A total of 18 producers from Negros Occidental are taking part in the ongoing International Food Exposition (IFEX) Philippines 2019 at the World Trade Center in Pasay City.
The three-day event, which runs until Sunday, serves as a venue to showcase the best Negrense food products among the world's biggest buyers.
Joy Ogan, executive assistant to Gov. Alfredo Marañon Jr., said the exhibitors displayed their products such as herbs and spices, beverages, breads and pastries, condiments, and savories at the Negros Pavilion.
Since Negros Occidental is recognized as the country's organic agriculture capital, the province also has an organic section consisting of organic rice, tablea, molasses and sugars, and salad greens.
Negrense producers participating in IFEX 2019 include Plantsville Health Products, Fresh Start Organics, Muy Bien Turmeric Teas, Sir Jess, Negros Island Organic Producers Association, Dolpings Tablea, L' Negros, Sagay Central Inc., Option MPC, Ceres Pasalubong, Merczi, Virgie's, El Ideal, Clara's Food Products, Green Harvest, Satoca, Syara, and Mumshie.
Ogan said Ceres Pasalubong, Merczi, Green Harvest, and Sagay Central Inc., together with IFEX returnees Option MPC and Muy Bien Ventures, are expected to become the key Negros-based players in the international food trade in the coming years.
Also part of the exhibit is the famed Negros blue swimming crab displayed at The Cold Room: Seafood at Sub-Zero, where buyers can taste the freshness and superior quality of Philippine seafood, she added.
Ogan said the provincial government has allocated PHP650,000 to subsidize participation packages of the 18 producers.
Negros Occidental first joined IFEX in 2013 as the first province featured under the Partner Province Program.
Cristine Mansinares, provincial supervising tourism operations officer, said the province's participation at IFEX boosts the Negrense culinary tourism.
Mansinares said food is one of the strong tourism offerings of the province.
In IFEX 2018, 26 Negrense producers generated about PHP18 million in sales.
The annual event is organized by the Center for International Trade Expositions and Mission (CITEM) of the Department of Trade and Industry.
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