MANILA, Philippines - Philippine-made malunggay tea and coconut sugar may soon be available on some of the world's top cruise lines.
Philippine Ambassador to the United States Jose Cuisia recently met with officials of Carnival, Royal Caribbean and Norwegian Cruise Lines, who have expressed keen interest in carrying Philippine-made products in their cruise ships.
"The cruise lines welcomed our proposals for them to carry Philippine-made products such as souvenirs and furniture as well as other alternatives that they could offer their health conscious guests such as coconut sugar and malunggay tea," Cuisia said in a statement.
Agriculture Attache Josyline Javelosa noted coconut sugar and malunggay tea are among the most promising products in terms of consumer reception in the U.S. trade shows participated in by Filipino food manufacturers.
Javelosa said the cruise companies were also urged to consider carrying San Miguel products as well as fresh Philippine mangoes and bananas.
Commercial Counselor Maria Roseni M. Alvero said food products offered to cruise liners have to undergo a strict pre-qualification process, but she is confident Philippine food products will pass.
Alvero noted that Philippine products such as dried and processed fruits, seafood and beverages will benefit not only cruise guests but also crew members.
"The expansion of the Panama Canal will also result in greater trade with the US and South America as it will take a shorter time for Philippine food exports to reach their destinations. This is something the Philippines should take advantage of," she said.
Eric Olafon, Port of Miami Cargo Development Manager, said the Panama Canal expansion will minimize travel time of goods from the Philippines to the Port of Miami from over 21 days to 18 days.