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Mindanao exhibitors clinch $4.3M total sales at international food expo

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Luwalhati Antonino, Chair of the Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA)

Luwalhati Antonino, Chair of the Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA)

Food producers and processors from Mindanao clinched $4.3 million in total sales at the recently concluded International Food Exhibit (IFEX) 2013, proving once more that Mindanao food products are gaining ground in the international market.

The value of immediate and booked sales orders cornered by the 71 Mindanao exhibitors came close to $1.7 million throughout the four-day exhibit, while the projected value of sales orders following the expo amounted to more than $2.64 million.

“Mindanao industries are poised for the international market as proven by the significant domestic and international sales they generated from IFEX, reaffirming the potentials of food products from the region,” said Luwalhati Antonino, Chair of the Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA).

She added that IFEX, the country’s largest gathering of food producers, processors and exporters, provided the Mindanao food sector a venue to position its finest food products to international buyers.

“These figures do not yet include the sales generated by other Mindanao-based companies which decided to set-up exhibits outside of the Mindanao Pavilion during IFEX,” explained Antonino by adding that more sales are expected from orders of international buyers which are currently under negotiation.

Held from May 16 to 19 at SMX Convention Center in Pasay City, IFEX 2013 gathered more than 700 product exhibitors, buyers, food exporters from key regions and cities in Asia, Middle East, and United States.

Among the best selling Mindanao products were Northern Mindanao’s soya; Zamboanga Peninsula’s seafood, particularly sardines and seaweed-based products; Davao Region’s cocoa, coco sugar, and fruits; Central Mindanao’s organic rice and agri-based products; Southern Mindanao’s processed fish; and Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao’s coffee.

“Our attendance to the IFEX was our first attempt at penetrating the international market and we are more than glad that it gave us the international exposure we that needed,” shared Julius Bularon, chief executive officer of BMAN Bravo Unlimited, Corporation a manufacturing and trading corporation based in Canubay, Oroquieta City, which initially booked international product orders worth $1.5 million.

He explained that one of the bestsellers from their company was the Bravo Energy meal, a ready-to-go food mix made up of soya, cereal, brown rice, and other high-fiber ingredients.

MinDA, in coordination with the Department of Agriculture’s Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources and the Department of Trade and Industry’s Center for International Trade Expositions and Missions secured the participation of Mindanao-based food producers, processors, and exporters to the event to promote the region’s small to medium enterprises who are engaged in the food processing industry.

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