BILANG bahagi ng patuloy na pagsisikap na mapataas ang farm, fishery at food exports ng bansa, lumahok ang Department of Agriculture (DA) sa katatapos na “Seoul Food Expo 2022” sa Korea International Exhibition Center (KINTEX) sa Goyang, South Korea.
Dalawampu’t apat na Filipino agri-fishery at food companies ang kabilang sa Philippine delegation kapwa sa on-site at virtually, na umokupa sa prominenteng corner location sa Hall No. 4 ng KINTEX 1, isang malaking complex ng convention at exhibition center at hotels na nag-host sa pinakamalaking pagtitipon ng food producers at processors, equipment manufacturers at suppliers, af service at logistics providers sa Korean Peninsula.
“We are here again at Seoul Food Expo, June 7 to 10, to further prop up our growing food exports to this land of ‘K-pop’ that last year alone amounted to more than US$525 million (M),” pahayag ni DA Assistant Secretary Noel Ocampo Reyes, na nanguna sa delegasyon, sa ngalan ni Secretary William D. Dar.
“In particular, we are upbeat to establishing valuable market leads with Korean food importers and retailers, and more importantly gaining new and additional partners and investors,” dagdag ni Reyes.
Ang four-day event ang unang international food fair na pisikal na dinaluhan ng Pilipinas sa pamamagitan ng DA sa nakalipas na dalawang taon, na pinigilan ng COVID-19 pandemic at ng kaakibat na lockdowns.
“This is a big opportunity for us to once again promote and sell as many Philippine food and fishery products as possible to South Korea and the rest of the world,” ani Reyes.
Ang “Land of the Morning Calm” o “Chosun” ang fourth largest destination ng Philippine agri-fishery at food exports, na noong 2021 ay nagkakahalaga ng US$526.8 M, mas mataas ng 20% noong 2020, at nagtala ng paborableng trade surplus na US$228.4 M.
“Six Philippine food enterprises attended on-site, while the rest virtually. Together, they entertained hundreds of prospective clients of their respective food enterprises involved in the production, processing and trading of various agriculture and fishery products,” wika ni Ma. Aleli Maghirang, DA agriculture attaché sa South Korea.
“With Korea’s expanding market and demand for quality and healthy food, being part of Seoul Food Expo is definitely an advantage for farmers, fishers, food processors and entrepreneurs,” dagdag ni Reyes, tinukoy ang masigasig na paghahanda at koordinasyon na isinagawa ni agri attaché Maghirang sa 24 Filipino food exhibitors.
Ang mga ito ay pinangungunahan ni Ruben See, ng See’s Int’l. Food Mfg. Corp., na kamakailan ay nahalal na presidente ng Philippine Food Processors and Exporters Organization, Inc. (PhilFoodex), kapalit ni late Roberto ‘Bobby’ Amores.
Sinabi ni Maghirang na ang Seoul Food Expo 2022 ay nagsisilbing platform para maipakita ng emerging at high potential agri and fishery businesses ang kani-kanilang mga produkto, at network sa food importers, wholesalers at retail outlets sa Korea.
“As Korea is the fourth biggest destination of Philippine food products, being part of Seoul Food Expo 2022 ushers in promising business deals for our kababayans,” dagdag pa niya.