DA, Philfoodex strengthen ties for export sector



The Manila Times


Business Times

THE Department of Agriculture (DA) and the Philippine Food Processors and Exporters Organization Inc. (Philfoodex) reaffirmed their cooperation to boost the country’s export industry and attract more foreign businesses and investors here. Philfoodex President Ruben See met with Agriculture Secretary William Dar on Thursday to express his group’s continued support to government trade shows and other programs. Among these are the Philippine Food Expo and the Thaifex–Anuga Asia, which will be held in 2023. “The sales of the Philfoodex exporters during the past Thaifex-Anuga justify the support of the Department of Agriculture and the Department of Trade and Industry. In the same manner Philippine Food Expo — I believe P500 million to P1 billion will be the sales of small and medium [enterprises] and exporters, excluding the six months projected sales na nakukuha nila afterwards,” said Mayose Bautista, Philfoodex director for membership. During the courtesy meeting, Philfoodex corporate secretary Nandy Esguerra praised the DA’s Kadiwa ni Ani at Kita, which removed multiple layers of middlemen from the agriculture sector, resulting in more competitive prices of local agricultural and food products for both producers and consumers. Also discussed during the meeting were the efforts of the Agriculture department under the leadership of Dar to tap the potentials of export development and value-adding, as well as to improve the country’s export industry. Fermin Adriano, DA undersecretary for Policy, Research and Development, highlighted the importance of the department’s regulatory measures to Philippine exporters during the pandemic. “The Department of Agriculture should really help in making your sector more effective and competitive. And part of that is regulatory measures namin — the compliance with the standards of the other countries in terms of their public health and safety standards,” he said. Dar also reiterated the need to link the agriculture sector with the processing and manufacturing industries to boost its contribution to the country’s economy. “Agriculture must show its way in terms of producing much more volume and more quality products so these can be used in the processing industry. And if you add up the agriculture sector, maybe, it will go to about onethird if we include the processing of raw materials,” Dar said. He noted that agriculture and agri-processing contribute about 35 percent to the country’s gross domestic product. The Agriculture chief also called on the private sector to partner with the DA and to invest more in Philippine agriculture. In response, See said, “Philfoodex will always support DA, especially in all of your projects and your commodity roadmaps.”