Wednesday, May 11, 2011
Mindanao Fruit Producers Eye South Korean Market
The Mindanao-based fruit producers have high hopes that they would gain more access in the lucrative Korean food market after joining top food exhibitors from at least 36 countries who participated in the biggest food show in South Korea.
Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) chairman Luwalhati Antonino said eight fruit producers and exporters from Mindanao form part in this year’s Philippine delegation to the five-day Seoul Food 2011.
The food show was held from April 26 to May 1 at the Korea International Exhibition Center (Kintex) in Seoul, South Korea.
Antonino said the exhibit included a 54-square-meter Philippine pavilion, which featured the best of the country’s food products, including Mindanao’s fresh and processed fruits.
The Mindanao delegation was composed of the BG Fruits Manufacturing Corp., Soyuz Foods Corp., FruitGems Agricultural Corp., See’s International Corp., Philippine Fruits International Corp., Southern Philippines Fresh Fruit Corp., Agri-nurture/Fruitilicious Corp., and Federation of ARB-based Banana Cooperative.
Antonino said the exhibit featured some of Mindanao’s best-selling products such as banana chips, calamansi purée and extract, dried mango, pineapple and papaya, fresh banana as well as frozen and processed fruits.
South Korea is Mindanao’s fifth-largest export market, accounting for 4.86 percent share of last year’s total Mindanao exports, according to Antonino.
Last year’s Mindanao exports to South Korea were valued at $135 million.
These exports include oil cake and other solid residues of coconut, acrylic alcohols, fresh pineapples and bananas.
“Providing our Mindanao food producers sufficient exposure and opportunities to link with emerging foreign markets like South Korea is a strategic way to sustain economic growth in the island-region,” Antonino said.
Antonino added that the administration of President Aquino seeks to improve institutional linkages for local traders and enhance their export potentials for economic growth.
Due to rapid urbanization and a limited area for agriculture, consumption of food imports in South Korea has been rapidly growing by 13 percent from 2001 to 2009, Antonino said.
The South Korean food market is estimated at $46 billion and its per-capita food expenditure is expected to grow further by 2013.
As more Koreans are becoming health-conscious, Antonino said there has also been a growing demand for healthier and more nutritious food alternatives in South Korea in recent years.
“The changing trend in South Korea’s local food consumption offers a great opportunity for Mindanao food producers to provide more food choices in the Korean market,” Antonino said.
Mindanao’s participation in the exhibit was a joint effort of the United States Agency for International Development-funded Growth with Equity in Mindanao (GEM) Program, the Department of Agriculture and the Department of Trade and Industry.
By Business Mirror
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