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25 April 2018

WHILE the Philippines consumes as much coffee as countries such as the United States, Brazil, Japan and the European Union (EU), the country is also looking to be one of the top producers of top-grade coffee around the world.

To make this a reality, President Duterte on March 7, 2017, signed the Philippine Coffee Industry Roadmap 2017-2022 to boost the country’s domestic coffee output in the next five years—a huge lift for coffee farmers, producers and traders.

Trade Secretary Ramon M. Lopez said the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) is working closely with the Department of Agriculture (DA) to ensure the Philippine coffee industry would be at par with the world’s top producers such as Brazil, Vietnam, Columbia, Indonesia, and Honduras.

“We have to have a patriotic drive to encourage demand for Philippine coffee. We are encouraging local producers to expand coffee production to create the demand,” Lopez said.

The Philippine Coffee Industry Roadmap 2017-2022 will guarantee a coffee industry that is cost-competitive, aligned with global-quality standards, reliable and environment-friendly, that will provide sustainable benefits to farmers, processors, traders, and exporters, and attain food security and poverty alleviation.

Coffee is the second most-traded commodity in the world and is grown in 50 countries along the equatorial zone called “The Bean Belt,” located between latitudes 25 degrees north and 30 degrees south. Interestingly, the Philippines lies within the Bean Belt.

Due to this advantageous location and favorable, although tropical, climate, the country produces four varieties of coffee: Robusta, Arabica, Excelsa and Liberica.

Lopez said the country’s current coffee output is pegged at 37,000 tons a year, but with the Philippine Coffee Roadmap, the country is expected to raise coffee production to 214,626 metric tons (MT) by 2022. This will bring the country’s coffee self-sufficiency level to 161 percent from the current 41.6 percent.

The Philippine Coffee Roadmap would also make available 213,788 hectares of area planted with coffee nationwide, translating to a huge yield of one ton of coffee beans per hectare—a huge discrepancy from the usual 0.33 ton per hectare. The task of implementing the road map falls on the Philippine Coffee Council.

Lopez is optimistic the country will be able to achieve this feat, especially with DTI assisting the coffee industry, which is one of the priority sectors of the agency.

“Through DTI’s 7Ms [Mindset change, Mastery, Mentoring, Money, Machine  and Models], we will continue to provide enabling mechanisms to empower coffee farmers and help in addressing the challenges in the industry,” Lopez added.

Data showed Vietnam is the highest exporter of green coffee beans to the Philippines. Filipinos are also fifth-biggest consumers of coffee behind the EU, the US, Brazil and Japan. Similarly, the Philippines is the top importer of soluble coffee and fourth total importer in the world.

As far as coffee production is concerned, the gap between coffee demand and production is widely noticed with demand for coffee at 90 percent and imports amounting to P12 billion. The demand is still increasing with expanding consumption among younger people.

Currently, the top 5 regions in producing coffee are Soccsksargen (Region 12) with 25,100.77 MT, Davao with 11,429.78 MT, Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao  with 10,341.59 MT, Northern Mindanao with 5,604.95 MT, and Western Visayas with 4,356.25 MT.

With the Philippine Coffee Roadmap as guide, the trade and agriculture departments together with the private sector  and other coffee stakeholders held on March 20 and 21 the third Philippine Coffee Conference in Baguio City and presented the coffee industry’s performance on the first year of the implementation of the road map.

The conference also discussed the strategies to achieve the goals of the Philippine Coffee Roadmap, trends in coffee—brewing methods, quality coffee farming of Arabica and fine Robusta, retailing a coffee business, financing for coffee business, and coffee business models.

By Heizle Trasmañas | Food and Agri-Marine Division | DTI-Export Marketing Bureau

25 April 2018

Published also in Business Mirror

TEN Philippine food exporters are showcasing their products at the ongoing Food and Hotel Asia, dubbed as Asia’s most comprehensive international food and hospitality trade event, at the Singapore Expo, Singapore. Held every two years, the four-day event opened on April 24 and will run until April 27.

The Philippine participation was organized by the Department of Trade and Industry, through the Export Marketing Bureau, in collaboration with the Philippine Trade and Investment Center-Singapore.

The participating Philippine food exporters are Agrinurture Inc., Bahaghari Global Foods Inc., Castillejos Agri-Farms, Fruits of Life Inc., La Carlota Food Enterprise, Pasciolco International Inc., Republic Biscuit Corp., See’s International Food Manufacturing Corp., Universal Canning Inc., and Wellnesscare International Corp.

They join the 4,000 other exhibitors from 70 countries and regions, with projected 78,000 trade attendees from 100 countries and regions.

The Philippine Pavilion is located at Hall 9. Among the highlights at the Philippine Pavilion is the live cooking demo that features gastronomic recipes made from the unique and creative blend of premium products from the participating Philippine companies, such as fresh mangoes and bananas, fresh vegetables, banana chips, coconut products, fruit jams, canned fish, biscuits, dessert and snacks.

25 April 2018

Published also in Business Mirror

THE Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) is pushing innovative packaging and branding for micro, small, and medium enterprise (MSME) products as the agency launched its newest initiative: “Pack! Pinas, an MSME Packaging Roadshow.”

“MSMEs rely heavily on packaging as a means—and sometimes the only way—to advertise their products. Innovative packaging can spell the difference between a product that sells and one that’s left on the shelf,” Trade Secretary Ramon M. Lopez said.

Pack! Pinas is a free event where MSMEs can learn the latest market trends and emerging opportunities in product enhancement, as well as packaging solutions. Likewise, visitors meet government agencies and companies that can assist in designing, branding and marketing their products.

The road show aims to reach MSMEs in the regions and will consist of three events situated in Luzon, the Visayas and Mindanao.

The road show will visit the Visayas on May 3 and 4 at the Summit Hotel Tacloban; Mindanao on May 16 and 17 at Limketkai Luxe Hotel, Cagayan de Oro; and in Luzon on May 29 and 30 at San Lazaro Leisure Park in Carmona, Cavite.

“We always encourage our MSMEs to innovate. And through this kind of event, we link them to industry experts in packaging and help them get their products to be more attractive to consumers, not just locally but also abroad,” Lopez added.

Aside from the DTI, private-sector partners will also share their expertise in Pack! Pinas. MGM Food and Commodities Corp., San Miguel Yamamura Packaging Corp. (SMYPC), Fedrigoni Asia Ltd., and Norde Philippines will hold seminars in the Visayas and Mindanao legs.

Norde is also partnering with Laguna Food Processors Association to provide affordable high-quality digital printing services. Meanwhile, SMYPC is exploring the idea of investing in generic mold canisters for MSMEs, and setting up a common-use digital printing facility

Pack! Pinas is co-organized and supported by the MSME Development Council, the Design Center of the Philippines, the Center for International Trade Expositions and Missions, the Philippine Trade Training Center, the Department of Science and Technology-Industrial Technology Development Institute, the Food and Drug Administration and the Packaging Institute of the Philippines.

By Gliceria N. Cademia | Services Division | DTI-Export Marketing Bureau

25 April 2018

Published also in Business Mirror

THE Department of Trade and Industry’s Export Marketing Bureau (DTI-EMB) and the Philippine Trade and Investment Center (PTIC)-Tokyo, in partnership with the Philippine Software Industry Association (PSIA) and the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT), will hold an Outbound Business Matching Mission (OBMM) for the Information Technology-Business Process Management (IT-BPM) sector and its participation to the Japan IT Week 2018 at the Tokyo Big Sight, Tokyo, Japan from May 9 to 11, 2018.

Japan is the third-largest IT market in the world ($173 billion), after the US ($661 billion) and China ($179 billion). Japan’s ICT growth is predicted to grow by leaps and bounds as Japanese companies plan to invest in ICT toward fiscal year 2020. Progress in ICT investment is expected to push Japan’s GDP to ¥33.1 trillion in 2020.

For the past years, the Philippines attended the Software Development Expo featuring only the services for development, operation and maintenance of software. This year, it will include various segments of the IT-BPM services covered under the Japan IT Week. Major component of the Bureau’s OBMM is the conduct of the business matching (B2B) with Japanese counterparts.

Companies engaged in other subsectors of the Philippine IT/BPM industry which specifically include the ICBMS services: IT services, cloud computing, big data and analytics, mobile application and security, among others, are invited to join the business mission in Tokyo this year.

Another new feature for 2018 is the participation at the special seminar as part of the Show Management hosting exclusively for international exhibitors. This aims to maximize exhibitors’ participation in Japan IT Week exhibition. The seminar, which will be held on the day before the show opens, will cover Japanese business customs, tips to maximize show results, useful Japanese phrases, among other topics.

One of the major activities that will ensure the success of the participation in this mission is building up the pre-arranged one-on-one business matching being organized by DTI-EMB in coordination with PTIC-Tokyo.

Initial deals closed from last year’s mission generated $8.3 million as of December 2017, the largest recorded amount in the history of IT mission in Japan.  Such success was made possible through EMB’s focused B2B strategy which proved to be very effective as it reached targeted institutional clients and decision makers providing great impact through a commissioned expert and consultant.

Participating Philippine companies in Japan IT Week 2018 are Advance World Systems; Alliance Software Inc.; Bizwind Philippines; Cebu Innosoft Solutions Inc.; Cybertech Co. Ltd.; DTSI Group; Eclaro Business Solutions Inc.; Exist Software Labs; Genpact (Headstrong Philippines Inc.); Genpact Philippines; and Green Advanced Tech Solution Corp.

Also joining are In1Go Technologies Inc.; N-PAX Philippines Inc.; Orange & Bronze Software Labs Inc.; Pointwest Technologies Corp.; Rococo Global Technologies Corp.; Spring Valley Tech Corp.; Titanium Technologies Inc.; TMJ BPO Services Inc.; Tsukiden Global Solutions Inc.; and Valtes Advanced Technology Inc.

18 April 2018

Published also in Business Mirror

In Photo: Products are displayed under Design Commune: Patterns and Palettes directed by Creative Director Tony Gonzales during the 66th edition of Manila FAME.
THE Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), through its Center for International Trade Expositions and Missions (CITEM), is set to showcase high-quality, design-driven, and Philippine-made home décor and houseware products at the 67th edition of the Manila FAME happening from April 19 to 21 at the World Trade Center in Pasay City.

Highlighting the country’s creative enterprises, Manila FAME continues to project the Philippines as a reliable source of premier and world-class home furnishings through the highlights of the international trade show, which include Design Commune: Patterns and Palettes, Artisans Village, Gender Responsive Actions for the Transformation of Women (Great Women) Project 2, Regional Interactive Platform for Philippine Exporters Plus (Ripples Plus) and Manila Wear.

“Manila FAME has been a platform where the Philippines showcases our country’s best, from acclaimed artisans to budding young designers. This is among the many platforms provided for local and international buyers to experience Filipino designs and source their next home décor and furnishings in Manila. With our strengthened programs of enhancing the capacity of Filipino enterprises, the Philippines is ready to attract more foreign buyers and assist more Filipino exporters in penetrating the lucrative international market,” DTI Trade and Investments Promotion Group Undersecretary and CITEM Officer-in-Charge Nora K. Terrado said.

Continuing the success of its maiden appearance during the 66th edition, Design Commune: Patterns and Palletes will be returMning to the 67th edition to present a curated display of Philippine aesthetics and materials proudly produced by 70 micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) who worked with designers Tes Pasola, Detleft Klatt, Reine Shih, and Josef Crisanto under the thematic guidance of world-renowned designer Tony Gonzales.

Design Commune is framed in five unique themes inspired by design trends of 2018: Ethnic Nomad Spring and Autumn, Neutral Metals, Neutral Blues and Tints of Green.

Meanwhile, Artisans Village will showcase regional crafts from featured Philippine destinations, such as Zamboanga City, South Cotabato, and Ifugao.

Manila FAME also supports the country’s initiative of assisting women entrepreneurs through the showcase of the GREAT Women Project 2. As part of the highlights of this edition, DTI-Design Center of the Philippines provided product development and management mentoring to 30 women-led enterprises under the GREAT Women Project 2 initiative. Products under this category range from handwoven bags to handcrafted home décors.

Sixteen of the leading enrollees of the DTI-Export Marketing Bureau’s Ripples Plus will also join the trade show highlighting artisanal accent pieces and wearable products. Ripples Plus is a signature program of the DTI that aims to increase the number of internationally competitive local product and services through capacity building and trainings.

“True to DTI’s mandate of assisting Filipino enterprises, the heart of our initiatives is the goal of increasing the number of MSMEs in the Philippines exporting their products to key markets and buyers. We are not just supporting them through platform provision in accessing markets; we are also assisting them in product development, capacity building, marketing and enterprise development as a whole,” Terrado said.

Manila FAME also caters to the fast-growing fashion industry through Manila WEAR. The trade show will host a collective of the country’s fashion designers with their innovative and trendy designs. Manila WEAR aims to advance the country’s fashion industry by advocating ingenious designs that combine artisanal crafts with contemporary and trendy sensibilities.

In its effort to encourage and inspire Philippine exporters and designers to continue to provide excellent and competitive product offerings and elevate the Philippine brand to the world market through innovation, Manila FAME serves host to the awarding of best products exhibited at the said trade show through Katha Awards.

“Above all these highlights, we aim to recognize outstanding products and designers who continue to innovate and redefine the Philippine design imprint,” Terrado said.

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