the Philippines” at the Intercity Hotel in Nuremberg. Speakers included Consul Catherine Torres, first secretary and consul for Economic Affairs, Philippine Embassy in Berlin, Germany; and Pablito F. Aquino, CEO of the Filipinas Organic Coconut Products Corp., a CBI-assisted company, which was on its fourth year of successful participation in Biofach.

Aquino shared with the group that his company went through a lot of coaching and development from CBI before finally establishing its niche market in the EU. He added that raw materials and processed organic products were exhibiting great demand in Europe and emphasized the need to innovate and brand their products through added-value certifications such as fair trade, single origin, or with unique stories behind the farmworkers and their communities highlighted in the packaging.  

The DTI-EMB also conducted a biostores tour within Old City, Nuremberg.  Anna Marie, Biofach accredited tour guide, led the entire group in a visit to five Biostores, namely EBL—the biggest chain of biostores with 28 branches in Nuremberg alone; Mymuesli, home of organic cereals, porridge, milk and tea; Hofpfosterei, an organic bread store; Lotos, an organic food café; and Probier Boutique, an organic brewery.  

The very first foray of Philippine manufacturers of organic-certified products in Biofach exceeded all expectations in terms of booked and negotiated sales, networking, visits to retail stores of organic produce and in-show seminars attended.

The Philippine exhibitors said they were certainly rewarded with more than what they hoped for since this OBMM to Germany proved to be an exciting pathway and valuable gateway to the vast business opportunities presented by the global organic market.