The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) through its Bureau of Domestic Trade Promotion (BDTP) is set to take local food producers to the next level through SIkatPinoy National Food Fair on March 16-20 at the Megatrade Halls 1-3 in SM Megamall.

“Piling-Piling Pagkaing Pilipino,” the theme for the said event, aims to further assist micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in developing and forging sustainable business relationships with trade producers in promoting and marketing their local produce. DTI-BDTP expects over 150 exhibitors and increased participation from MSMEs in highlighting local Filipino food products such as meat, fish and marine; processed fruits and vegetables; wines and beverages; baked products; and health and wellness products that are compliant with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) standards.

Food entrepreneurship in the country

The five-day food fair expects to attract local visitors and entrepreneurs that will facilitate networking among budding food entrepreneurs and local government agencies, and exposure of MSMEs to business opportunities that may enhance Filipino food entrepreneurship in the country. Among 940,886 established MSMEs in the country in 2012, over 120, 000 of these belong to the accommodation and food services. This sector is rapidly increasing as demand from the global market continues to expand as what is happening in the Middle East. Increased participation in this sector is expected to translate to employment opportunities and active participation of local industries.

“Our food and beverage sector has so much potential right now in the global market. With various promotion initiatives such as this, the sector is always set to go higher. We hope that food entrepreneurs in the country will exploit every opportunity given to them to further develop their business ventures both in the domestic and global market,” said Industry Promotion Group Undersecretary Nora K. Terrado.

The SikatPinoy National Food Fair will also serve as an opportunity for local food entrepreneurs to scale up and showcase their produce that has potentials in penetrating global markets. As one of the strategies put forward by the approved Philippine Export Development Plan, local producers are given countless opportunities to showcase and improve their products in the local markets. This will also strategically position products to benefit optimally from a wide-range of trade agreements that the country currently has.

MSMEs’ participation in this national food fair will also allow them to test their domestic market and further explore possible collaboration within the industry.

SikatPinoy 2015

During the 2015 SikatPinoy National Food Fair, the event showcased 135 exhibitors which generated cash sales and booked over Php10M orders. Snack food generated the highest sales while fresh and processed fruit and vegetable products ranked second during the event. The top three performing regions were NCR, Region III, and CARAGA.

Sixty-six percent (66%) of last year’s exhibitors were able to test the market of their products during the event and sixty-five (65%) were able to introduce their products to the domestic market. These are only some of the opportunities that this year’s exhibitors can explore on the upcoming national food fair. The fair will also include an interactive cooking demo and competitions that will recognize outstanding participants and products present in the event.