PH joins EU seafood expo in Belgium

by Raquel Bernal-Crisostomo, ABS-CBN Europe News Bureau

Posted at May 01 2012 03:55 PM | Updated as of May 01 2012 11:55 PM

BELGIUM - Thousands of buyers, sellers and exhibitors flocked to Brussels for the 14th Edition of European Seafood Exposition, the biggest seafood trade fair in the world.

More than 1,600 companies from 72 exhibiting countries joined the competition. Among the countries that participated in the event were USA, Thailand, China, Italy, Greece, Spain, Portugal, Iceland and the Philippines.
Mary Larkin, Vice President of Seafood Expositions for Diversified Business Communications pointed out that the exposition is vital for the seafood industry which she described as “in a constant state of change”.
“These exhibitions offer an excellent opportunity for the international seafood community to meet and learn updated information on what is changing in the industry on a global basis,” she said.
Major seafood products
Through the joint efforts of the Department of Agriculture, the Philippine Embassy in Brussels, Growth with Equity in Mindanao (GEM3) Program, 10 companies were able to join the three-day trade fair which aimed to bring together seafood buyers and sellers around the world.
Some of the Philippine seafood products which were showcased were frozen milkfish, octopus, cuttlefish and squid.
But fresh tuna proved to be the crowd’s favorite.
Andrei Pereira, Commercial Adviser of the Brazilian Embassy admitted being hooked on Philippine tuna.
“I found your tuna very good, very tasteful and I always come around, passing through because it’s very nice, am very satisfied with the flavor, very good,” he stated.
Brazilian visitor Murell Kayra also supported Pereira’s claim.
“The taste is exquisite!” he said.
Also showcased in the exposition were products from tuna such as tocino, longganisa and cheesy lumpia.
Sustainable management scheme
Philippine delegates expressed confidence that the exposition will help boost the country’s fishing industry.
“We are confident in our products and we believe that our participation will lead to more sales and more sales will generate more jobs in the Philippines,” said Richard Friend, International and Sales Marketing of Philfresh Corporation.
Meanwhile, the Department of Agriculture’s Assistant Secretary for Marketing and Fisheries Salvador Salacup, assured that the Philippine government shall develop a sustainable management scheme to assure continuous supply of seafood products.
“On the side of the government in the domestic front, ang pinagaaralan naming mabuti ay yung proper sustainability, management of our fishery resources. We need to reinstitute proper conservation programs, proper harvesting, and proper handling of our fishery products,” he said.
He added “And that is the role of the government and the private sector, to really ensure that we have quality products for the world and we sustain the supply level for that so private sector can efficiently market in their targeted global markets.”
On the other hand, in a special dinner organized by the Philippine Embassy, Ambassador Victoria Bataclan through Consul General Roy Ecraela, remains optimistic that the Philippine Seafood will soon penetrate the EU mainstream.